People usually only get to hear about the crowded, polluted cities of China. Few can ever imagine the unbelievable dreamscapes that make up the rest of the country. China is easily one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you find this hard to believe, the list below should convince you.
1. Mount Huangshan, Anhui Province
If you’ve ever seen Chinese martial arts films about hermit gurus meditating on misty mountains, one look at the 6,000-foot Mount Huangshan will show you where they get their inspiration. With odd, unearthly rock formations, strange, alien-looking pine trees, a mysterious, thick mist hanging in the air, and bone-chilling cold, a trek up Mount Huangshan is likely to be one of the most otherworldly experiences you ever have. A trip to Mount Huangshan is part of the bucket list of many Chinese.
Huangshan Mountains are located 50 km from the city and 300 km southwest of Shanghai. They are famous for their majestic pine-covered cliffs, sung by Chinese artists and poets since the Qin Dynasty. The modern name Huangshan was given to them by the poet Li Po in 747 in honor of the legendary emperor Huang Di.
The main feature of the Huangshan Mountains is a stunning beauty. There are five classic sights of the Yellow Mountains. These are bizarre rocks, pine trees, clouds below mountain peaks, hot springs, and peaks covered with snow.
The world of Huangshan is diverse and breathtakingly beautiful, keeps many secrets, and will generously reward those who have the courage, curiosity, and patience to overcome all obstacles and find their way in the labyrinth of mountain roads. Secret paths wind between the peaks, taking us into the depths of the mountains.
2. Mount Wuyi, Fujian Province
Chinese postcards and prints with preternaturally perfect mountain scenery are popular around the world. However, if you’ve always dismissed these images as Photoshop products, you likely haven’t seen Mount Wuyi.
Rising up next to the Nine Bend River, Mount Wuyi is a vision that’s almost too perfect to be real. The water that’s clear as glass, lush forests whose shades of green look flawless, and the waterfall on the flat-topped mountain that comes down exactly halfway is real.
Mount Wuyi National Park in southeast China is a major attraction. It is located 40 kilometers west of the Wuyishan Landscape Area. It has preserved the most complete and protected ecological system of subtropical forests of the middle belt with the largest area in the southeast of mainland China. This reserve has rich flora and fauna resources. The Wuyishan Mountains Reserve is also a unique natural landscape known in China and worldwide.
3. The Kaiping Diaolou Watchtowers, Guangdong Province
The Diaolou watchtowers are a collection of 3-story towers built in the Guangdong countryside in the early 20th century as fortifications against invasion. These buildings perform not only a protective but also an aesthetic function. The architecture famously blends the best of the Roman, Greek, and Islamic architectural styles.
Diaolou was built on the outskirts of the villages. In the event of an attack, the peasants, along with their livestock and belongings, could have time to hide behind reliable walls. Moreover, wealthy families could afford to have their own fortified mansions.
After the original purpose of the Diaolou watchtowers lost their meaning, many of them are now empty. Some perfectly coexist with modern buildings. Some Diaolou houses private hotels and museums.
The architectural monument of the Chinese Diaolou is included by the UNESCO committee in the list of cultural heritage sites of humanity. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places in China.
4. The Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou Province
In China, there is a beautiful waterfall, Huangguoshu, that is worth a visit. It is located on the territory of Guizhou province, on the Baiji River. The waterfall flows surrounded by virgin forests that have come down to us since the Jurassic period.
The Huangguoshu waterfall is included in the Guinness Book of Records. At more than 250 feet, the Huangguoshu is the highest waterfall in Asia. Measuring more than 300 feet across, it’s a mammoth natural formation, too.
While Huangguoshu is spectacular to look at, it is remarkable in another way – unlike most waterfalls, it is accessible in practically every way. Visitors get to walk behind the waterfall and on each side. In addition, there is a cave behind the waterfall, where you can listen to its sound, enjoy its beautiful scenery, touch the stones and feel the incredible power of the falling water.
Huangguoshu is most beautiful during the summer rainy season. At this period, the river level rises significantly, and the water flies at high speed into the Behemoth Pond basin, creating a beautiful external picture of rumbling water and karst rock formations against rising water fog.
5. Yalong Bay, Hainan Province
Photo: Marc van der Chijs
Yalong Bay is a grand, crescent-shaped tropical beach in the warm Hainan province. Yalong Bay is considered the most respectable and expensive holiday destination in Hainan near the resort city of Sanya. If you get to choose, coming around the Spring Festival is a great idea.
The coast is 7.5 km long, curved in the shape of a crescent, and covered with fine sand of a light beige hue. Clear water in sunny weather acquires a bright turquoise color. The bottom is visible at a depth of up to 10–12 m, which, combined with the proximity of coral reefs, creates excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling. Flocks of exotic fish scurry among the corals, turtles, starfish, and mollusks are found on the bottom ground. Mountains overgrown with lush tropical greenery border the bay on both sides.
Everything that you would expect of a tropical beach resort, from white sand beaches and water sports to luxury hotels and palm trees, Yalong Bay offers in spades. The sea here is surrounded by high mountains and tropical forests, where you can walk along the paths, admiring the tall trees, bright, sparkling streams, and waterfalls.
6. The Chengde Imperial Summer Villa, Hebei Province
Set against the background of a lush mountainscape, the Chengde Imperial Summer Villa was at one time the summer resort used by emperors of the Qing Dynasty. As far as the eye can see, the entire region consists of lush grasslands and tranquil farms.
This is the most significant architectural and park complex preserved in China and one of the world’s largest palace and park ensembles that have survived to this day. Its area exceeds 40,000 square kilometers. The construction of the complex began in 1703 and was finally completed 89 years later. Today, Chengde Imperial Summer Villa, which is not far from Beijing, is a World Heritage Site.
On the territory, divided into a courtyard of official receptions and private chambers of the imperial family, there are many palaces and ceremonial buildings, most of which reproduce the styles and even landscapes characteristic of various parts of the Qing Empire.
7. Shennongjia, Hubei Province
The perpetually mist-covered valleys of the Shennongjia Nature Reserve are home to the world’s only subtropical forests in the central latitudes. The landscape of these places is exceptionally picturesque. If you are a great nature lover, this is one of the most incredibly beautiful places in China for you to visit.
The richness and diversity of flora and fauna can amaze everybody. About 2000 species of wild plants and more than 1200 species of medicinal plants grow on the territory of the reserve. It is also home to many species of wild animals, including more than twenty species of animals that are under state protection. In addition, tourists are attracted by legends about Bigfoot, supposedly living on the territory of the reserve.
The richness and diversity of flora, fauna and the ancient history of Shennongjia are extremely valuable. Therefore, in 1991, the Shennongjia Nature Reserve became part of the worldwide network of biosphere reserves within the framework of the UNESCO international program “Man and the Biosphere”.
Once in the forest region of Shennongjia, you will not only admire the charming rare species of golden monkeys, but you will also be able to climb the highest Shennong Peak in Central China, which is known for its difficult climate change, dense forests, and clear waters. This is an excellent place in China for tourism at any time of the year.
8. The Enshi Canyon, Hubei Province
About 200 miles west to the Three Gorges dam is the Enshi, Asia’s answer to the Grand Canyon. This is a majestic, amazing, and beautiful world-class geological wonder. Enshi Grand Canyon is located on the border of Hunan Province, Chongqing, and Hubei Province.
Near-vertical walls of the mountain bound the winding gorges of the 108 km-long canyon. This is the most picturesque part of the Grand Qingjiang Canyon, with a total area of more than 300 square kilometers. Hundreds of waterfalls crash down into the gorge from above. The mountains and the valley of the Qingjiang River are different in this place. The river here is bottomless. White clouds rise from the Qingjiang River and stretch for hundreds of kilometers.
At many points, these mountains’ sides have catwalks built to allow tourists breathtakingly amazing views. So, it is not surprising that the Enshi Canyon is considered one of the most beautiful places worth a visit in China due to its variety of landscapes.
9. Wulingyuan, Hunan Province
Anyone who sees Wulingyuan is likely to make an instant connection to the floating mountains of the movie Avatar. In many interviews, James Cameron does refer to Wulingyuan as his inspiration. Since the movie Avatar, the Chinese authorities have named Mount Hallelujah from the film one of the columns.
Wulingyuan conquered people with its pristine nature and unique beauty. It is a lush, misty valley endowed with a unique feature – 3,000 giant, natural stone columns rising up like fingers, hundreds of meters up. The region contains numerous streams, waterfalls, and pools. In addition, the Wulingyuan Mountains contain several karst caves formed millions of years ago.
Wulingyuan can rightfully be considered a masterpiece of nature. These amazingly beautiful mountain peaks above the rainforest, rugged, sharp peaks, waterfalls, giant cave systems and mighty rivers make tourists feel like they are on another planet. But, in fact, all this splendor is in incredible China.
10. The stilted Fenghuang village, Hunan Province
Photo: Thomas Fischler
If you’ve ever seen Chinese art, you can’t have missed the frequent references to the Fenghuang stilted village. The ancient city of Fenghuang is located in the southwest of Hunan province, among the picturesque mountains, on the banks of the Tojiang River. It is named after the mythical phoenix bird and resembles the scenery of an old Chinese fairy tale.
This is a famous ancient city, which became famous for its fantastic landscapes and the mysterious culture of the locals, who managed to preserve the atmosphere, customs, language, and culture of ancient generations, along with the monuments of painting and architecture of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Neither modernization nor wars nor natural disasters touched the city’s original appearance and layout of the 16th-18th centuries. Once in this place, as if transported back many centuries.
Considered one of the two most beautiful cities in China, Fenghuang is a kind of museum for history buffs and those who would like to learn more about the life and culture of ancient China.
Thousands of backpackers arrive here each year for an opportunity to walk through the winding streets of the millennium-old village for a feel of the real China. So if you plan to visit China this year, this place is not to be missed!
What is the most beautiful town in China?
Guilin is the most beautiful town in China. This is an entirely unique, original place. It gained worldwide fame thanks to its amazing landscapes. The local mountains, having a karst origin, are scattered with individual conical peaks or groups of peaks right on the plain and form a “stone forest”, which is replete with karst caves.
What are the most beautiful natural places in China?
The Jiuzhaigou Valley is a natural reserve in the north of Sichuan Province, in the southwestern part of China. It is impossible not to admire the diversity of nature that can be found in this incredible and, without exaggeration, fabulous national park. Multi-level rapid waterfalls, transparent multi-colored lakes, forests untouched by human hand, and numerous rare species of animals and birds make it a real natural wonder of China.
The Natural Park “World’s End” is also a beautiful natural landmark and one of the most outstanding sights of China, located on the island of Hainan. It is ideal to take unhurried walks here, as a wide central alley leads directly to a snow-white beach with a clear sea. A wide strip of sandy beach framing the park is complemented by huge stones and whimsical outlines given by nature through wind, water, and sun.
What are the most beautiful places in China?
The Great Wall of China is the most beautiful place and a symbol of China and truly an amazing building of civilization. Although this structure is more than one thousand years old, it still surprises researchers, and many secrets remain unrevealed. The total length of the Great Wall of China is 8,851 kilometers.
Victoria Bay is the real pride and symbol of Hong Kong, China, due to the beauty, not the natural landscape but ultra-modern city panoramas. This Asian pearl is located between two islands – Hong Kong and Kowloon. And its embankment is one of the most breathtaking places where the view of magnificent modern architecture that opens from the opposite part of the rounded coast attracts the eye.
The dreamscapes of China need to be seen to be believed. While it’s a large country and can take quite a bit of transportation, no amount of trouble would be too much for sights such as these. Once you visit this fabulous country, it will become one of your favorite places to visit each year. Have you ever visited China? If so, what are your favorite places to visit? Do you think these ten places are the most beautiful places in China? Share your thoughts with us, please.