40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China
Most people know, at least by reputation, the most famous monuments and tourist sites in China, be it the Great Wall, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, or the skyscraper forest of Pudong district, Shanghai.
But in a country of this size and with such diverse geography, there are of course many other interesting sites. And it is quite surprising that few foreign travelers discover all these other wonderful places, which have everything to seduce them.
It was not easy to draw up this list of the 40 most beautiful places in China. Really not! But basically, even memory cards have limited storage capacity and, whichever of these 40 most beautiful places in China you visit, you will not stop taking photos once you have it in front of you.
For ease of use, we have listed the sites in alphabetical order of the provinces in which they are located. If you have visited a place that has seemed really sensational during a trip to China, do not hesitate to contact us to help us discover it.
1. Anhui: Ancient Village of Hongcun
Hongcun Village, located approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Huangshan City in Anhui Province, is a popular destination for tourists visiting China. If you’re planning a trip to Hongcun, you’ll be pleased to know that the village is easily accessible via direct flights from major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, and Xi’an to Huangshan Airport.
With a history spanning 900 years, Hongcun Village is steeped in tradition and culture, making it an ideal destination for travelers interested in exploring China’s rich heritage. Visitors to Hongcun appreciate the village’s serene atmosphere, as well as its unique architecture, which is unlike anything else in China. Additionally, the village’s backdrop includes the remarkable Yellow Mountains (Huangshan, see site n ° 2), which are definitely worth a visit.
When planning your trip to Hongcun Village, be sure to include the Yellow Mountains in your itinerary. This will help you optimize your travel experience and ensure that you get the most out of your time in the region. Whether you’re interested in exploring Hongcun’s history, culture, or natural beauty, there’s something for everyone in this charming Chinese village.
For several decades, Hongcun Village has been attracting art students who are drawn to its traditional appearance, Moon Lake, and friendly locals. The village’s quartzite-paved streets, bustling rice fields, and old houses reflected on the surface of the lake provide a splendid picture that meets visitors’ expectations.
In addition to its natural beauty, Hongcun is known for its rich cultural heritage, making it a popular destination for travelers interested in exploring China’s artistic and historical roots. It’s no surprise that Hongcun has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re interested in visiting Hongcun, keep in mind that admission to the village costs 104 yuan (approximately 16 €). Additionally, there are various accommodation options available in the village to suit different budgets and preferences. Be sure to check out the available options to find the one that best meets your needs.
2. Anhui: Huangshan (The Yellow Mountain)
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains, is widely considered to be the most beautiful mountain range in China. The area is particularly popular with Chinese hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who come to marvel at the unusually shaped pines, spectacular rock formations, hot springs, sea of clouds, and dark clouds.
Rising to a height of 1,863 meters, Huangshan is home to magnificent natural sites and offers visitors a truly unforgettable spectacle. Whether you’re interested in hiking, photography, or simply enjoying the stunning scenery, Huangshan is a must-visit destination.
Huangshan Airport provides easy access to the Yellow Mountains, with direct flights available from major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, and Xi’an. Book your plane ticket online to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.
Admission to the Yellow Mountains varies depending on the time of year. From 1st March to 30 November, admission costs 230 yuan, while from 1st December to 28 February, the price drops to 150 yuan. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly to take advantage of the lower admission price during the winter months.
If you’re planning to stay overnight in Huangshan, there are various accommodation options available to suit different budgets and preferences. Be sure to check out the available options to find the one that best meets your needs.
3. Fujian: Wuyi Mountains
Located approximately 350 kilometers northwest of Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province, the Wuyi Mountains are a must-visit destination in southeastern China. The area is easily accessible via direct flights from major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Xi’an to Fuzhou Airport.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wuyi Mountains are an important landmark in southeastern China and played a significant role in the development and spread of neo-Confucianism throughout East Asia since the 10th century.
One of the most popular activities for visitors to the Wuyi Mountains is an excursion aboard a bamboo boat in the gorges of the lower course of the Nine Bend River. This two-hour, eight-kilometer circuit offers beautiful panoramas of the Wuyi Mountains, with their regular peaks and transparent waters.
Admission to the Wuyi Mountains Park costs 140 yuan, while a trip over the water costs an additional 100 yuan. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly to take advantage of the various activities and attractions available in the area.
4. Fujian: Xiapu Mudflats
Xiapu Mudflats, located in Xiapu County along the southeastern coast of China, is a favorite destination for photography enthusiasts. Despite its small size, Xiapu County boasts the largest mudflats in China, covering an area of 40 square kilometers and stretching over 400 kilometers.
The nearest urban center to Xiapu Mudflats is Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province, located approximately 175 kilometers away. Access to the site is free, making it an affordable and accessible destination for travelers.
One of the main attractions of Xiapu Mudflats is its stunning scenery, which offers endless opportunities for photography. The area is particularly famous for its fishing villages, bamboo forests, and stunning sunrises and sunsets.
If you’re planning a visit to Xiapu Mudflats, be sure to bring your camera and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. The best time to visit is during the autumn and winter months when the weather is mild and the light is ideal for photography.
The beautiful, expansive beaches in this area are adorned with vibrant bamboo structures, rows of stakes, buoys, fishing boats, and other signs of human activity that enhance the natural beauty of the site.
For travelers, Fuzhou Airport offers convenient direct flights from major cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou (formerly Canton), and Xi’an.
5. Gansu: Singing Sand Dunes and Moon Crescent Lake Oasis, Dunhuang
Nestled in the heart of the vast Gobi Desert in northwestern China, not far from Dunhuang city, lies the real-life natural wonder of Crescent Moon Lake. The dunes of Mingsha, also known as the “singing sands,” surround an oasis, where a small crescent-shaped lake never dries up.
The dunes got their name from the unique sound they produce when the wind causes the sand to tumble down the slopes, creating a melody that sounds like singing. To hear it, one only needs to lean in while traversing the sandy slopes. Visitors can also access the top of the dunes by camel, which reach a height of about 250 meters above sea level.
The Singing Sand Dunes and Moon Crescent Lake Oasis are located six kilometers south of Dunhuang city. China Southern Airlines offers daily return flights between Xi’an Xianyang Airport and Dunhuang Airport, while Air China operates a daily connection between Beijing and Dunhuang. The charm of the Moon Crescent Lake comes largely from the contrast between the flower gardens along its banks and the vast expanses of sand surrounding it.
Admission fees are 120 yuan during the high season (May 1 to October 31) and 60 yuan during the low season. To explore accommodation options in Dunhuang, check out the following link:
6. Guangdong: The Fortified Towers, or Diaolou, of Kaiping
Dating mainly from the early 20th century, the fortified towers of Kaiping were built under the leadership of wealthy local merchants from the Chinese diaspora. These merchants incorporated elements from other cultures, such as Islam, ancient Rome, and Greece, into the diaolou, influencing the architecture of the entire region.
Initially a show of wealth, the towers also served a more practical purpose by protecting their owners from looters and thieves, and some of them even functioned as homes.
Today, approximately 1,800 diaolou still stand among the vast rice fields of the region. Kaiping is located 130 kilometers southwest of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. Regular buses run from Kaiping Bus Station to Guangzhou Bus Stations. Alternatively, visitors can travel to Kaiping by bus or ferry from Hong Kong with direct journeys available.
7. Guangxi: Yangshuo
For many Chinese people, Yangshuo is home to the most beautiful natural site in the country, with sugar-bumpy hills that can be seen from aboard a bamboo boat on the water.
This city, located along a river in southern China, owes its great reputation to the breathtaking scenery formed by the surrounding karst hills.
While nearby fishing villages are characterized by their traditional way of life, Yangshuo’s city center is quite touristy. Visitors can rent bikes to explore the hinterland, discovering bamboo boats descending the river in a serene atmosphere, fishermen catching fish with the help of their cormorants, and farmers working in the fields, all surrounded by peaks covered with lush vegetation. Most travelers reach Yangshuo from Guilin.
Buses to Yangshuo depart every 15 minutes from Guilin Zhongshan Road Bus Station and Guilin South Railway Station. The trip takes approximately 90 minutes and costs 15 yuan per person.
Accommodation in Yangshuo
For Yangshuo, I absolutely recommend staying outside the city. There are very good hotels in 15 or 20 minutes by bike, or you will be really quiet!
All the hotels that I propose to you are ideally placed : close to the moon hill and the pier to make Bamboo raft on the Yulong river.
- Pure Joy Resort : My choice for a budget trip to Yangshuo! It’s not fancy, but the rooms and bathrooms are very clean and the staff is lovely. Double room from 22 euros per night.
- Yangshuo Hidden Dragon Villa : Beautiful boutique hotel located 5km from Yanshuo City, quiet, and 15 minutes walk from the Moon Hill. Night in a double room from 47 euros
- Indape Hotel : This 4 * Hotel is located about 4km from Yangshuo City. It was a big blow during my stay in Yangshuo for the setting and the calm that reigns there! Overnight stay in a double room from 85 euros.
8. Guizhou: Huangguoshu Waterfall
Huangguoshu Waterfall: Asia’s Tallest Waterfall
The majestic Huangguoshu Waterfall, also known as the “Yellow Fruit Tree” waterfall, plunges over 77 meters with a width of 101 meters, making it the tallest waterfall in Asia.
It is one of the few waterfalls in the world that can be viewed from any angle (overhead, from the bottom, the back, the front, or the sides).
The airport named after the waterfall is located just 6 kilometers from the site, offering direct flights to Beijing and Guangzhou.
The best time to visit is between June and August, when the water flow is the strongest, with over 700 cubic meters per second.
Admission fees are 180 yuan between March 1 and October 31, and 160 yuan between November 1 and February 28.
9. Hainan: The Goddess of Mercy Statue of Guanyin
Standing at a height of 108 meters, the Guanyin Statue was inaugurated and dedicated in 2005 by 108 famous Buddhist monks. It is not only one of the largest statues in the world, but also the world’s largest representation of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy.
Erected at the end of a jetty leading to an artificial island near Nanshan, the southernmost mountain in China, the statue has three faces. One faces mainland China, the second towards Taiwan, and the last towards the South China Sea, symbolizing according to Buddhist tradition, the blessing of Guanyin not only upon China but also the whole world.
The Guanyin Statue is located in the Nanshan Tourism and Cultural District, approximately 40 kilometers from downtown Sanya. Shuttles are available to connect Yalong Bay with the district.
- Admission fee: 150 yuan
I also recommend you to find out more about: Top 15 Things to Do in Hainan, China
10. Hainan: Yalong Bay
The most beautiful tropical scenery of China is found in Hainan. Yalong Bay is the most popular resort on the island. In the shape of a crescent, its beach, which stretches a little over 7 km long, is the busiest and most developed place on the southern coast of the island.
With its many luxury hotels (including more than twenty international hotels), in front of which are rows of palm trees, Yalong Bay has all the attractions usually sought by holidaymakers staying in the south-east of ‘Asia.
It is a heavenly place for water sports enthusiasts. The beautiful waves are especially the happiness of surfers, who can see gliding on the waves throughout the day. If you plan to come here in July, August, October, or the Chinese New Year, get ready to share the place with a host of Chinese families, most of them recognizable by their somewhat old-fashioned swimsuits.
Yalong Bay is 28 km southeast of Sanya City, which has flights to all major Chinese cities, as well as nine international cities including Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.
I also recommend you to find out more about: Top 15 Things to Do in Hainan, China
11. Hebei: Chengde Mountain Resort and Rehe Palace
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this mountain resort was built on the site of a former summer palace of the Qing Dynasty emperors, of which only beautiful gardens and a high pagoda remain today. 70 meters.
Nevertheless, its lush green meadows, marvelous mountains and tranquil valleys still make this place a very pleasant haven for those looking to escape the summer heat. Shuttles depart every hour during the day from Beijing to Chengde. The ticket price is 50 yuan.
- Admission price: 120 yuan
12. Heilongjiang: Hagia Sophia Cathedral, Harbin
This Orthodox Cathedral, the largest of all eastern China, is located in Harbin, the most Russian-speaking city in the country. At a height of 54 meters and an area of 721 m2, it was built in the Neo-Byzantine style by Russian expatriates in the early twentieth century, after the Russo-Japanese war. The Saint Sophia Cathedral symbolized the spiritual power of the local Orthodox community.
Subsequently, this place of worship served for several decades of deposit of goods to the Chinese Communist Party. Today, a state museum dedicated to the heritage, architecture and arts of the city has been built.
- Admission price: 15 yuan
- Address: 88 Xiulong Jie, Daoli District, Harbin, Heilongjiang 黑龙江省哈尔滨市道里区透笼街88号
13. Henan: Longtan Valley
The nearest airport to Longtan Valley is Luoyang, a major city in Henan Province, 60 km away. There are direct flights to major cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
U-shaped, 12 km long, with a purple quartz sandstone strip, Longtan is considered the valley with the most beautiful gorges in China. Its steep cliffs, lush vegetation and jagged reliefs attract tourists from all over China.
- Admission price: 70 yuan
14. Hubei: The Incense Stick Column and Enshi Canyon
Standing among the cliffs of the Enshi Canyon, the karst column known as the Incense Stick Column stretches 108 meters long and is over 150 meters tall, yet only 4 meters wide. This natural monument is truly astonishing, especially considering that it has withstood several significant earthquakes in the region.
According to local legend, the column is a piece of incense offered by a goddess to the ingenious Tujia people. In times of disaster, the inhabitants could light the giant incense to alert the goddess, who would come to their rescue.
Enshi is located approximately 230 kilometers west of Yichang, home to the famous Three Gorges Dam, and 530 kilometers west of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province.
Flights connect Enshi to Yichang twice a week (taking 40 minutes) and to Wuhan twice a week (taking just under an hour and a half).
- Admission price: 120 yuan
15. Hubei: Shennongjia Nature Reserve
For over a century, more than 400 people have claimed to have seen a Bigfoot-like creature amidst the lush vegetation of Shennongjia. However, no one has ever been able to prove its existence.
The Shennongjia Nature Reserve covers an area of 3,200 square kilometers and is the only preserved subtropical forest ecosystem at mid-latitudes. It is home to over 5,000 species of animals and plants, including the rare and protected Roxellan rhinopithecus, also known as the golden-nosed monkey (金丝猴).
The nearest major city to Shennongjia is Wuhan. To reach Shennongjia from Wuhan, take the daily bus to Xingshan County (兴山县) from the Xinhua Road Bus Station, and then continue to the reserve by minibus.
- Admission price: 100 yuan
16. Hunan: Fenghuang Ancient City
Located 430 kilometers west of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, the ancient city of Fenghuang (which means “Phoenix” in Chinese) is sure to enchant lovers of Chinese literature with its dwellings on stilts.
Each year, young hikers flock to Fenghuang to immerse themselves in the cultural riches of the Miao and Tujia peoples. Many also come to pay tribute to the famous Chinese writer Shen Congwen (沈从文), whose novel “The Border City” is set in this ancient city founded about 1,300 years ago.
Fenghuang has preserved a large number of ancient buildings, with about 200 buildings, twenty streets, and a dozen alleys dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Long-distance buses depart four times a day from Changsha West Bus Terminal to Fenghuang Bus Terminal (130 yuan per person), with the trip taking about four hours.
- Admission price: 148 yuan
I recommend you to read this article to find out: Top things to do in Fenghuang with 2 days itinerary.
17. Hunan: Zhangjiajie and Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Located approximately 320 kilometers northwest of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie is the main communication hub of the region.
The giant quartz columns of Wulingyuan have been said to inspire James Cameron’s floating mountains of the planet Pandora in the Oscar-winning film Avatar.
The Wulingyuan site, which is not far from Zhangjiajie City, is home to over 3,000 rock formations of this kind, with the highest column in the “forest of stones” standing over 400 meters tall. Local authorities have named one of them “Mount Hallelujah,” in reference to the floating mountains of Avatar.
Zhangjiajie is well-connected with many Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, via trains and direct flights.
- Admission price: 248 yuan
I also recommend you to read this article to find out: Top things to do in Zhangjiajie with 2 days itinerary.
18. Inner Mongolia: Singing Sands Bay
Singing Sands Bay, also known as Yinken Sands Bay, is a 110-meter-high dune located 50 kilometers from Baotou, one of the largest cities in Inner Mongolia.
As the wind blows down the dune, which slopes at a 45-degree angle, it emits melodious sounds, hence the name “Singing Sands Bay.” It is possible to reach Baotou by plane from major cities across the country, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou
- Price of entry: 120 yuan
19. Jiangsu: Brahma Palace
Brahma Palace is a perfect representation of the Chinese art of feng shui, as well as Buddhism, which are both strong influences in China.
Located at the foot of Lingshan Mountain near Taihu Lake and the Lingshan Giant Buddha (88 meters tall), the palace was built in 2009 as part of the 2nd International Forum of Buddhism. It is an elegant and serene place, adorned with gilding.
Brahma Palace has been strategically built near a lake and a mountain, two natural elements believed to enhance luck and health according to feng shui principles.
Direct flights connect Wuxi Airport with major cities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
- Admission price: 210 yuan
20. Jiangxi: Mount Lu
Just ten kilometers from Mount Lu, the airport of the same name provides direct links to the major cities of the country (Beijing, Shanghai and Canton among others).
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, Lushan National Park, of which Mount Lu is the centerpiece, is more than just a tourist site. It is first and foremost a cultural and spiritual symbol in the eyes of the Chinese.
More than 1,500 famous painters and poets have visited here at different times in Chinese history, from ancient times, such as Li Bai (李白), the great poet of the Tang Dynasty, and more recently like Xu Zhimo (徐志摩), in the 1920s, to name a few. Many are the beauty of the place inspired, as evidenced by the calligraphy poems here and there on the walls of the cliffs.
- Admission: 135 yuan between 1 st December and 31 March 180 yuan between 1 st April and 30 November.
21. Jiangxi: Wuyuan
In the spring, when nature comes to life and the fields are decorated with multicolored flowers in a bucolic and soothing atmosphere, the region sees hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking.
The nearest major city of Wuyuan County is Jingdezhen, 98 km away, and is one of the major agglomerations of Jiangxi Province. From Jingdezhen Airport there are direct flights to most of China’s major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
- Entrance fee: 180 yuan for five days.
22. Jilin: Celestial Lake and Changbai Mountain
Located about sixty kilometers from the Celestial Lake, Changbai Mountain Airport provides direct links to the main cities of the country, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang.
Celeste Lake, on the border of China and North Korea, is said to be like a piece of jade. Overlooked by the 16 peaks of Mount Chanbai Nature Reserve, its waters as transparent as vodka reach an average depth of 204 meters, making it the deepest lake in China. The place will also awaken the curiosity of the hunters of “aquatic monsters”. In fact, over the last two decades, several witnesses said they saw a creature 20 meters long in the lake!
In this region, sunny days are rather rare. The best season to visit is July to September, although the weather can remain icy and wet this season as the rest of the year.
- Admission price: 168 yuan
23. Liaoning: Benxi Aquatic Cave
The Benxi Aquatic Cave was formed more than 5 million years ago. Today, it consists of two sections, a dry gallery, and a water party.
Along the way, a series of stalagmites and stalactites, each more spectacular than the next, display various shades of green, yellow and red.
The Aquatic Section is home to the longest underground river in the world (5.8 km), of which only 2.8 km can be traveled by boat. The dry gallery is more modest in size, with only 300 meters of open space to the public. Inside the cave, the average temperature is about ten degrees. It is therefore strongly recommended to wear sweaters and pants.
Every day, every hour between 3:00 am to 11:00 pm, trains run between Shenyang, the provincial capital, and Benxi. Ticket price: 15 yuan.
- Admission price: 195 yuan
24. Liaoning: The Golden Pebble Beach Scenic Area, Dalian
This 30 km long beach, known in Chinese as Jinshitan, is located on the outskirts of Dalian City. It is known for its rock formations carved by the elements, evoking the silhouettes of fantastic animals. You can guess, here or there, the shape of a camel, a monkey or a tiger, or even that of a dinosaur.
The largest of these natural sculptures is called “the dinosaur exploring the sea”. It is over 40 meters high and, as the name suggests, evokes a giant dinosaur bathing in the ocean.
Golden Pebble Beach is located northeast of Dalian City. It can be reached by taking the Dalian Skytrain, whose trains run every 20 minutes between 6am and 6.30pm.
- Admission price: 100 yuan
25. Ningxia: The Sand Lake
Twice a year (in April-May and September-October), more than one million migratory birds of different species stop in this wetland in Ningxia Province. The rest of the year, about 200 bird species, including a large number of protected species, such as the black crane and the Chinese merganser, make it their home.
The area is also reported to be the domain of giant salamanders, which can be up to 1.6 meters long. This wetland of 80 km2 is made up of the interweaving of desert spaces, water bodies and reed beds: a unique geographical configuration, known locally as the Lac des Sables (“sha hu” – pronounced “Cha rou” – in Chinese).
Sand Lake stretches 56 kilometers north of Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia Province. Buses run daily between this site and the Yinchuan North Gate Bus Station.
- Admission: 60 yuan from 1 st November to 31 March, and 80 yuan from 1 st April to 31 October.
26. Qinghai: Qinghai Lake
Every year, in June and July, this lake at 3,250 meters above sea level offers one of the best shows that nature can offer in Qinghai, the province that extends to the far northwest. from China. From Xining, the nearest major city and provincial capital, it takes three hours by bus to get there.
Apart from the cycling enthusiasts who come to participate in the international race that takes place every summer around the lake, few travelers make the trip to this remote part of China, despite the beauty of the landscapes exceptional that we find there.
Many Xining travel agencies however organize excursions to the lake. Every morning at 7:45 am, buses leave from Xining Railway Station to Qinghai Lake.
27. Shanxi: The City Walls of Xi’an
Less well-known than the world-famous Great Wall, the city walls of Xi’an, which are more than 2000 years old, also bear witness to power and mastery. technique of the Middle Kingdom, then at its peak.
The current wall, which surrounds the city center of Xi’an, dates from 1370. It is a remnant of the fortifications that, during the Ming Dynasty, stretched 13.7 kilometers long and 12 meters high. and between 15 and 18 meters wide.
Nothing better than to embark on a beautiful 3 to 4 hour bike ride on the ramparts: you will enjoy superb views of the ancient capital of China. The top of the wall can be reached from Yongning Gate (永宁 门), Nan Jie Street, Xincheng District.
- Admission fee: 40 yuan
28. Shandong: Qingdao Zhan Bridge
As ancient as the city of Qingdao itself, Zhan Bridge is a jetty that was built on the Yellow Sea in 1892 to welcome Li Hongzhang, a prominent statesman of the Qing Dynasty. Since then, it has become one of the symbols of the city.
Walking the length of this 440-meter-long pier allows visitors to enjoy the sea breeze before reaching the Huilange Pagoda at the end. This classically beautiful building hosts cultural and historical exhibitions throughout the year.
Zhan Bridge is located in the Shoreline Scenic Area at 11 Jingshan Road, Qingdao, Shandong Province.
29. Shanxi: Hukou Waterfall
Hukou Waterfall, China’s second-largest waterfall and the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, is located on the border between Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. The falls, which are 20 meters high and 30 meters wide, are known throughout China for adorning the 50-yuan banknote.
The easiest way to reach Hukou Falls is to fly to Yuncheng, a city located about 80 kilometers away. Yuncheng’s airport is served by direct flights from major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
To visit Hukou Waterfall, head to the Hukou-Yellow River Scenic Area in Hukou City, Ji County, Linfen, Shanxi Province.
If you plan to visit Hukou Waterfall, we recommend going during the flood season (May to October) when the water flow and current speed amplify, causing the falls to swell and the waters to dramatically slope in the air over a width of more than 50 meters.
- Admission price: 90 yuan
30. Shanxi: Yungang Caves
The Yungang Caves, dating back over 1,500 years, bear witness to the extent and strength of the Buddhist faith in China. The site, located 18 kilometers west of Datong City, is comprised of 252 caves and over 51,000 Buddhist statues, mostly carved between the 5th and 6th centuries during the Northern Wei Dynasty. They represent an exceptional testimony of Buddhist rock art in China.
The sandstone statues, ranging in height from two centimeters to 17 meters, have been carved in various styles blending Chinese and foreign influences from the Indian region of Gandhara. Caves 16 to 20 are the best-preserved and home to five Buddhas symbolizing the five emperors of the Wei Dynasty.
Direct flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are available from Datong City.
- Admission fee: 150 yuan
31. Sichuan: Hailuogou Glacier National Park
The nearest airport to Hailuogou Glacier National Park is Chengdu , the capital of Sichuan Province, 300 km away.
Hailuogou Park (literally, Conch Ravine Park) stretches at the foot of the eastern flank of Mount Gonggar in southwestern China, specifically in Sichuan Province.
According to legend, this ravine was a desert place until one day, a famous monk, blowing in his precious conch, attracts a whole host of animals who, captivated by the place, took up residence there. In memory of the monk and his instrument, the ravine was later called the “ravine de la conque”.
Throughout the year, visitors can access the imposing glacier, lined with cliffs, ravines and deep forests. To admire it in its best day, leave early in the morning, at the time of sunrise.
There are more than a dozen hot springs in the park. Only two, including one perched at 2,600 meters above sea level, are open to the public.
Direct flights connect Chengdu Airport with the major cities of the country (Shanghai, Beijing, Canton and Xi’an in particular).
- Entrance fee: 70 yuan for the national park and 120 yuan for hot springs.
Direct flights connect Chengdu Airport with major cities in China such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Xi’an.
32. Sichuan: Jiuzhaigou
With its forests, rivers, waterfalls, mountains and lakes, Jiuzhaigou is an exceptional natural site. One of these lakes is considered a jewel: its waters change color according to the seasons and the time of day. A unique phenomenon, which results both from the variety of reflections of the landscape on the surface, and the presence at the bottom of the lake of algae and calcified rocks, shallow.
Autumn is the best season to visit the area: the surface of the lake is then dotted with colors, like the palette of a painter.
Direct flights connect Jiuzhaigou Jiuhuang Airport with major Chinese cities (including Beijing, Xi’an and Chengdu).
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is Jiuzhaigou’s closest communication node: it is located south of the park, one hour by plane or 11 hours by bus.
- Admission, including local transportation: 310 yuan between 1 st April and 15 November and 160 yuan between November 16 and March 31.
33. Tibet: The Potala Palace
A former winter residence of the Dalai Lama and former seat of the Tibetan government, this nine-storey building, set at 3,700 meters above sea level, is the tallest palace on the planet.
This palace has now become a state museum. There are more than 1,000 items, including those of the White Palace (apartments reserved for the Dalai Lama) and those of the Red Palace (which was once the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism). Potola tours are limited to one hour.
The number of daily visits to the palace is limited. In high season (from 1 st May to 31 October), it is recommended for independent travelers to buy their tickets one day in advance to be sure to be able to make the visit.
- Admission price: 100 yuan
34. Xinjiang: Lake Karakul
It is necessary to reach this lake to traverse one of the most dangerous national of the world: the road of Karakoram. We hold our breath during the journey, but at the end of the road, we are rewarded by the spectacle of magnificent landscapes.
The many signs warning of the danger of landslides along the road do not dissuade travelers, most of them from Kashgar (喀什), the most western city in China.
The waters of this glacial lake, which stretches across the Pamir Plateau 3,600 meters above sea level, like a huge mirror, reflect the surrounding mountains.
We advise you to visit the region between the months of May and October.
There is no public transportation from Kashgar to Karakul. On the other hand, many Kashgar hotels and travel agencies organize tours of the region, either individually or in small groups. The lake is about a 4-hour drive from Kashgar.
35. Xinjiang: The grasslands of Nalati
This subalpine meadow is quite unique in northwestern China.
According to legend, his name comes from soldiers of Genghis Khan who made a stop there. Subjugated by its colors, they gave it the name of “Nalati” (literally, in the Mongolian language, “the place where the sun emerges”). A visit to this region also allows you to immerse yourself in Kazakh folklore. In fact, the inhabitants live in yurts, raise hawks for hunting and still practice traditional sports today. The best time to visit the region is from July to October.
Every day, a flight from China Southern Airlines connects Urumqi to Nalati.
36. Yunnan: The Three Pagodas of Dali
The Three Pagodas of Dali are emblematic monuments in the ancient city of Dali, located in Yunnan Province in southwest China.
The main pagoda was built in the 9th century to protect the area from frequent floods. Standing at 69 meters tall with 16 floors adorned with Buddha statues, it was considered a skyscraper during the Tang Dynasty and remains the tallest pagoda in China to this day.
The other two identical pagodas, each standing at 42 meters tall, were erected in the last century and form an equilateral triangle with the main pagoda. These three monuments offer great opportunities for photography enthusiasts.
The Three Pagodas are located just north of the old town of Dali. Direct flights (30 minutes) and trains (eight hours) connect Dali to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province.
- Admission price: 121 yuan
To plan your visit to the Three Pagodas and learn more about the rich history and culture of Dali, check out the following link:
37. Yunnan: Pudacuo National Park, Shangri-la
Pudacuo is 22 kilometers east of Shangri-la, a tourist town in northwestern Yunnan. Every morning at 9:30 am, a bus departs from Shangri-la Bus Station for Pudacuo. Pudacuo remains China’s first national park that meets the criteria set by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), a leading global environmental organization.
This wet plateau is home to more than 20% of plant species and about one third of the country’s mammal and bird species.
Photography enthusiasts particularly appreciate the place for its multiple varieties of orchids and for its black-necked cranes (a critically endangered species living in China). In the heart of the park, Lake Bita is home to a unique fish species, Bita’s double-mouthed fish, which originated more than 2.5 million years ago.
- Admission price: 190 yuan
38. Zhejiang: Nanxi River
The nearest big city to the Nanxi River is Wenzhou, about 23 kilometers away. The river, lined with dwellings, winds between mountains, making it a site long appreciated by Chinese artists specialized in ink painting aquatic landscapes.
While descending the river on a bamboo boat, travelers can take a closer look at the scenes of daily life of locals washing their feet in the water or fishing with the help of their cormorants, especially a fish. of fresh water called xiangyu, which can only be found here.
Direct flights connect Wenzhou Airport with most major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.
The river has nine different boat trips ranging from 1 to 10 kilometers long. The price of a trip on a bamboo boat varies between 30 and 70 yuan depending on the circuit.
39. Zhejiang: QianDao Lake, Thousand Islands Lake
Qiandao Lake, also known as Thousand Islands Lake, is an unusual panorama comprising a total of 1,078 islands. In the 1950s, the Chinese government evacuated hundreds of villages before flooding the territory they occupied to build the water reservoir of a dam.
Visitors to this vast space of relaxation and leisure are attracted by the possibility of various outdoor activities, such as boating, water skiing, hiking on the islands, and mountain excursions. Excellent seafood is also available. Accommodation options range from budget-friendly chalets to luxurious rooms in five-star hotels.
Direct buses are available from Hangzhou West Bus Station to the nearest city to Thousand Islands Lake. Buses depart every 30 minutes between 6:00 am and 6:50 pm, with a ticket price of 60 yuan. From there, visitors will need to take a taxi to access the site.
- Admission fee: 150 yuan
40. Zhejiang: Yunhe Rice Terraces
Yunhe County, located 67 kilometers southwest of Lishui City, is home to the famous Yunhe Rice Terraces. Visitors can take a train from major cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, or Beijing and then take shuttle buses from Lishui Station to Yunhe.
The Yunhe region, which means “peaceful clouds” in Chinese, has been inhabited for over 1,000 years.
The terraced plots that make the county famous wind up the mountainside, ranging in elevation from 200 to 1,400 meters above sea level, creating a maze-like structure with hundreds of levels (up to 700 superimposed on top of each other).
On rainy days, the landscape is truly marvelous, as water vapor from the rivers envelops the terraces, creating a dreamlike atmosphere.
- Admission price: 80 yuan
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