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Visit China's Beautiful Destinations

China is not only about ancient and historic attractions, the country is so huge and diverse. You'll see different landscapes and climates when you move from one province to the next. I've been to China multiple times and have traveled to different regions. I can say the country has some of the most stunning landscapes in Asia.

Here are some of the most stunning destinations in China based on my experience of traveling around the country.

Wuyishan (Fujian)

Located in Fujian Province, Wuyishan provides visitors with stunning views of the serpentine river and the rugged landscape. There are flat trails and stone steps that lead up the peaks. The first picture above is the most popular and photographed view of the park. You'll need at least two days to see everything inside because of the size of Wuyishan. There are shuttle buses inside that take you to different sections. You can also do Wuyishan as one long day trip from Xiamen, but I recommend staying a night in town.

Click on link for guide: Wuyishan

Where to stay:

Kanas Lake Nature Reserve (Xinjiang)

Located in Xinjiang, Kanas Lake Nature Reserve is simply beautiful. The hassle it takes to get there is worth it. The cerulean lakes, colorful trees, the clear river and the scenic trails all make for a few good days out. There are shuttle buses that take you to different parts of the park. It's impossible to see everything in one day, so spend at least two nights inside. There are hotels and hostels in and just outside for all types of travelers.

Click on link for guide: Kanas Lake

Heavenly Lake (Xinjiang)

Heavenly Lake gets a bad rep, but when I went as a day trip from Urumqi, I couldn't see why. There are plenty of accommodation options in Urumqi that can serve as your base. I went just after Golden Week but didn't see the large crowds people referred to (maybe I was lucky). The autumn colors and the snow-capped mountains made a picturesque backdrop. There are trails that allowed me to get away from the tour groups. There's one that led down with views of a waterfall.

Click on link for guide: Heavenly Lake

Huangshan (Anhui)

Huangshuan in Anhui provides visitor with stunning views of its rugged landscape. My friend and I climbed up and down the mountain. It was mostly ascending and descending stone steps and pavement. The views of the sunset and sunrise were spectacular and worth the trip. There are shops and accommodation, and even a camping ground in the mountain.

Click on link for guide: Huangshan

Where to stay:

There aren't that many choices in the mountain, they are mostly overpriced.

Jiuzhaigou (Sichuan)

Things have changed since the earthquake that shook Sichuan in 2017. I was fortunate enough to have visited before this natural disaster. Jiuzhaigou still has some of the most stunning views of  nature in the country. There are clear lakes, waterfalls and spectacular landscapes throughout. The trails are mostly flat and easy to navigate and there are buses that take visitors around. You can find accommodations in Jiuzhaigou that can serve as your base.

Click on link for guide: Jiuzhaigou

Tiger Leaping Gorge (Yunnan)

Located in Yunnan, Tiger Leaping Gorge is a thing of beauty. There is a high and low trail good for two days' adventure. I started my trip from Lijiang; the trail wasn't as difficult as I thought, but could be troublesome for the unfit and unprepared. The views of the raging river and peaks were all worth the effort.

Click on link for guide: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Zhangjiajie (Hunan)

Located in Hunan, this national park gained world-renown because of the movie Avatar. The entrance ticket is valid for four days, I spent around 3 days in the park. There are sections that would take 6-7 hours if you don't ride the buses or the cable cars. The views change when the sky is clear and when rain comes. When it rains, mist and fog wrap the rock formations giving them a mysterious appeal.

Click on link for guide: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Where to stay:
  • Check for rates and availability: Hostel Geographer - my cousin and I stayed here

Biandukou (Gansu)

I stumbled upon this landscape en route to Zhuo'er Shan. When I saw it, I decided to go the following day. The fields of yellow flowers are in bloom sometime in June-July. There weren't many people when my friend and I went, which made our experience wonderful. You can stay in Zhangye as your base to reach this destination.

Click on link for guide: Biandukou

Zhuo'er Shan (Qinghai)

Not many foreign tourists know about Zhuo'er Shan. I got lucky to have met someone who knew there was a bus going to the nearest town to the mountain. The views were spectacular and best of all there aren't many people. I went sometime in June and there was a mix of yellow, green, blue and white (snow-capped mountains). Zhangye is an ideal base for a day trip to this beautiful destination.

Click on link for guide: Zhuo'er Shan

Rainbow Mountains (Gansu)

Peru isn't the only place where you can see Rainbow Mountains. Located in Gansu, this one is a thing of beauty. If the weather is perfect, you'll see yellows, oranges, reds and colors. There's no trekking involved which is a plus for others. Buses will shuttle you from one viewing point to another. The ideal time to visit is sunset when the colors are at their most vibrant. If you are staying in Zhangye, don't forget to include this in your itinerary.

Click on link for guide: Rainbow Mountains

Huanglong (Sichuan)

These pools in Sichuan look just like the ones you'll see in Turkey. Huanglong is a possible side trip after seeing Jiuzhaigou. It was low season when I went, so the water wasn't overflowing. However, it was still a good day out.

Click on link for guide: Huanglong

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