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Home China Travel Guide 40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China

40 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in China

Written by Senior Expert Jennifer Lee|Updated: 2024-04-08

China, a land of unrivaled beauty, unfolds like a masterpiece across its expansive canvas of 9.6 million square kilometers. From the misty Jiangnan region in the east to the snow-capped mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the west, China offers a wide variety of natural wonders, including rivers, lakes, grasslands, deserts, and forests.

CNN, renowned for its discerning eye, has meticulously curated a selection of China's top 40 most beautiful places. Building upon this illustrious list, our esteemed team of travel experts at Asia Odyssey Travel now presents to the world these 40 most beautiful places in China, inviting travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating tapestry of China. Prepare to be captivated as you witness the harmonious convergence of nature's wonders, unveiling a panorama so breathtaking, it will leave an indelible mark upon your soul. Get inspired now by AOT's list of China's 40 most beautiful places!

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  • triangle1. Great Wall, Beijing - A Must-Do for Any Traveler in China
  • triangle2. Forbidden City, Beijing - Step into China's Imperial Past
  • triangle3. Terracotta Warriors, Xian - Awe-inspiring Archaeological Marvel with the Past
  • triangle4. The Bund, Shanghai - A Stroll Through Shanghai's Architectural Grandeur
  • triangle5. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan - Unveiling the Enchantment of "Fairyland on Earth"
  • triangle6. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan - Soaring through Nature's Wonderland
  • triangle7. Kanas Lake, Xinjiang - Jewel of Xinjiang
  • triangle8. Yangshuo, Guangxi - Ultimate Beauty of Karst Countryside Views
  • triangle9. Yellow Mountain, Huangshan - Ascending into Beauty
  • triangle10. Potala Palace, Tibet - Majestic Symbol of Tibetan Culture
  • triangle11. Mount Everest, Tibet - The Highest Point on Earth
  • triangle12. Longji Rice Terraces, Guilin - A Stairway to Heaven
  • triangle13. Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan - UNESCO World Heritage in Huangshan
  • triangle14. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - Capture Stunning Panoramic View of HK
  • triangle15. Mount Kailash, Tibet - Discover Majestic Beauty of Sacred Mountain
  • triangle16. Xiapu Mudflat, Fujian A Photographer's Paradise in Fujian
  • triangle17. Three Gorges, Yangtze River - Take 5-star Cruise along the Longest River in China
  • triangle18. Daocheng Yading, Sichuan  "Last Shangri-La"
  • triangle19. Mount Siguniang, Sichuan - "Oriental Alps" of Sichuan
  • triangle20. West Lake, Hangzhou - A Journey Through Hangzhou's Heart and Soul
  • triangle21. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu
  • triangle22. Fujian Tulou - Earthen Wonders in Fujian Province
  • triangle23. Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, Dunhuang - A Desert Dream
  • triangle24. Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong - A Fusion of Styles
  • triangle25. Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou - Unveiling the Majestic Power of Nature
  • triangle26. Yalong Bay, Sanya - Paradise Found in Hainan
  • triangle27. China Snow Town, Heilongjiang - A Winter Wonderland for Snow Fun
  • triangle28. Shennongjia, Hubei - Explore Wild Heart of China
  • triangle29. Fenghuang Ancient Town - Enchanting Town in Hunan

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  • triangle30. Singing Sand Bay, Inner Mongolia - A Symphony of Sand and Sound
  • triangle31. Wuyuan, Jiangxi A Canvas of Scenic Splendor
  • triangle32. Changbai Mountain & Heaven Lake - The Roof of Northeast China
  • triangle33. Qinghai Lake - Embrace the Azure Jewel in Qinghai
  • triangle34. Xian Ancient City Wall - A Walk through Time in Xian
  • triangle35. Hukou Waterfall, Shanxi - Witness the Power of Nature
  • triangle36. Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi A Gallery of Divine Sculptures
  • triangle37. Nalati Grassland, Xinjiang Vastness of the Heavenly Mountains
  • triangle38. Dali Three Pagodas, Yunnan The Symbol of Dali
  • triangle39. Pudacuo National Park, Yunnan - Unveil Shangri-La’s Hidden Gem
  • triangle40. Lugu Lake, Sichuan & Yunnan - Mystical Landscape & Mosuo Culture
  • triangleHow to Plan China Tours with Most Beautiful Places in China?
  • triangleExplore China from Whole New Perspectives with AOT

1. Great Wall, Beijing - A Must-Do for Any Traveler in China

The Great Wall (长城), one of the world's most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit attraction when in Beijing. Spanning over 21,000 kilometers, this ancient wonder offers a glimpse into China's rich history and architectural marvels. Located about 60-130 kilometers (1-2 hours’ drive) from Beijing, the Great Wall provides an unforgettable experience for travelers. There are several sections in Beijing, including Mutianyu, Badaling, Jinshanling, Jiankou, Simatai, and Huanghuacheng Great Wall. The best section for you depends on your interests, fitness level, and travel style.

  • For families and first-time visitors: Mutianyu and Badaling offer easy access and stunning views.
  • For adventurous hikers: Jiankou and Gubeikou provide a challenging and authentic experience.
  • For history buffs: Jinshanling and Gubeikou offer well-preserved sections with rich historical significance.
 

Hike along its winding paths, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site. You can learn about the wall's construction and appreciate its magnificence up close.

Practical Tips:Choose a section of the Great Wall that suits your fitness level and interests.The most popular sections are Mutianyu and Badaling, but there are many less crowded options available.Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing
Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing

2. Forbidden City, Beijing - Step into China's Imperial Past

The Forbidden City (故宫), located in the heart of Beijing, is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the grandeur and history of imperial China. With its impressive architecture and cultural significance, it is a must-visit attraction for travelers. The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace for over 500 years that served as the residence of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Situated in downtown Beijing, the Forbidden City is easily accessible for visitors. Once inside, you can explore the vast complex and marvel at its stunning palaces, ceremonial halls, and beautiful gardens. Take your time to admire the intricate details of the buildings and learn about the lives of emperors and their courtiers.

There are several top things to do in the Forbidden City. Walk along the central axis and explore the imperial chambers, visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Don't miss the opportunity to see the treasures housed in the Palace Museum, which displays a remarkable collection of imperial artifacts.

Practical Tips:Purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.Allow at least 3-4 hours to explore the Forbidden City thoroughly.Audio guides are available for rent to enhance your understanding of the historical significance of each site.

Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing

3. Terracotta Warriors, Xian - Awe-inspiring Archaeological Marvel with the Past

The Terracotta Warriors (兵马俑) in Xian, Shaanxi, are a remarkable archaeological site that attracts visitors from around the world. Discovered in 1974, this ancient army of life-sized clay soldiers, horses, and chariots was created to accompany Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. The site showcases the incredible craftsmanship and historical significance of the Qin Dynasty.

Situated approximately 40 kilometers from Xian, the Terracotta Warriors are easily accessible for tourists. Once there, you can explore the three excavation pits, each revealing different aspects of the army's formation and weaponry. Witness the sheer magnitude of the army and marvel at the intricate details of each individual statue.

Practical Tips:Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons.Allow ample time to explore the vast excavation site and admire the Terracotta Warriors from various angles.Audio guides are available to provide context and insights into the historical significance of the Terracotta Army.

Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Xian

4. The Bund, Shanghai - A Stroll Through Shanghai's Architectural Grandeur

The Bund (外滩), located in the metropolis Shanghai, is an iconic waterfront area that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its stunning skyline views and architectural marvels, it is a must-visit destination in Shanghai. The Bund stretches along the Huangpu River and showcases a collection of colonial-era buildings that once housed banks and trading houses.

Situated in the heart of Shanghai, the Bund is easily accessible for visitors. Stroll along the waterfront promenade and admire the architectural beauty of the buildings, such as the neoclassical Bund Customs House and the Art Deco Peace Hotel. Marvel at the contrast between the historical structures and the futuristic skyscrapers of Pudong across the river.

There are several top things to do in the Bund area. Take a Huangpu River Cruise to fully appreciate the panoramic views of the skyline. Explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, an underground tunnel that connects the Bund to Pudong, offering a unique visual experience. Visit the Shanghai Museum of Art or indulge in some retail therapy at Nanjing Road, a bustling shopping street nearby.

Practical Tips:Visit during the day to appreciate the architectural details and the bustling river activity.Take a leisurely boat ride on the Huangpu River for a unique perspective of the cityscape.Capture panoramic views of the Bund from the rooftop bar of the Peninsula Hotel.

The Bund, Shanghai
The Bund, Shanghai
Night View of the Bund
Night View of the Bund

5. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan - Unveiling the Enchantment of "Fairyland on Earth"

Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟), located in Sichuan province, is a mesmerizing destination that captivates travelers with its stunning natural beauty. With its turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Situated around 330 kilometers from Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou Valley is easily accessible by flight (1 hour), bus or private transfer. The journey for private car takes approximately 8-10 hours, but the scenic landscapes along the way make it worthwhile. When the high-speed train opens, you'll be able to travel directly from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley is during the autumn months of September to November when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Spring, from April to June, is also a great time to visit when the valley comes alive with blooming flowers.

Once in Jiuzhaigou Valley, there are several top things to do. Explore the three main valleys of Rize, Zechawa, and Shuzheng, each offering their own unique attractions. Marvel at the magnificent Nuorilang and Pearl Shoals waterfalls, take leisurely walks around the picturesque lakes, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the ancient forests. And also, combine with Huanglong Valley for your Jiuzhaigou trip.

Practical Tips:Visit during the autumn foliage season to witness the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow.Allow sufficient time to explore the valley's many scenic spots, including Wuhua Lake, Ruoergai Grassland, and Shuzheng Falls.Consider staying overnight in the valley to fully experience its tranquility and beauty.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan
Jiuzhaigou Valley Autumn View
Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan
Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

6. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan - Soaring through Nature's Wonderland

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (张家界国家森林公园) is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. This captivating site, renowned for its towering sandstone pillars, mystical rock formations, and diverse ecosystems, promises an unforgettable journey into China's natural wonders. Zhangjiajie National Park is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, approximately 40 kilometers from Zhangjiajie City.

Once in the park, there are several top things to do. Take a ride on the famous Bailong Elevator, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Explore the enchanting Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, home to the famous Hallelujah Mountain seen in the movie "Avatar." Hike through Tianzi Mountain: Witness the stunning rock formations, panoramic views, and unique flora and fauna of this iconic mountain. Hike along the Golden Whip Stream, a picturesque trail that winds through lush forests and alongside crystal-clear streams.

Other Recommended Top Things to Do in Zhangjiajie:

  • Walk the Glass Bridgeover Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon: Challenge your fear of heights on the world's highest glass bridge and enjoy unparalleled panoramas.
  • Explore the Yellow Dragon Cave: Discover a wonderland of colorful geological formations, shimmering pools, and intricate rock formations.
  • Relax by Baofeng Lake: Take a boat ride on the serene lake, enjoy the picturesque scenery, and escape the crowds.

Practical Tips:Visit during the off-season to avoid crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience.Allow at least 2-5 days to explore the park's diverse landscapes and attractions.Consider staying in a hotel within the park to fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Yuanjiajie, Avatar Mountain
Yuanjiajie, Avatar Mountain

7. Kanas Lake, Xinjiang - Jewel of Xinjiang

Kanas Lake (喀纳斯), located in the north Xinjiang, is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its serene beauty. Known for its crystal-clear waters, surrounding snow-capped mountains, and lush forests, Kanas Lake is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Kanas Lake is located in Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, approximately 500 kilometers from Urumqi.

The best time to visit Kanas Lake is during the autumn months of September and October when the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Spring and early summer are also ideal for pleasant weather and blooming wildflowers.

Once at Kanas Lake, there are several top things to do. Take a boat ride on the lake to fully appreciate its beauty, hike along the surrounding trails for panoramic views, and visit the Tuwa ethnic village to experience the local culture.

Kanas Lake, Xinjiang
Kanas Lake, Xinjiang
Kanas Lake, Xinjiang
Kanas Lake Autumn View

8. Yangshuo, Guangxi - Ultimate Beauty of Karst Countryside Views

Yangshuo (阳朔), located in the Guangxi region of China, is a captivating destination that draws travelers with its stunning landscapes and vibrant local culture. Surrounded by towering limestone karsts and the picturesque Li River, Yangshuo offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Situated approximately 65 kilometers from Guilin, Yangshuo is easily accessible by Li River cruise (4 hours) or bus, making it a popular side trip for visitors exploring Guilin.

There are several top attractions and activities to experience in Yangshuo. Taking a leisurely boat ride along the Li River is a must-do, offering breathtaking views of the karst peaks and lush countryside. Exploring the famous West Street is another highlight, with its lively atmosphere, local handicrafts, and delicious street food. Cycling or bamboo rafting along the Yulong River provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquil rural scenery.

Yangshuo Countryside
Yangshuo Countryside
Yangshuo Countryside
Yangshuo Karst Mountains

9. Yellow Mountain, Huangshan - Ascending into Beauty

Yellow Mountain (黄山), or Huangshan Mountain, is a majestic destination that attracts travelers with its breathtaking beauty and iconic granite peaks. Known for its ethereal sea of clouds, ancient pine trees, and stunning sunrises, Yellow Mountain is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Situated in the Anhui province, Yellow Mountain is approximately 60 kilometers away from the city of Huangshan.

The best time to visit Yellow Mountain is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. In Summer, enjoy warm weather and clear skies, offering ideal conditions for experiencing the "Sea of Clouds". Winter also are the time to view the snow. Learn more about Best Time to Visit Yellow Mountain >>

Top Things to Do for Visiting Yellow Mountain:

  • Hike the "Beginning-to-Wonder" Trail: Embark on this classic trail offering stunning views of the "Sea of Clouds" and iconic peaks like the "Lion Peak" and "Flying Over Rock."
  • Climb the "Heavenly Capital Peak": Challenge yourself to reach the highest peak in Yellow Mountain and witness the breathtaking panoramic vistas.
  • Visit the "Xihai Grand Canyon": Explore this scenic gorge adorned with waterfalls, natural pools, and unique rock formations.
  • Relax at the "Jade Screen Hot Springs": Immerse yourself in the therapeutic hot springs and rejuvenate after a day of exploration.
  • Discover the "Fairyland": Explore this hidden gem known for its mystical atmosphere, serene ponds, and ancient temples.
 

Practical advice for visiting Yellow Mountain includes wearing comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking, bringing layers as temperatures can vary, carrying enough water and snacks for the trek, and being prepared for the crowds during peak seasons. It is also important to follow the designated paths, respect the environment, and take necessary precautions for mountain safety.

Yellow Mountain, Huangshan
Yellow Mountain, Huangshan
Yellow Mountain, Huangshan
Xihai Grand Canyon

10. Potala Palace, Tibet - Majestic Symbol of Tibetan Culture

Dominating the Lhasa skyline, the Potala Palace(布达拉宫) stands as a majestic symbol of Tibetan culture and history. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, once the residence of the Dalai Lamas, offers a glimpse into the spiritual heart of Tibet, inviting visitors on a journey through time and tradition. Situated in the capital city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace is conveniently located within the city center, allowing for easy access by foot or taxi.

Admire the imposing red and white facade, explore the intricate carvings and murals, and marvel at the vast collection of statues, frescoes, and religious artifacts housed within. Wander through peaceful courtyards and prayer halls, witness monks chanting and offering prayers, and find solace in the tranquil atmosphere. Ascend to the rooftop and witness panoramic vistas of Lhasa and the surrounding valley, capturing the grandeur of the palace against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

Practical Tips:

  • Altitude: Lhasa's high altitude (3,650 meters) can cause . Acclimatize gradually and carry necessary medication.
  • Respectful dress code: Dress modestly when visiting the palace, covering shoulders and knees.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted in certain areas, but consult the guidelines before taking pictures.
Potala Palace, Tibet
Potala Palace, Tibet
Potala Palace, Tibet
Potala Palace, Tibet

11. Mount Everest, Tibet - The Highest Point on Earth

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Mount Everest (珠峰), known as Chomolungma (珠穆朗玛) in Tibetan, beckons adventure seekers with its breathtaking beauty and imposing presence. Standing as the Earth's highest point, this snow-capped peak inspires awe and challenges climbers from around the world.

For those seeking the ultimate adventure, the trek to Everest Base Camp is an unforgettable experience. Starting from Lhasa, the journey takes you through stunning landscapes, culminating at the foot of the world's highest mountain. Witness the raw power and grandeur of the Himalayas as you trek through valleys adorned with prayer flags and gaze upon turquoise lakes reflecting the snow-capped peaks.

The north face of Mount Everest is accessible from Lhasa, offering a challenging yet rewarding trek of approximately 620 kilometers (385 miles). This popular route provides a unique perspective of the mountain and allows you to experience the rich Tibetan culture along the way.

Along the trek, you'll have the opportunity to visit Rongbuk Monastery, an ancient Tibetan haven nestled amidst the Himalayas. Explore the vibrant murals and soak in the serene atmosphere of this sacred place. This cultural immersion adds another dimension to your adventure, offering a deeper understanding of the people who call this region home.

Mount Everest, Tibet
Mount Everest, Tibet
Mount Everest Sunrise
Mount Everest Sunrise

12. Longji Rice Terraces, Guilin - A Stairway to Heaven

Nestled in the breathtaking region of Guilin, the Longji Rice Terraces (龙脊梯田) are a natural wonder that enthralls visitors with their stunning beauty and cultural significance. Also known as the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, these iconic terraces are a testament to human ingenuity and harmonious coexistence with nature.

Located approximately 80 kilometers from Guilin, the Longji Rice Terraces can be reached by a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside. The journey itself is an enchanting experience, with verdant mountains, cascading waterfalls, and traditional villages dotting the landscape. It is a good idea to spend 1 or 2 days there.

Best Time to Visit: Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) offer pleasant weather and stunning scenery, with the spring season showcasing vibrant green rice paddies and the autumn season revealing golden hues.

Once at the Longji Rice Terraces, there are several top things to do. Embark on a memorable hike through the terraced fields, marveling at the intricate irrigation system that has been in place for centuries. Visit the ethnic minority villages of Zhuang and Yao, where you can immerse yourself in their vibrant cultures, sample traditional cuisine, and witness age-old customs.

Longji Rice Terraces
Longji Rice Terraces Autumn View
Longji Rice Terraces
Yao Ethnic at Longji Rice Terraces

13. Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan - UNESCO World Heritage in Huangshan

Journey into the picturesque Hongcun Ancient Village (宏村), nestled amidst the majestic scenery of the Huangshan Mountains. Hongcun Ancient Village offers a captivating glimpse into the past, capturing the essence of traditional Chinese architecture and rural life. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, enchanting canals, and a tranquil atmosphere, guarantees an unforgettable journey through time. Located approximately 70 kilometers from Huangshan City, it serves as an idyllic escape.

Stroll along the ancient alleyways and marvel at the unique architecture characterized by white-washed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricately carved wooden structures. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Moon Pond, a serene reflection pool surrounded by traditional buildings. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance and observe the village's daily life unfold before your eyes.

Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan
Hongcun Ancient Village, Huangshan
Hongcun Ancient Village
Hongcun Ancient Village

14. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - Capture Stunning Panoramic View of HK

Ascend to the top of Victoria Peak (维多利亚山), the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, for panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding Victoria Harbour. Enjoy the breathtaking vistas, capture stunning photos, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

Spectacular Views: The primary allure of Victoria Peak lies in its unparalleled views of Hong Kong's sprawling cityscape. Witnessing the mesmerizing skyline, sparkling harbor, and surrounding mountains from the peak's vantage point is an absolute feast for the eyes.

Iconic Peak Tram: Embark on a memorable journey to the summit of Victoria Peak by riding the historic Peak Tram. This charming funicular railway, which has been in operation since 1888, offers a scenic and nostalgic experience as it ascends steep slopes, providing stunning views along the way.

Sky Terrace 428: Take in the breathtaking vistas from the Sky Terrace 428, the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong. Located atop the Peak Tower, this observation deck offers a 360-degree panoramic view and is a prime spot for capturing stunning photographs.

Victoria Peak Night View
Victoria Peak Night View
Victoria Peak Tram
Victoria Peak Tram

15. Mount Kailash, Tibet - Discover Majestic Beauty of Sacred Mountain

Mount Kailash (冈仁波齐), also known as Kang Rinpoche in Tibetan, holds great significance for various religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bon. Mount Kailash is located in the far west of Tibet, approximately 1,600 kilometers from Lhasa, the capital city. The journey from Lhasa to Mount Kailash takes around 2-3 days by road, passing through spectacular landscapes and remote Tibetan villages.

Top Things to Do at Mount Kailash:

(1) Kora Trek: Undertake the sacred Kora trek, which involves walking around Mount Kailash. This spiritual journey typically takes three days and offers breathtaking views of the mountain, pristine lakes, and high-altitude landscapes. It is a deeply transformative experience for many pilgrims and travelers alike.

(2) Visit Lake Mansarovar: Located near Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. Considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is believed to cleanse one's sins and offer spiritual rejuvenation. Take the opportunity to visit and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this holy lake.

(3) Explore the Surrounding Monasteries: Discover the ancient monasteries and hermitages that surround Mount Kailash. Chiu Monastery, Dirapuk Monastery, and Zuthulphuk Monastery are among the notable sites where you can witness the rich spiritual traditions of Tibet.

Mount Kailash, Tibet
Mount Kailash, Tibet
Mount Kailash, Tibet
Mount Kailash 52-kilometer Kora

16. Xiapu Mudflat, Fujian A Photographer's Paradise in Fujian

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Fujian Province, China, lies the captivating Xiapu Mudflat (霞浦滩涂). This breathtaking natural landscape, encompassing 40 square kilometers and boasting over 400 kilometers of coastline, has earned its reputation as one of the most stunning mudflats in the country, and a true photographer's paradise.

The most magical moments at Xiapu Mudflat occur during sunrise and sunset. As the sun peeks over the horizon, bathing the landscape in a warm glow, the mudflats come alive with a vibrant palette of colors. The reflections of the sky on the water create a mesmerizing mirrored effect, while the silhouettes of the fishing boats add a touch of human presence to the scene.

The best time to visit Xiapu Mudflat is between April and October, when the weather is warm and sunny. During this time, you can experience the full range of the tides and witness the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. To capture the most dramatic images, be sure to plan your trip around the lunar calendar, as the tides are highest during the full and new moon phases.

Xiapu Fujian Province
Beiqi, Xiapu
Xiapu Fujian Province
Xiaohao, Xiapu

17. Three Gorges, Yangtze River - Take 5-star Cruise along the Longest River in China

The Yangtze River (长江), the longest river in Asia, carves a dramatic path through the heart of China, showcasing some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth. One of its most awe-inspiring sections is undoubtedly the Three Gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.

The most immersive way to experience the wonders of the Three Gorges is undoubtedly on a 5-star Yangtze River cruise. Various cruise options are available, ranging from luxurious ships with all the amenities to smaller, more intimate boats. You can choose from the 4-day downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang or 5-day upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing. As you sail along the river, you can enjoy breathtaking views from the deck, participate in onboard activities, and stop at various points of interest along the way. Your cruise will likely include excursions to historical sites, visits to local villages, and opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.

Three Gorges, Yangtze River
Three Gorges, Yangtze River
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam

18. Daocheng Yading, Sichuan  "Last Shangri-La"

Daocheng Yading (稻城亚丁), often referred to as the 'Last Shangri-La' or the 'Fairyland on Earth,' is located in the southwest of Sichuan Province. This pristine natural paradise offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant Tibetan culture, and unparalleled tranquility. Daocheng Yading is a treasure trove of natural wonders, encompassing snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, lush valleys, and vibrant meadows. As you explore this captivating landscape, you'll be in awe of the towering peaks, including the iconic Chenrezig Mountain, resembling a reclining Buddha, and the majestic Xiannairi Mountain, with its awe-inspiring pyramid-like shape.

The best time to visit Daocheng Yading is from May to October when the weather is pleasant, and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. However, be aware that the region experiences high altitude, so it's important to acclimatize properly before embarking on strenuous activities.

To get to Daocheng Yading, you can fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, and then take a bus or private car to the region. Alternatively, you can take a direct flight to Daocheng Yading Airport, located near the town. You are recommended to go with Asia Odyssey Travel with private service to explore Daocheng Yading.

19. Mount Siguniang, Sichuan - "Oriental Alps" of Sichuan

Nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the Qionglai Mountains in Sichuan Province, lies Mount Siguniang (四姑娘山), also known as the 'Four Girls Mountain.' This breathtaking natural wonder, with its towering summits, pristine valleys, and diverse flora and fauna, offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. The four peaks - Yaomei, Erfeng, Sanfeng, and Dafeng - resemble four graceful women, standing tall against the backdrop of the azure sky, creating a truly captivating spectacle. While it is difficult to climb the Four Girls Mountains, it is recommended to hike through its three valleys - Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley, and Haizi Valley - to enjoy the mountain views. Chengdu serves as the gateway to Mount Siguniang, with just a 4-5 hour drive to reach the mountain area.

Mount Siguniang
Mount Siguniang
Changping Valley, Sichuan
Changping Valley Hiking

20. West Lake, Hangzhou - A Journey Through Hangzhou's Heart and Soul

West Lake (西湖), nestled in the heart of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, is an iconic natural landmark that has captivated hearts and inspired artists for centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not just a picturesque lake, but a symbol of cultural heritage and breathtaking beauty.

West Lake is not just a visual feast; it's a playground for relaxation and recreation. Cruise across the lake on a traditional boat, enjoying the gentle breeze and the tranquil scenery. Hike the scenic trails surrounding the lake, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the breathtaking views.

Hangzhou West Lake
Hangzhou West Lake
West Lake Summer Scenery
West Lake Summer Scenery

21. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu

With a history spanning over 2,500 years, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou (苏州园林) are a testament to the deep reverence for nature and the seamless integration of it into living spaces by the Chinese people. These gardens were not merely decorative spaces; they were intended to be microcosms of the natural world, offering havens for contemplation, relaxation, and artistic expression.

Step into a world of serenity and refinement at the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Net Master's Garden, Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, Garden of Cultivation, and others in Suzhou. Stroll through these meticulously designed gardens, adorned with pavilions, bridges, ponds, and rock formations, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of traditional Chinese landscaping.

Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou
Humble Administrator's Garden
Lion Grove Garden, Suzhou
Lion Grove Garden, Suzhou

22. Fujian Tulou - Earthen Wonders in Fujian Province

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Fujian Province, lies a unique and captivating collection of earthen structures known as the Fujian Tulou (福建土楼). These remarkable buildings, constructed between the 12th and 20th centuries, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the Hakka people who built them. Recognized for their exceptional cultural and historical significance, the Fujian Tulou were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. These breathtaking structures are not simply houses; they are living museums, offering a glimpse into the lives and customs of the Hakka people, who migrated to the region centuries ago in search of refuge from conflict and persecution.

The Fujian Tulou are mainly located in Yongding and Nanjing counties. To reach the Fujian Tulou, you can fly into Xiamen, the nearest major city, and then take a bus or train to the Tulou-rich areas such as Yongding or Nanjing counties. Learn about How to Get to Fujian Tulou from Xiamen >>

Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Fujian Province
Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster
Chuxi Tulou Clusters, Fujian
Chuxi Tulou Clusters

23. Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, Dunhuang - A Desert Dream

Nestled in the heart of the Gobi Desert, just outside the ancient Silk Road oasis town of Dunhuang, lies a breathtaking natural wonder known as Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake (鸣沙山和月牙泉). This captivating landscape, a mesmerizing blend of towering sand dunes and a serene crescent-shaped lake, is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a unique and unforgettable adventure.

Top Things to Do at Echoing Sand Mountain and In Dunhuang:

  • Camel Rides:Embark on a thrilling camel ride across the sand dunes, experiencing the traditional mode of transportation used by Silk Road traders for centuries.
  • Sandboarding:Feel the adrenaline rush as you sandboard down the steep slopes of the dunes.
  • Mogao Caves:Visit the nearby Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the ancient Buddhist art and sculptures.
  • Dunhuang Night Market:Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Dunhuang Night Market, indulging in local delicacies and browsing through an array of souvenirs.

24. Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong - A Fusion of Styles

Nestled amidst the verdant countryside of Guangdong Province in China lies a unique architectural marvel: the Kaiping Diaolou (开平碉楼). These multi-storied fortified towers, standing as proud sentinels against the backdrop of rolling hills and lush rice paddies, offer a glimpse into the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the region. You can transfer to Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong.

Top Things to Do at Kaiping Diaolou:

  • Explore the various diaolou clusters, each with its own unique architectural features.
  • Visit the Zili Village, home to the largest and most concentrated collection of diaolou.
  • Learn about the history and cultural significance of the diaolou at the Kaiping Museum.
Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong
Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong
Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong
Kaiping Diaolou, Guangdong

25. Huangguoshu Waterfall, Guizhou - Unveiling the Majestic Power of Nature

Huangguoshu Waterfall (黄果树瀑布), nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Guizhou province, stands as a testament to nature's awe-inspiring grandeur. With its cascading waters plunging over 77 meters and spanning a width of 101 meters, Huangguoshu is not only one of the largest waterfalls in Asia but also a captivating destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty.

Distance from Guiyang: Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, is the nearest major city to Huangguoshu Waterfall, located approximately 128 kilometers away.

Top Things to Do at Huangguoshu Waterfall

  • Witness the awe-inspiring power of the main waterfall from the Rain Shower Pavilion.
  • Capture panoramic views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape from the Flower Shower Platform.
  • Embark on a hike through the lush forests of the park, exploring hidden waterfalls and scenic viewpoints.
  • Take a boat ride on the Baishui River, enjoying the tranquil waters and serene surroundings.
  • Visit the Huangguoshu Waterfalls Museum to delve into the history and cultural significance of the waterfall.

26. Yalong Bay, Sanya - Paradise Found in Hainan

Nestled on the southernmost tip of China's Hainan Island lies a haven of pristine beauty and luxurious comfort: Yalong Bay (亚龙湾). This horseshoe-shaped bay, often referred to as the "Hawaii of the East", boasts breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush tropical landscapes, and world-class resorts, making it a dream destination for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and a touch of paradise.

Yalong Bay boasts a stunning 7.5-kilometer stretch of pristine beach, known for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're seeking sunbathing bliss, indulging in water sports like snorkeling and diving, or simply strolling along the shore, Yalong Bay offers the perfect setting for beachside relaxation.

27. China Snow Town, Heilongjiang - A Winter Wonderland for Snow Fun

Deep in the heart of Heilongjiang Province, lies a winter wonderland known as China Snow Town (中国雪乡, also known as Shuangfeng Forest Farm or Xuexiang). This charming village, nestled amidst snow-capped mountains and pristine forests, transforms into a magical landscape during the winter months, attracting visitors from all over the world with its breathtaking scenery and unique cultural experiences.

From December to March, China Snow Town is blanketed in a thick layer of snow, turning houses, trees, and even the landscape into whimsical sculptures. The air is crisp and invigorating, the silence broken only by the crackling of snow underfoot and the occasional burst of laughter from children playing in the streets.

To get to China Snow Town, you can fly into Harbin Taiping International Airport and then take a train or bus to Mudanjiang City. From Mudanjiang, you can take a taxi or shuttle to the village. You are recommended to take private service with Asia Odyssey Travel.

28. Shennongjia, Hubei - Explore Wild Heart of China

Nestled in the northwestern corner of Hubei Province, lies Shennongjia (神农架). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a land of breathtaking beauty and captivating mystery. Renowned for its pristine forests, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Shennongjia offers an unforgettable adventure for travelers seeking to escape the ordinary and immerse themselves in nature's splendor.

Shennongjia is home to some of the largest and most well-preserved primary forests in central China. These ancient woodlands, shrouded in mist and teeming with life, offer a glimpse into a world untouched by time. Hike through towering redwoods, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and breathe in the fresh, clean air that fills your lungs and invigorates your soul. To get to Shennongjia, you can fly into Wudangshan Airport or Yichang Sanxia Airport, which are located nearby. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to your destination within Shennongjia.

29. Fenghuang Ancient Town - Enchanting Town in Hunan

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Hunan Province, lies the captivating town of Fenghuang (凤凰古城), also known as Phoenix Ancient Town. This enchanting destination, with its rich history, unique architecture, and vibrant culture, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into the heart of traditional China. Fenghuang boasts a history spanning over 1,300 years, reflected in its well-preserved ancient buildings and narrow, winding streets. Stroll along the Tuojiang River, admiring the colorful wooden houses adorned with intricate carvings and red lanterns, and feel transported back in time.

To get to Fenghuang, you can fly into Changsha Huanghua International Airport or Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport and then take a train or bus to the town.

Fenghuang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie
Fenghuang Ancient Town
Fenghuang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie
Fenghuang Ancient Town

30. Singing Sand Bay, Inner Mongolia - A Symphony of Sand and Sound

Deep in the heart of Inner Mongolia, nestled within the vast Gobi Desert, lies a natural phenomenon unlike any other: Singing Sand Bay (响沙湾). This mesmerizing landscape, where sand dunes rise like towering waves and the very earth sings underfoot, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure and a touch of sonic wonder.

To get to Singing Sand Bay, you can fly into Baotou Airport, which has connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from nearby cities like Ordos or Hohhot.

31. Wuyuan, Jiangxi A Canvas of Scenic Splendor

Situated within the heart of Jiangxi Province, lies the captivating landscape of Wuyuan (婺源), a region renowned for its breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and historical charm. This hidden gem, often referred to as the "Most Beautiful Countryside in China," promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture amidst breathtaking natural landscapes.

Wuyuan's beauty is a result of its diverse landscapes, encompassing rolling hills, lush valleys, and captivating rivers. Wander through the picturesque villages, adorned with traditional Hui-style architecture, featuring whitewashed walls, black-tiled roofs, and intricate carvings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant green rice paddies that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of colors.

32. Changbai Mountain & Heaven Lake - The Roof of Northeast China

Towering over the Jilin Province in Northeast China lies the majestic Changbai Mountain (长白山), a mesmerizing volcanic landscape cloaked in mystery and awe. This sacred peak, shared by both China and North Korea, offers a unique blend of natural wonders, historical significance, and cultural richness, making it a must-visit destination for any adventurous traveler.

The undisputed highlight of Changbai Mountain is the breathtaking Heaven Lake (天池), a crater lake nestled at the peak's summit. This stunning glacial lake, considered the deepest in China and the highest volcanic lake in the world, is a sight to behold. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks, creating a picture-perfect panorama.

To reach Changbai Mountain, you can fly into Changbaishan Airport, located nearby. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities in Jilin Province like Changchun and Jilin City.

China tour
Tianchi Lake of Changbai Mountain
China tour
Tianchi Lake of Changbai Mountain in Summer

33. Qinghai Lake - Embrace the Azure Jewel in Qinghai

In the heart of the Tibetan Plateau, nestled amidst towering mountains and vast grasslands, lies Qinghai Lake (青海湖), China's largest and highest inland lake. This majestic body of water, often referred to as "the blue sea", is a mesmerizing spectacle of natural beauty and a haven for wildlife and cultural heritage.

To reach Qinghai Lake, you can fly into Xining Caojiabao International Airport, which provides connections to major cities in China. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from major cities like Lanzhou and Chengdu.

Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake

34. Xian Ancient City Wall - A Walk through Time in Xian

Standing tall amidst the modern cityscape of Xian, the Xian Ancient City Wall (西安古城墙) whispers tales of a bygone era. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most complete and best-preserved ancient city walls in China, offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the grandeur of the Ming Dynasty.

Xian Ancient City Wall
Xian Ancient City Wall
Xian Ancient City Wall
Cycling on Xian Ancient City Wall

35. Hukou Waterfall, Shanxi - Witness the Power of Nature

Hukou Waterfall (壶口瀑布), nestled amidst the majestic Yellow River Valley in Shanxi Province, China, is a spectacle that leaves every visitor awestruck. This powerful cascade, known as the "Flask Mouth Waterfall" due to its unique shape, is a testament to the raw beauty and untamed energy of nature. To reach Hukou Waterfall, you can fly into Taiyuan Wusu International Airport or Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, which are located nearby. From there, you can take a train or bus to Hukou Town.

36. Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi A Gallery of Divine Sculptures

Nestled amidst the sun-baked cliffs of the Wuzhou Mountain, just outside Datong City in China's Shanxi Province, lies a treasure trove of ancient art and history - the Yungang Grottoes (云冈石窟). This UNESCO World Heritage Site, carved into the sandstone cliffs over 1,500 years ago, houses over 250 caves filled with a dazzling array of Buddhist sculptures, murals, and inscriptions.

Stepping into the Yungang Grottoes is like stepping back in time. The cool air of the caves, the soft glow of the lanterns, and the sheer scale of the sculptures create an atmosphere of awe and reverence. Each cave tells a story, depicting scenes from the life of Buddha, Buddhist deities and bodhisattvas, and intricate geometric patterns and floral motifs.

37. Nalati Grassland, Xinjiang Vastness of the Heavenly Mountains

Nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains in Xinjiang, China, lies a breathtaking haven - the Nalati Grassland (那拉提草原). This subalpine meadow, known as the "Pearl of the Northern Xinjiang" and one of the four largest grasslands in the world, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, nomadic culture, and vibrant festivals, making it an unforgettable destination for any traveler seeking an escape to a truly idyllic setting.

To reach Nalati Grassland, you can fly into Urumqi Diwopu International Airport and then take a taxi or bus to the site. Alternatively, you can take a train from nearby cities like Yining or Kuitun.

38. Dali Three Pagodas, Yunnan The Symbol of Dali

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Dali, Yunnan Province, China, stands a trio of architectural wonders known as the Three Pagodas. Rising majestically from the heart of the Chongsheng Temple grounds, these ancient structures have been captivating visitors for centuries, serving as silent witnesses to the region's rich history and cultural heritage.

39. Pudacuo National Park, Yunnan - Unveil Shangri-La’s Hidden Gem

Nestled amidst the majestic mountains and valleys of Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, lies Pudacuo National Park, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This expansive park, encompassing 1,300 square kilometers of breathtaking natural beauty, offers a unique blend of pristine lakes, lush forests, diverse wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.

40. Lugu Lake, Sichuan & Yunnan - Mystical Landscape & Mosuo Culture

Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Yunnan-Sichuan border, lies Lugu Lake, a jewel-toned oasis reflecting the azure sky. This serene alpine lake, shared by the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, enchants visitors with its spectacular scenery, unique Mosuo culture, and captivating legends, making it a truly unforgettable destination.

To reach Lugu Lake, you can fly into Lijiang Airport or Kunming Changshui International Airport, and then take a bus or taxi to the lake. Alternatively, you can take a train from major cities like Chengdu and Kunming.

China tour
Lugu Lake in Autumn
China tour
Lugu Lake in summer

How to Plan China Tours with Most Beautiful Places in China?

Trying to learn more about China? Find out more with Top China Attractions , How to Plan a China Tour , 40 Most Beautiful Places, Best Time to Visit China .

Or you can just pick your tour right below here. Everything has been planned out for you. Travel with AOT, care-free, unique travel experience Guaranteed!

4 Days @Beiing: Ideal to Cover Forbidden City, Great Wall and other Attractions in China, Beijing - 4 Days Beijing Group Tour >>

8 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai: Let's spend more time and do it in one go with Top China Attractions - 8 Days Bejing Xian Shanghai Group Tour >>

9 Days For Culture Explorer: Let's visit traditional Suzhou Gardens and the Metroplis of Shanghai which are the Top Places located in same area of China - 9 Days Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Huangshan Tour >>

10 For Nature Lovers and Panda Fans: Have fun at Panda Base and Explore Jiuzhaigou's Nature - 10 Days Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Zhangjiajie Tour >>

China Attractions
From Forbidden City, Attraction in Beijing
China Attractions
All the Way to City of Sunlight, Attractions in Lhasa

11 Days @ Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an & Huangshan Mountain: A more inclusive itinerary, with added Top Places with Natural Beauty - 11 Days Shanghai Huangshan Xian Beijing>>

11 Days For Grand Natural Wonders: Mountains, Rivers, All the Gorgeous Landscapes in China - 11 Days Jiuzhaigou Yangtze Zhangjiajie Tour>>

3 Days Add-on with Li River: Li River, Yangshuo are not to be missed - 3 Days Guilin Yangshuo Ultimate Landscape Tour>>

14 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, SHanghai, Guilin, Hong kong: Wonderful China Tour with Golden Triangle Cities & More - 14 Days China Group Tour>>

14 Days @ Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an & Mount Everest: How could you miss Tibet(Xizang) and Mount Everest when visiting China? - 14 Days China Group Tour>>

17 Days @ Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai & More: China Highlights Tour with Holy Tibet Discovery & Chengdu Pandas - 17 Days China Tour>>

 

Explore China from Whole New Perspectives with AOT

Asia Odyssey Travel is your gateway to China. We're headquartered in China, with local teams in major cities. Our mission? To provide the best service and authentic travel experiences for explorers like you.

China Travel Plan
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China Travel Plan
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AOT offers a range of Tailor-Made Trips, City Trips, Nature Tours, Bike Tours, Trekking Tours, Family Tours, and Lhasa Luxury Tours with professional local team and on-spot service all the way. We cover all the top places in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tibet, Hong Kong, etc..

Explore China from whole new perspectives with Asia Odyssey Travel. Brace yourself for the ultimate holiday adventure. Ready to start your Grand China Tour? Contact us now!

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