Top 5 Most Beautiful Places in China

China's vast and diverse territory endows the country with some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth. From the picturesque karst landscape in Guilin and Yanshuo to the precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie, from the colorful lakes in Jiuzhaigou to the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, China's diverse natural beauty is as impressive as its splendid culture.

1. The Yellow Mountains — Sunrises and Seas of Cloud

An image of a twisting pine tree growing from a curiously-curved rock pops into Chinese minds when they hear of the Yellow Mountains.

These mystical and mist-ical mountains are the most beautiful and most famous in China. Their classic attractions are grand dawns and their "four natural wonders": peculiar pines, oddly-shaped rocks, seas of clouds, and hot springs.

2. Zhangjiajie — Precipitous Pillars

The precipitous pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are the inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar.

Zhangjiajie is famous for its towering peaks, breathtaking rock pillars, and deep valleys. The forest of massive pillars is one of the best muses for photographers in China.

3. The Li River & Yangshuo — China's Most Beautiful Karst Landscapes

The Li River is like an artist's masterpiece, bounded by classic sheer karst hills, which have inspired many poets and ink painters. It is listed as one of the world's "Top 10 Watery Wonders" by America's National Geographic Magazine and the World's "15 Best Rivers for Travelers" by CNN Travel.

Chinese tourists first think of Yangshuo when looking for natural beauty. Yangshuo is famous for its karst hills and rivers. Taking a bamboo raft or having a cycling tour into the countryside, you can enjoy the idyllic, painting-like scenes.

4. Hangzhou — Next Best Place to Heaven

Renowned for its scenic beauty, Hangzhou is one of the most photogenic cities in China. In the 13th century, Marco Polo described Hangzhou as "the city of heaven" and "the finest and most splendid city in the world".

Hangzhou’s most famous sight, West Lake, is considered one of the most beautiful sights in China. Each season offers picturesque scenes that will leave an everlasting impression.

The best time to go is spring (March to May). The lake, ancient buildings, and causeways decorated with flower blossoms are the theme of many an elegant Chinese painting.

5. Hong Village — Nine Centuries Quaint

Hongcun is a picturesque village with beautiful watery scenes round its lotus ponds and bridges, as well as charmingly crafted architecture.

Villagers have diverted water into "house gardens" and "water yards", which exist only in this village. The village, in its breathing-taking setting, looks like a Chinese painting. The village attracts many Chinese art students to practice their skills.

Hongcun was a setting for "the best Chinese film of all time" — Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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