Zhangye’s Danxia Landscape
The Danxia landscape in Zhangye is vividly named “Rainbow Mountains” by many due to its dazzlingly colors. Danxia (丹霞 /dan-sshya/) means ‘red, red clouds’. In China’s remote northwest, Zhangye is ignored by ordinary travelers, but deeply loved by photographers.
The landscape is composed of curvy, layered, multihued formations, most of which are several hundred meters high. When the sun shines on them, their colors appear in full vibrancy. It looks like an oil painting when the vast red rock formations are simply set against a pure blue sky.
The best time to visit Zhangye is from June to September when the weather is most comfortable. The best time to take photo of these mountains is in the morning and during sunset, especially sunset, when the colors change continuously, showing yellow and red layers covered by a light gray layer.
Hangzhou – The Yellow Mountains
Sunrises and Seas of Cloud
The Yellow Mountains is one of the most famous and beautiful mountainous areas in China. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990. Its spectacular natural scenery includes oddly-shaped pines and rocks, and mystical seas of cloud.
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.
About 300 km (200 miles) west of Hangzhou and 500 km (300 miles) southwest of Shanghai, direct flights from Shanghai to Huangshan city take only 30 minutes, then it’s about 1½ hours to the scenic area. A bus from Hangzhou to the Yellow Mountains takes only about 2½ hours.
Nine Centuries Quaint
To see old Ming and Qing courtyards, beautiful preserved countryside, shop for souvenirs and country products, and sightseeing, walk and dine, go to this amazing small village and the nearby villages and countryside. Though it is only 28 hectares in size, it has landed a place in the World Heritage List for its long history, country scenery, and well preserved buildings dating hundreds of years.
The photo above was taken at Moon Pond in Hong Village (宏村) near Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), China. Known as “China’s most beautiful mountain village,” Hong Village is considered so representative of the traditional Chinese hamlet that parts of the Ang Lee-directed kung fu blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were filmed there.
China’s Most Beautiful Rural Area
Located in the northeast of Jiangxi Province, Wuyuan is east of the national historical city-Quzhou, west of the capital of porcelain -Jingdezhen, north of the national tourist attraction-Mount Huang, and south of the famous sacred mountain-Mount Sanqing. Thus it is a green pearl set in the boundary between Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces. It not only is a national famed cultural and ecological tourist county, but also has long been known as “the Hometown of Books”, “the Hometown of Tea”, and even “the most picturesque village of China”. There are now three separate tour routes recommended: in the east, in the west and the north.
Mudflats and Traditional Seaside Life
A trip to Xiapu in the 21st century hearkens back to the time when most Chinese made their living by farming and fishing. In the mudflats region of Fujian, the scenery is constantly changing, and the people making a living there adjust to the tides that sweep through, bringing in fresh sea water, and work with the environment. It is a rustic memory of the Chinese traditional way of life. Xiapu is a hidden gem, yet to be discovered by ordinary travelers. The area has picturesque mudflats and a simple lifestyle, and is deeply loved by photographers from all over the world.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the most famous part of one of China’s best national parks (or national level scenic areas) — Wulingyuan. China’s first national forest park contains the essence of Zhangjiajie scenery: the towering sandstone pillars, sometimes in seas of cloud, rich wildlife, and tranquil streams. Zhangjiajie is famous for its towering peaks, grotesque rock pillars, and deep valleys. The forest of massive pillars is one of the best muses for photographers in China.
The Li River & Yangshuo
China’s Most Beautiful Karst Landscapes
Yangshuo is surrounded by karst mountains, winding rivers and beautiful scenery, and it serves as a fantastic base camp for further exploration. More recently, it has been traditionally a backpackers’ haven, but Yangshuo now sees a huge influx of domestic tourists. The beautiful scenery here is a common subject of Chinese paintings as well as the inspiration for poetry. There are several popular areas for karst landscape sight-seeing which can be covered by river cruises, bamboo-raft cruises, cycling, trekking and combinations of the various modes. It’s wet all year round. Go late spring, or early fall to avoid the heat and humidity of summer and the cold damp of winter.
Yangshuo is now a relatively large tourist town, different from most typical Chinese towns, it is relatively air and noise pollution free, (provided you get away from major roadways), very clean and does not usually suffer from endless massive traffic chaos. Lots of things can be done here, and thanks to the exotic karst landscape, the top two activities which will enrich your whole day are bike-riding and rock climbing.