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15 Most Beautiful Places in China

With the vast landmass, China boasts diverse landscapes scattered in the east, west, north and south, including mountains, rivers, lakes, prairies, forest, terraced fields and quiet towns. However, it may not be so easy for tourists to pick some of them as travel destinations. Well, we recommend beautiful places like colorful Jiuzhaigou National Park, scenic Li River and tranquil Zhouzhuang Water Town… Too many to list them all, top 15 beautiful places in China are described in more detail below for your reference.

Jiuzhaigou National Park
Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Directory, Jiuzhaigou National Park is one of the most beautiful places in China, featuring verdant lakes, continuous waterfalls, colorful forests, snow-clad peaks, bluish glaciers and Tibetan villages. The 108 lakes in deep blue, light yellow, dark green, and other colors are the most striking spots and remarkable scenes of Jiuzhaigou. Apart from the dreamlike shoals, the geo-park is home to abundant primitive plants, ancient fossils and fantastic glacial landforms.

Best Time to Visit: September - November
 Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Location: Jiuzhaigou County of Sichuan, 425 km (265 mi) to the north of Chengdu
 How to Get There:
1. Take a flight from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to Jiuhuang Airport, and then take an airport shuttle bus to Jiuzhaigou National Park.
2. The long-distance bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station or Chadianzi Bus Terminal to the scenic area takes about 10 hours, costing CNY120-170 / person.

 Recommended Tour:   5 Days Private Tour from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou from $1199
Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Enjoying its reputation as a “World Wonder”, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is best-known for its colorful pools, snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, serene valleys, mysterious wild forests, hot springs and spectacular waterfalls. The most popular landscapes concentrated in Huanglong Valley are covered with travertine deposits, which make the crystalline pool water appear different colors.

Best Time to Visit: June - November
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1 day
Location: Songpan County of Sichuan, 360 km (225 mi) to the north of Chengdu
 How to Get There:
1. Fly to Jiuhuang Airport from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, and transfer to Huanglong by airport bus.
2. Take a long-distance bus from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Terminal to Songpan County and transfer to Huanglong by local bus.
3. It is only 100 km (62 mi) from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong. Tourists can hire a car to get there after visiting Jiuzhaigou. It costs around CNY200.

 Recommended Tour:   7-Day Tour from Chengdu - Huanglong - Mt. Emei from $1609
Yading Nature Reserve
Nursing the best-preserved Alpine natural ecosystem in China, Yading Nature Reserve is one of China most beautiful places, praised as “the last pure land on the blue planet.” It is hidden in the deep snow mountains of the Tibetan Plateau, endowed with glaciers, forests, canyons, meadows, lakes, and abundant wildlife. It is also a major Buddhist pilgrimage site, containing three holy mountains, all of which rise to around 6,000 meters (19,658 feet) above sea level.

Best Time to Visit: September - October
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days
Location: Shangri-La Town, Daocheng County, Sichuan; 750 km (466 mi) southwest of Chengdu
 How to Get There:
Fly from Chengdu to Daocheng Yading Airport and then charter a car to Yading Scenic Area; or you can take a bus from the airport to Daocheng County at CNY30 and then take another bus to Shangri-La Town at extra CNY40.

Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo

Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo
The course of Li River stretching 83 km (52 mi) from Guilin to Yangshuo is absolutely one of the most beautiful places to visit in China. Not only is it the world’s largest karst landscape, but the Li River is also endowed with "four great wonders" - green hills, beautiful rivers, grotesque caves, and fabulous stones. Yangshuo, the termination of the Li River cruise, is an idyllic and tranquil riverside town with 1,400 years’ history, famous for its karst hills and traditional fishing-village lifestyle.

Best Time to Visit: Autumn from September to November
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1 day
Location: In the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Southwest China
 How to Get There:
Take the city bus No.9 from Guilin city center to Zhujiang Wharf Station, where you can take a Li River cruise to Yangshuo.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
The first authorized national forest park in China, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is definitely one of the most beautiful places in China, featuring the unique karst landform of Quartz Sandstone Peak Forest. With 98% forest coverage, the park houses magnificent mountain forest and diverse wildlife. Yellow Stone Stronghold in the park offers a large viewing platform, where tourists can enjoy extraordinary sceneries of odd peaks, deep valleys and verdant forests surrounded by mist and clouds.

Best Time to Visit: March - May, September - October
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days
Location: 30 km (18 mi) from Zhangjiajie urban area, Hunan Province
 How to Get There:
1. Take a tourist bus from Zhangjiajie Bus Station. The journey takes about 45 minutes and bus fare is CNY12.
2. Take a taxi directly from Zhangjiajie Huehua Airport to the scenic area, costing about CNY100.

 Recommended Tour:   One Day Zhangjiajie Private Tour from $177
Zhouzhuang Water Town
Reputed as China’s No.1 Water Town, Zhouzhuang, with green lakes on four sides and built along the winding rivers, preserves 14 distinctive ancient stone bridges and over 800 original residential courtyards. With appealing architecture and authentic flavors, the 900-year-old Zhouzhuang Water Town is more than a tourist attraction. It's the fossil of Chinese water town culture.

Best Time to Visit: March - June, September - November
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1 day
Location: Kunshan City, Jiangsu, 30 km (18 mi) away from Suzhou city center, 70 km (43 mi) from Shanghai
 How to Get There:
1. Take a Suzhou to Zhouzhuang bus from the north square of Suzhou Railway Station.
2. Take a long-distance bus directly from Shanghai Intercity Bus Terminal or South Long-distance Bus Station to the town.

 Recommended Tour:  1 Day Private Suzhou & Zhouzhuang Watertown Trip from $140
Hainan Yalong Bay
The 7-kilometer crescent-shaped Yalong Bay is one of China most beautiful places to enjoy a seaside vacation. Known as the “Oriental Hawaii”, Yalong Bay delivers silver-white fine beach, clear sea, blue sky and primitive mangrove. The warm sunshine, gentle sea breeze and fresh air give travelers all the restful experiences and amorous feelings. Not only is it the picturesque, but Yalong Bay also provides lots of water sports, including surfing and snorkeling. The undersea beauty of the colorful coral reefs and tropical fish equals that above water.

Best Time to Visit: November - February
 Recommended Visiting Time: 4-5 hours
Location: Sanya, southernmost China
 How to Get There:
1. Buses 15, 24, 25, and 27 travel to Yalong Bay from Sanya Railway Station, Phoenix International Airport and Fairyland Park respectively.
2. Take a taxi to Yalong Bay from downtown, costing around CNY 60-65.

 Recommended Tour:  5-Day Haikou & Sanya Private Tours to Yalong Bay
Yunnan Yuanyang Rice Terraces
With 3,000 terraces covering roughly 113 square kilometers (28,005 acres), Yuanyang Rice Terraces is considered as one of the most stunning and beautiful places in China. It’s a masterpiece of the Hani people throughout the centuries, characterized by spectacular terraces cascading down the towering hillsides. Autumn is the harvest season and also the best time to witness the splendid view of golden terraces. Winter is the best time for photographing due to the water-filled paddies that are like thousands of mirrors reflecting the azure sky, white clouds and glorious sunsets. In summer, the fields are full of vitality and luxuriantly green scenery.

Best Time to Visit: September - October in autumn, December - January in winter, June - July in summer
 Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Location: Yuanyang County, Yunnan, 280 km (174 mi) south from Kunming City
 How to Get There:
Take a direct long distance bus from South Bus Station in Kunming to Yuanyang Xinjie Town, and then rent a local car to the destination. The earliest long-distance bus departs at 10:20 am, and takes around 6-7 hours.

 Recommended Tour:  6 Days Private Trip to Kunming - Jianshui - Yuanyang from $1039
Meili Snow Mountain
Known as “Prince Snow Mountain”, Meili Snow Mountain, home to 13 snow-clad ridges and peaks exceeding 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) high, is the most spectacular snowy mountain group in Yunnan. The natural wonder of Golden Sunrise over the snow mountains makes Meili Snow Mountain one of the most beautiful spots in China. When the glorious light falls down and shines on the peaks, the Meili Snow Mountain looks like a giant glittering palace. Feilai Temple is the best spot to catch the panorama of a grandiose golden sunrise view of Meili Snow Mountain.

Best Time to Visit: October to May, especially in late October
 Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Location: Deqin County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, 365 km (227 mi) from Lijiang, 177 km (110 mi) from Shangri-La
 How to Get There:
1. From Lijiang, you can take an 8-hour coach at Lijiang Bus Station to Deqin County and then change to a shuttle bus to Feilai Temple to see Meili Snow Mountain.
2. From Shangri-La, take a long-distance bus to Deqin County that takes about 4 hours. And then take a bus to Feilai Temple.
Xinjiang Hemu Village
Noted as the “Most Beautiful Village in China”, Hemu Village is without doubt among the most beautiful places in China. Rippling rivers, birch forests, vast grasslands, wooden houses, and small bridges form a wonderful landscape painting. The most intoxicating is the charming autumn scenery with the undulating mountains dyed red by maple leaves, which together with the slowly-rising cooking smoke, create a dream world, more than a fairyland.

Best Time to Visit: Autumn Months from September to October
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days
Location: In Kanas Nature Reserve in Altay, northern Xinjiang, 700 km (440 mi) from Urumqi
 How to Get There:
1. Take a flight from Urumqi Airport to Kanas. Then transfer to a bus to Hemu Village.
2. Take a bus from Urumqi Long-distance Bus Station to Burqin County. And then take a bus to Hemu Village, with a total duration of 14-15 hours.
Guizhou Libo Scenic Area
With unique Karst landscapes in China, Libo Scenic Area wins the title of the “Green Gem on the Belt of the Earth”. It is one of the most beautiful places in China because of its marvelous landscapes of overlapping mountains, emerald rivers, dense forests and spectacular waterfalls. The mysterious and peculiar karst forest perfectly integrates trees, rocks, water and shrubs, fully showing the wonders of nature to tourists who long for primitive beauty.

Best Time to Visit: July - August
 Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Location: Libo County, Qiannan city of Guizhou Province, 260 km (162 mi) from Guiyang
 How to Get There:
Take a flight from Guiyang Airport to Libo Airport and then transfer a bus to Libo Coach Station. Then take direct a bus to the destination.

Nyingchi in Tibet

Amazing peach blossoms in full bloom spreading over Nyingchi’s lakes, fields, valleys, and Tibetan villages during mid-March to mid-April are a most enchanting sight. The most recommended attraction in Nyingchi is the Yarlung Tsangpo River, where you can see the most beautiful snow mountain in China - Mt. Namcha Barwa, and the deepest and longest valley in the world - Tsangpo River Valley.

Best Time to Visit: Mid-March to mid-April in spring, September to October in autumn
 Recommended Visiting Time: 3-5 days
Location: Southeast of Tibet, 390 km (240 mi) east of Lhasa
 How to Get There:
Take a coach from Lhasa East Suburb Coach Station. The ride takes about 8 hours.
It should be noted that foreign tourists visiting Tibet need to do so as part of a tour organized by qualified travel agencies. These generally include transportation.
Qinghai Lake
Stretching 105 km (65 mi) at length and 63 km (39 mi) at width, Qinghai Lake is China’s largest inland lake and also one of the most beautiful places in China with cyanic plateau lakes, surrounded by vast grasslands, huge sand dunes and an endless sea of golden rape flowers. Inhabited by a large number of migratory birds, Qinghai Lake is also praised as “the Paradise of Birds”.

Best Time to Visit: July - August when the rape flowers are blooming
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days
Location: Northeast of Qinghai Tibet Plateau, Qinghai Province, 160 km (100 mi) away from Xining
 How to Get There:
Take a tourist bus at Xining Ba Yi Bus Terminal. The journey takes around 2.5 hours.

Rape Fields in Luoping, Yunnan

Rape Fields in Luoping, Yunnan
The breathtaking scenery of the endless rape flowers in full bloom helps Luoping County to be one of the most beautiful places in China in spring. More than 200,000 mu (32,947 acres) of rape flowers sway in the gentle breeze, making a picturesque scene with the small town standing like a mysterious island in the golden ocean. This is absolutely a feast both for eyes and cameras.

Best Time to Visit: Mid-February - March
 Recommended Visiting Time: 1 day
Location: Qujing City, Yunnan Province, 210 km (130 mi) east of Kunming
 How to Get There:
1. Take a bus from Kunming East Bus Terminal to Luoping County, taking about 4 hours.
2. Take a tourism train at Kunming Railway Station, spending 3h 20m to Luoping railway station. Then take a taxi to the destination, costing about CNY10.

Fengning Bashang Grassland

Fengning Bashang Grassland
Teeming with unique natural landscapes, the best grassland in North China, Bashang Grassland is a welcomed destination for fun around Beijing in summer. When autumn comes, the vast woodlands and ornamental flowers gradually turn red and gold, creating the perfect scenery of Bashang. The red pine and birch over the mountains and fields set off against the lakes and rivers make this the most gorgeous time of the year.

Best Time to Visit: July - October
 Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Location: Datan Town, Fengning County, Hebei Province, 270 km (168 mi) north of Beijing
 How to Get There:
Take a direct coach from Beijing Liuqiaoli Long-Distance Bus Station to the destination or take a bus from Sihui Bus Station, or Muxiyuan Coach Station to Fengning County and then change to a local bus to Datan Town. The whole bus journey takes about 6 - 7 hours.

 Recommended Tour:  3 Days Tour from Beijing to Bashang Grassland from $279
 Further Reading:

10 Most Famous Landmarks in China

Top 10 China Monuments & Statues

10 Best Places to Visit in China for Return Visitors

- Last updated on Jul. 20, 2023 by Catherine He -
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