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Home China Travel Guide Top 10 Stunning Natural Wonders in China

Top 10 Stunning Natural Wonders in China

The vast territory of China has blessed the country with some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes on earth, including Danxia landform, plateau scenery, karst topography, majestic gorges… With so many beautiful destinations to choose from, visitors planning a natural tour to China probably find it rather difficult to start with. This article will take you on a captivating journey to the top 10 natural wonders in China. We hope it can give you some inspirations.

1. Zhangye Danxia Geopark: A Land of Rainbow Mountains

Zhangye Danxian Rainbow Mountains
Zhangye Danxian Rainbow Mountains

Best Time to Visit: May – October

Recommended Visiting Length: 3-4 hours

Location: Linze County, Zhangye City, Gansu Province (30km to downtown Zhangye)

Zhangye Danxia Geopark is one of China’s amazing natural wonders, where visitors can marvel at the most beautiful Danxia landform of the country. Beneath the bright sun, fiery red is the dominant hue of the area. Different sandstone belts, dazzling in a rainbow of striking hues such as yellow, white and green, are like colorful ribbons falling on the rolling mountains. These gorgeous colors would look even more vibrant in the rosy glow of the setting sun.

Besides, you will also encounter some livid-colored hills in the scenic area, like an unfolded scroll of Chinese ink painting, presenting a perfect counterpoint to the surrounding multi-hued mountains.

✔ Recommended Tour8 Days Silk Road Adventure Tour

2. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: A Real-Life Avatar World

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Best Time to Visit: April – June, September – November

Recommended Visiting Length: 2-3 days

Location: Wulingyuan District, Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province (20km to downtown Zhangjiajie)

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a famous natural wonder in China, well-known for its surreal landscape of grotesque pillars, lush greenery, as well as beautiful waterfalls and streams. What amazes visitors most is the large-scaled peak forest, where thousands of towering pinnacles shaping like countless swords rise up from the bottom of the valley and point to the sky. This spectacle has made the forest park the paradise among nature lovers and photographers.

If you happen to visit Zhangjiajie after rain, you will see the most dreamlike scenery in the park.  At that time, precipitous hills will be wreathed in mist as if they were floating in the air. You will feel like the mystical world of Pandora in the movie Avatar coming into life.

✔ Recommended Tour3 Days Zhangjiajie Private Tour

3. Three Gorges of Yangtze River: Step into A Majestic Landscape Painting

Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze River Cruise

Highlights: Yangtze River cruise; imposing views of Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Xiling Gorge

Total Length: 193 kilometers between Chongqing and Yichang

Best Time to Visit: March – November

As one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in China, the turbulent Yangtze River reveals its most spectacular scenery at the Three Gorges, namely Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge. There is no better way to take in the mesmerizing landscapes than by a cruise. Just put yourself in the midst of sharp cliffs and green waters. This immersive journey will make for a unique memory to cherish for a long time.

Apart from splendid scenery, there are also many historical sites along the way, including White Emperor City, Shibao Village and Fengdu Ghost City, adding a wealth of cultural ambience to this natural wonder. Besides, an onshore exploration to the Three Gorges Dam, which is the world’s largest water conservancy project, could be another highlight of the trip.

✔ Recommended Tour13 Days China Private Tour from Beijing with Yangtze Cruise

4. Li River: A Serene Journey amidst Karst Mountains

Li-River-Cruise Guilin
Li River Cruise

Highlights: Li River cruise, karst landscape, tranquil river views…

Total Area: 164 kilometers, passing by Guilin and Yangshuo in the midway

Best Time to Visit: April – October

There is a popular saying among Chinese people that “the landscape of Guilin is the best under heaven”. And the essence of Guilin landscape lies in the picturesque Li River, one of China’s best natural wonders which showcases the most beautiful karst scenery between Guilin and Yangshuo. Taking a cruise is the best way to admire the ethereal views as you will feel like drifting along an endless landscape painting with verdant limestone hills creating a perfect reflection on the glass-like surface of the river.

Along the Li River hide some dazzling karst caves, offering a unique exploration to the underground world. Among them, the Reed Flute Cave, Crown Cave and Silver Cave enjoy the most popularity. Illuminated by colorful lights, special-shaped stalactites and stalagmites shine like gems and corals, turning the caves into magnificent underground palaces.

✔ Recommended Tour5 Days Guilin, Yangshuo & Terrace Field Photography Tour

5. Jiuzhaigou Valley: A Secluded Fairyland of Multiple Colors

Jiuzhaigou in Autumn
Jiuzhaigou in Autumn

Best Time to Visit: April – November

Recommended Visiting Length: 3-4 days

Location: Jiuzhaigou County, Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures of Aba, Sichuan Province

Most travelers planning a natural wonder tour to China would consider Jiuzhaigou Valley a must-visit attraction. The scenic area attains a reputation as the “fairyland on earth”, because of its ethereal scenery consisting of colorful alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, lush primitive forests, and snow-capped peaks.

The colorful waterscape will impress you most. There are over 100 alpine lakes dotted in the valley. Forming a giant “palette” in the arm of the mountains, these lakes present different colors under the sun, including sapphire blue, emerald green and light yellow. What makes the lake views unique is that the vibrant colors change with the seasons. Whenever you come, Jiuzhaigou will offer a visual feast of multiple colors and surreal landscape.

✔ Recommended Tour7 Days Chengdu Natural Exploration Tour with Mt. Emei & Jiuzhaigou

6. Stone Forest in Kunming: A Limestone Marvel

Yunnan Stone Forest Kunming
Stone Forest

Best Time to Visit: March – October

Recommended Visiting Length: 1 day

Location: Shilin Avenue, Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Kunming City, Yunnan Province (80km to downtown Kunming)

The Stone Forest in Kunming is well-known as one of the most beautiful natural wonders of China. Once you step into the scenic area, you will feel like wandering around a natural museum of typical karst landform. Here, towering limestone pinnacles stand in great numbers just like a forest of petrified trees. Each of them presents different shapes, such as pillars, screens, swords, lotus, and mushroom.

Among all the pinnacles, the one named “Ashima” is one of the most symbolic in the scenic area. The stone bears a striking resemblance to a girl dressed in costumes of Yi nationality and carrying a bamboo basket. Just let your imagination fly and marvel at the intricate formations sculpted by nature for hundreds of millions of years.

✔ Recommended Tour3 Days Kunming Tour with Stone Forest & Local Essence

7. Rime Island in Jilin: A Winter Wonderland

Jilin Rime Island
Rime Island

Best Time to Visit: December – February

Recommended Visiting Length: 1 day

Location: Longtan District, Jilin City, Jilin Province (40km to downtown Jilin)

Every winter, the icy wind blows over Songhua River to reach the Rime Island, and turns the island into a pure fairy-tale world. A that time, trees will be coated in delicate rime ice, looking like crystal flowers glittering in the branches. The stunning scenery makes Rime Island one of the best natural wonders in China to capture the most dreamlike winter landscape. Besides, various winter activities are available, enabling visitors to experience the unique winter culture of the island.

✔ Recommended Tour5 Days Changbai Mountain Skiing & Devils Drifting

8. Kanas Nature Reserve: A Natural Oil Painting in Altay Mountains

Xinjiang Kanas Lake
Explore the Pristine Waters of Kanas Lake

Best Time to Visit: May – October

Recommended Visiting Length: 2-4 days

Location: In the north of Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang Province

Kanas means “beautiful and mysterious” in Mongolian, which best describes the surreal scenery of this natural wonder. Since May, the icebound Kanas Lake starts to melt. The winding lake is like a smooth ribbon in emerald green, traversing majestic Altay Mountains, lush primitive forests and vast prairies. When the fall comes in September, Kanas will put on a great symphony of rich and diverse hues. At that time, verdant forests gradually turn into red and yellow, and the Kanas Lake presents sapphire blue in the sun, reflecting the warm colors on both shores.


✔ Recommended Tour11 Days Northern Xinjiang In-depth Tour

9. Populus Euphratica Forest in Ejina: A Golden Realm in the Desert

Ejin Banner Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest
Admire the golden poplar trees

Best Time to Visit: Late September – October

Recommended Visiting Length: 1-2 days

Location: Ejina Banner, Alxa League, Inner Mongolia

Populus Euphratica Forest in Ejina is one of the only three Populus euphratica forests remaining on earth. Every autumn, especially from middle to late October, the forest will become a sea of golden yellow, attracting visitors and photographers coming in an endless stream. At the edge of the forest, you can capture splendid sunrise and sunset views over the boundless desert. There are also desert activities such as camel riding and sand skiing to offer you more delights.


✔ Recommended Tour4 Days Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest Tour

10. Heavenly Lake on Changbai Mountain: A Heavenly Retreat

Changbai Mountain West Slope
Changbai Mountain West Slope

Altitude: 2,189.1 meters above the sea level

Best Time to Visit: March – November

Recommended Visiting Length: 2-3 days

Location: In Changbai Mountain Nature Preserve, Chaoxian Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian, Jilin Province

As one of the best natural wonders in China, the Heavenly Lake on Changbai Mountain is the largest volcanic lake of the country, embedded among 16 majestic snow-capped peaks, like a giant piece of emerald. Besides, it is also the highest alpine lake in the world, located 2,189.1 meters above the sea level. The lake looks so close to the sky that you may feel like reaching the end of the world.

It is suggested visitors hike to the Heavenly Lake from the Northern Slope, as you can enjoy every minute exploring wonderful natural views including the majestic Changbai Waterfall, immense forests and hot springs along the way.

✔ Recommended Tour3 Days Classic Changbai Mountain Tour

Best China tour packages to famous natural wonders:


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