10 of the Most Stunningly Picturesque Sights in China

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China is awash with some of the most breathtaking landscapes and feats of architecture in the world, with views unlike anywhere else in the world there's plenty to see and do in the country. We've picked ten of the sights in China most likely to drop your jaw.

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10 of the Most Stunningly Picturesque Sights in China:table of contents

1. Zhangjiajie (Hunan)

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Commonly known as the inspiration for the floating mountains in the movie Avatar, the scenery in Zhangjiajie really is out of this world with its thousands of towering stone pillars, many of which rise over 200 meters into the air. The most famous of the viewing points can get quite busy, especially during the two main Chinese holidays in October and Chinese New Year, so make sure to plan accordingly.

2. Rainbow Mountains (Gansu)

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The mountains in Zhangye have some of the most unique scenery in the world with its strips of color that looks like it's been painted by giants. The colorful landscape was formed over millions of years, from deposits of sandstone and other minerals eroded by rain and wind. The best time of the day to witness the magnificent scenery is at sunset where the colors are more contrasted and glow in the sun.

3. Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve (Sichuan)

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One of China's most beautiful national parks, Jiuzhaigou is famous for its crystal-clear lakes, rapid waterfalls deep woodlands and snowy mountain ranges. The park is particularly stunning in the fall when its covered in vibrant fall colors, however as with many areas in the country, it's best to avoid going during early October when its a public holiday.

4. Harbin Ice Festival (Heilongjiang)

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Like a city built entirely of ice and snow, every year for around a month in January this jaw-dropping spectacle is created with countless statues, famous structures and characters from around the world. As the world's biggest festival of its kind, the scale of the park is incredible and looks even more impressive at nights when it's all lit up.

5. Fenghuang Ancient Town (Hunan)

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A picture-perfect traditional Chinese village, Fenghuang features ancient-looking buildings lined up around the Tuo River that runs through the center. The old town is exceptionally preserved, with many of the buildings looking how they were hundreds of years ago and is still home to the Miao and Tujia ethnic minorities. Often remarked as the most beautiful town in China, taking a boat ride down the river is highly recommended.

6. Yellow Mountains (Anhui)

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Some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world, it's no wonder the Yellow Mountains have long been the focus for many Chinese paintings and poetry through history. The region is particularly scenic due to the local pine trees that grow right to the top of the dramatic peaks that grace the landscape. Most people visiting will stay in the mountains overnight as the scenery is stunning in the morning when the mountains are enshrouded in mist. Be aware it can get extremely crowded during Chinese holidays and at the weekend, as many visit the mountains from the nearby large cities like Shanghai and Hangzhou.

7. Yangshuo (Guangxi)

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While the internet is flooded with pictures of this stunning South China scenery, seeing it in person is really something else. The area is known for its unique karst mountain landscape, filled with picturesque valleys and winding rivers. Some of the best views of the area are from Laozhai Mountain, the Yangshuo TV Tower and Wuzhi Hill.

8. Fujian Tulou (Fujian)

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These unique Hakka dwellings are dotted around the mountainous area of southeastern Fujian province. The strange circular buildings were made for defensive purposes, with only one entrance into the huge structure which was home to around 800 people. Like a miniature city housed in one building, the round-house was meant to provide living quarters for the whole clan.

9. Potala Palace (Tibet)

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One of the grandest palaces in the world and an amazing feat of Tibetan architecture, Potala Palace towers over the city of Lhasa. Once the residence for the Dalai Lama until he fled to India, this impressive structure is now a museum, allowing visitors to see the stunning detail of the interior and learn of the area's rich history.

10. The Great Wall of China (Beijing)

It's not called the great wall for no reason, this magnificent structure stretching across much of China is something that just has to be seen during a lifetime. Considered as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall is a fascinating feat of history, built to keep out invaders from the north. There are several spots around Beijing where you can access the wall, we'd recommend going to Mutianyu for its beautifully restored wall, it's also usually a little less crowded than the other popular spot of Badaling.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the incredible sights found around the country, with a fascinating and elaborate history, countless ethnic groups and cultures along with a wealth of stunning natural landscapes, China is unrivaled in its list of things to do.

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