The 5 most amazing landscapes in China

The world’s oldest civilization is also home to some of the most beautiful, untouched, and remarkable natural wonders. The country’s astounding landscapes are a treat for photographers and nature lovers who can soak themselves in the unique and surreal beauty of some of the best landscapes in the world. Here’s a look at some extraordinary and lesser known landscapes of China.

The world’s oldest civilization 2Ever been to a mountain that echoes to the sound of sand? Located in the Gobi desert in Northwest China, the echoing sand-mountains are truly unique. You can witness some of the most unusual shapes here and feel the haunting echoes as you slide down the sand dunes across these mountains.
A contrasting feature that engulfs these mountains is the Crescent lake, a pleasing half-moon shaped water reservoir that stays crystalline and lucid all through the year. Historians believe that the lake has been around since hundreds of years and has never been buried under the sand dunes of the mountains.

The echoing-sand mountains also popular as “Mingsha Mountains” make for a spectacular view and have been acclaimed for their unique qualities. The Kunming Stone-forest in China’s southwest Yunnan province are a natural marvel in their own way. The forests are home to pillar-like structures made from limestone that stand tall throughout the landscape in an eerie but spectacular way. The group of forests were known as the 'First-Wonder of the World' during the Ming Dynasty and are one of the key attractions of Yunnan.

Geologists attribute these limestone formations to water and wind erosion and seismic activities that have taken place in this area over millions of years. Spanning across an area of 100,000 acres, the stone formations are intricate masterpieces that can captivate any visitor. Adding to the beauty of these forests are the caves, waterfalls and other topographical structures that make the Kunming forest region extremely diverse and a must-visit for all nature lovers.

The Rainbow palette of the world, Zhangye Danxia is a photographer’s delight and an artist’s muse. The landscape is a kaleidoscope of numerous precipitous red cliffs and multicolored ridges that are tall, sharp, and magnificent. The cliffs portray a vivid picture with their wonderful shapes like castles, towers, creatures such as birds and beasts, and some even resemble human faces. The strips of red sandstone stand out against the greens and grays of the plains, looking grand and magnificent. There are several local stories around these structures as locals believe that God overturned his palette, and the stunning Zhangye landscape evolved.

The Danxia landform is located close to the city of Zhangye, and is popularly called as the “eye candy of Zhangye”. The cliffs cover an area of more than 510 square kilometers and date back to over 600 million years. A favorite amongst photography enthusiasts, Xiapu mudflat makes for a stunning landscape with its long shoreline spanning across 400 kms, colorful sand structures, fisherman farms and the much talked about sunsets and sunrises. A crude but picturesque spot, this is the largest mudflat in China that makes for some beautiful scenery.

Listed often as one of “Top 10-Paradises for Photographers”, Xiapu is a place to enjoy the rustic China feel where you go fishing, collect seaweed and enjoy the stunning natural landscapes lining the coast.

The warm and lucid waters of the sea and ample sunshine makes the Xiapu mudflats a rich spot for seaweeds such as kelp and laver, sea fauna such oyster and yellow croakers. Before visiting, you must inquire about the typhoon season as the mudflats are linked closely to the coastline.

Popularly known as the Longji Rice-Terraces, this landscape offers some of the most brilliant scenery in China. A not-so-crowded spot, the Dragon’s Backbone is composed of about 66 square kms of terraced fields. These are basically rice plantations built in steps across the hillsides that resemble large amphitheaters as they contour the region.

The ingenious plantation style is ideal for optimized use of water resources in the mountainous area. With a golden history of more than 700 years, the Longsheng Rice-Terraces are still one of the primary regions for growing premium grade rice grains. You can also get a flavor of China’s ethnic culture here as the region is populated with the Zhuang and the Yao nationalities.

The picturesque beauty of these terraces change with every season. During the onset of summer, these look like bands or ribbons of green waves coming down from the sky lining the entire region. In the autumn season, the entire mountainside is covered in gold with the ripened millet. And winters turn these terraces into white fairies as the hills get covered in snow.

China is indeed home to many exciting and marvelous landscapes, both natural and man made. Taking a trip to some of the lesser known spots lets you savor the goodness of these untouched places and gives you an opportunity to tell their story to the world—so more nature lovers can enjoy the glory of these places.