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Scenic China

China Explored through Scenic Tours

Now most people are aware of China’s famous sights such as the Great Wall, Terra-cotta Warriors of Xian and the Forbidden City and, of course, they are all “must-sees” but what about where to go for the best natural scenery?

Architecture and history are abundant all over China with it’s 5000+ years of culture but it can become easy to overdo that on your tour of China and end up overlooking some of the magnificent scenery China has to offer the tourist.

Relaxing in Guilin and Yangshuo's Stunning Scenery

With this in mind I will attempt to point out a couple places that you can just relax or get active and simply enjoy your surroundings. Most of China’s lushest scenery is in the south of the country and one of the most popular places people go on their holidays for this is Guilin and more specifically, Yangshuo.

Yangshuo is on the Li River, surrounded by the areas iconic karst mountain scenery. This is immortalized on the back of the Chinese 20 Yuan note and has been inspiration for many a Chinese artist. The area was “discovered” by foreign backpackers in the 80’s and soon became a mecca for rock climbers and tourists alike and more recently has become a hotspot for domestic tourists as well.

The Lush scenery of Yunnan Province including Dali and Lijiang

Another area that is great for lush scenery is in Yunnan province, especially areas around Lijiang, Dali and the mythically (and recently) named Shangri-la. The journey up into the mountains from Lijiang to Shangri la, passing the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, is one to savour as you pass higher and higher up towards the Tibetan town in the clouds. There you can find China’s first national park, Pudcao.

Finally you have a choice of sacred mountains across the country, whether they be one of the four sacred mountains of Buddhism, the four sacred mountains of Taoism or one of the 5 great mountains of China. Alternatively visit the inspiration for Avatar at Zhangjiajie and attempt the glass walkway that lies 4700ft up Mount Tianmen – if you have a serious head for heights!

All in all fitting some of this in should create a bit of balance during China tours and prevent you becoming “templed out”!

Article originally posted by Phil Stanley and Headseast: 8th November 2013

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