China is a huge nation with much ecological and geological diversity. As a result, there are numerous natural wonders to be explored within its borders. These are my top favorites. They will be followed by a photo album shortly.
1. Li River Landscape – The karst (glacial) geology which lines the banks of the Li River in southwestern China is considered by many to be some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The slow-moving Li River allows visitors to languidly view the unusual shapes of the hills and valleys.
2. Stone Forest – Another tribute to the dynamic forces of erosion, these vertical stones create a surreal landscape which visitors can explore via narrow, winding trails. This landscape can be found near the town of Kunming in southwestern China.
3. Mount Everest – The tallest mountain on the planet is on the border separating Tibet, now part of China, and Nepal. Access is easier from Kathmandu in Nepal although there are places in Tibet from which the mountain is visible.
4. Yangtze River Valley – One of the great rivers of the world, the Yangtze has carved a deep valley in the surrounding countryside which visitors can explore via the numerous cruise ships which ply the river. The steep hills on either side are dramatic testimony to the unrelenting action of erosion. Part of the river will be forever changed by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
5. Bamboo Forests around Chengdu – Now home to the Panda Research Station, Chengdu lies in the center of Panda territory, a unique environment and only home to the popular creatures which have become endeared by people throughout the earth. Visitors can view the Panda’s in captivity at the center, the largest concentration of the endangered animals in the world.
6. Yellow Mountain or Huangshan Mountain – The granite peak forest environment, in which the Yellow Mountain is only one of many, is a favorite landscape for painters and poets, who have made the world aware of its beauty. This is the classic landscape of traditional Chinese paintings, both in black-and-white and in color.
7. Wulingyuan Scenic Area – This area includes Zhangjiajie National Park, China’s first national park, an incredibly beautiful landscape of sandstone rock formations, such as, arches and bridges.
Other sights considered: