15 Most picturesque places in China that look otherworldly

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through China's most breathtaking landscapes, a perfect blend of cultural resonance and natural wonders that beckon Indian travelers seeking experiences beyond the ordinary. 

From the mystical mountains that inspired ancient poets to the vibrant cityscapes reflecting China's modern prowess, these 15 destinations promise a surreal escape into the heart of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

1. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province

Avatar Forest

  • Often likened to the mythical landscapes in James Cameron's "Avatar," Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a dreamlike world of towering sandstone pillars, enveloped in mist and lush greenery. The park's striking resemblance to the floating mountains in the movie adds a touch of cinematic magic.

  • The ethereal beauty of Zhangjiajie resonates with our love for epic narratives and mythological tales.

  • Travel Tips: Best visited during autumn for clear views. Cable cars and elevators are available for a panoramic experience.

2. The Rainbow Mountains, Zhangye Danxia

China rainbow mountains

  • The Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is famous for its colorful rock formations, a natural palette of reds, yellows, and oranges. These mountains appear as if painted by the gods themselves.

  • Travel Tips: The best time to visit is late spring or early autumn. Sunrise and sunset offer the most dramatic views.

3. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan Province

Sichuan china

  • Jiuzhaigou is a fairy-tale world of multi-level waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and diverse wildlife. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a testament to China's pristine natural beauty.

  • In short, The serene beauty of Jiuzhaigou is a spiritual and visual feast.

  • Travel Tips: Autumn brings a riot of color, making it the ideal time to visit. Plan your stay in nearby eco-friendly resorts.

4. The Great Wall of China, Beijing

China Wall

  • Stretching over 21,000 kilometers, the Great Wall is not just a marvel of engineering but a symbol of the enduring spirit of human endeavor. Walking along the Great Wall offers a tangible connection to history.

  • Travel Tips: The sections near Beijing are well-restored and accessible. Early morning visits help avoid crowds.

5. Guilin and the Li River, Guangxi Province


  • The city of Guilin, with its dramatic karst landscapes, and the serene Li River, winding through rustic mountains, presents a harmony of urban charm and natural splendor.

  • Travel Tips: Opt for a river cruise for a leisurely view of the landscapes. Spring and autumn offer the best weather conditions.

6. The Forbidden City, Beijing
Beijing

  • The Forbidden City, a palatial heart of Chinese imperial history, is a majestic complex of ancient structures and cultural treasures. Its grand architecture and intricate artistry are a testament to the rich history of Chinese dynasties.

  • It reminds us of the royal history and architectural grandeur of our Mysore and Rajasthan Palace.

  • Travel Tips: Visit early in the morning to avoid crowds. Don't miss the Imperial Garden and the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

7. The Terracotta Army, Xi'an

Army of the first China Emperor

  • This awe-inspiring collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, is a remarkable feat of funerary art. Each figure is unique, showcasing ancient craftsmanship.

  • Travel Tips: Allocate enough time to explore all three pits. The museum also provides insightful historical context.

8. The Yellow Mountains, Huangshan

China Yellow Mountain

  • With its peculiarly shaped granite peaks, hot springs, and ancient pine trees, Huangshan, or the Yellow Mountains, is a spectacular natural wonder. It's a paradise for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

  • Travel Tips: Best visited in spring or autumn. Cable cars are available, but hiking offers the most rewarding experiences.

9. Lijiang Ancient Town, Yunnan

Ancient Town China

  • Lijiang, with its well-preserved ancient town, offers a glimpse into China's rich cultural tapestry. The town is famous for its orderly canal system and authentic Dongba culture.

  • For all those who cherish history and culture, it will remind you of the town of Udaipur in Rajasthan.

  • Travel Tips: Explore the town on foot to fully appreciate its architecture and ambiance. Don't miss the traditional Naxi music performances.

10. The Potala Palace, Tibet


  • The Potala Palace, once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, stands as a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. Its majestic architecture and sacred significance make it a site of pilgrimage and awe.

  • With Buddhism deeply intertwined in Indian history, the Potala Palace holds spiritual significance for all of us, offering a connection to shared religious heritage.

  • Travel Tips: Be mindful of the high altitude. Photography is restricted inside the palace, so focus on soaking in the experience.

11. Mount Emei, Sichuan Province

four headed Buddha

  • Mount Emei is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. It's renowned for its breathtaking scenery, ancient temples, and the chance to witness the enchanting sea of clouds. 

  • As Buddhism originated in India, Mount Emei holds special spiritual significance for all of us.

  • Travel Tips: Visit during spring or autumn for the best weather. The Emei Shan cable car can take you to some of the higher temples.

12. The Bund, Shanghai


  • The Bund in Shanghai is a famous waterfront area, known for its historic buildings and the striking contrast with the modern skyscrapers across the Huangpu River. It's a symbol of Shanghai's colonial past and its rapid modernization.

  • Travel Tips: The best views are at night when the skyline is dramatically lit. River cruises offer a unique perspective of the area.

13. Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi Province


  • The Yungang Grottoes, with their 252 caves and more than 51,000 Buddha statues, represent the peak of Buddhist art in ancient China. These sculptures range from a few inches to several meters in height.

  • Travel Tips: Visit in the morning to avoid crowds. Photography is allowed, but flash is prohibited inside the caves.

14. West Lake, Hangzhou

Hangzhou Lake China

  • West Lake in Hangzhou is celebrated for its scenic beauty that has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history. It's surrounded by gardens, temples, and pavilions, offering a picturesque setting.

  • Travel Tips: Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit. Enjoy a boat ride on the lake for a tranquil experience.

15. Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Hunan Province


  • Known for its stunning views of peaks, which resemble figures of warriors, emperors, and animals, Tianzi Mountain offers some of the most dramatic natural scenery in China.

  • Travel Tips: Visit between April and October for the best views. Cable cars are available for those who prefer not to hike.

Travel Tips for Indian Travelers

1. Visa Requirements: Ensure you have a valid visa and check for any specific requirements.

2. Language Barrier: Learning a few basic Mandarin phrases can be helpful.

3. Cuisine: Be adventurous with food but also locate restaurants that cater to Indian tastes if needed.

4. Connectivity: Consider buying a local SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device for easy navigation.

5. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions during your visit.

Whether you're seeking spiritual solace, historical exploration, or just to marvel at nature's wonders, these places promise an unforgettable journey into the heart of China's heritage and beauty.

By Yashas

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