China is home to some of the world’s most magnificent sceneries, both natural and man-made. Mountainous areas cover about 2/3 of China’s total land area, and has 7 out of the world’s 12 mountain peaks that are over 8,000m above sea level.
If you love panoramic mountain views and fresh mountain breeze, here are the top 5 mountains we think you should visit while in China.
1) Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Home to the famous ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountains’, of which iconic floating rocks from the movie ‘Avatar’ were inspired by. A look at the pillar-like rock formations at Zhangjiajie and you’ll instantly know why!
This UNESCO World Heritage site is located within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Hunan province.
The world’s tallest outdoor lift can also be found at Zhangjiajie. Measuring 326m in height, the Bailong elevator gives its guests a breathtaking view and a quick ascend.
A recent addition in 2016 gives guests to Zhangjiajie an experience like none other. Take a walk on the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge and enjoy (or be fearful of) amazing views just beneath your feet. At 430m in length and 300m above ground, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass bridge currently holds the record for the highest and longest pedestrian glass bridge in the world.
2) Yellow (Huangshan) Mountain
Named after Emperor Huang Di in 747 AD, the Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province possess incredible scenery and tranquillity. This UNESCO World Heritage site has a natural beauty that has made it the subject of countless calligraphic paintings all over the world.
The natural beauty of Huangshan can be distilled into 4 main elements, also known as the ‘4 Natural Wonders’.
Firstly, strange ancient pines pepper the mountains. With odd twisting shapes in a harsh landscape, many of these beautiful pines have been given names. One such pine is the ‘Welcome Pine’, which greets guests at Huangshan upon arrival.
Secondly, weird-looking rocks can be found throughout Huangshan. Like the pines, some of these have been given names. Towering mountain peaks also give rise to majestic views, especially when sunrays hit the mountain range.
Thirdly, angelic seas of clouds can be seen at the peaks of Huangshan, especially during the periods of Nov to May. These views are simply stunning, particularly during the twilight hours.
Lastly, hot springs abound at the Yellow Mountain. Visit one to refresh yourself after a long hike, especially if you’re staying up in the Mountains!
3) Qingcheng Mountain
The Qingcheng Mountain in Chengdu is the mountain to visit if you love history. Considered to be one of the birthplaces of Taosim, it is also considered an important Taoist centre and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are 2 main areas to the mountain, a front area and a back area. The front area is where you’ll many historical Taoist and Buddhist temples and relics. Nestled high in the mountains, these temples provide a serene atmosphere to all who visit. The Qingcheng Mountains were an important source of inspiration for Kung Fu Panda movie series. There’s even a Panda Village nearby!
If you prefer something that’s more toward nature, the back area of the Qingcheng Mountain will not disappoint. A nice complement to the front area of Qingcheng Mountains, the back area is surrounded by lush greenery and nature all around.
4) Huashan Mountain
Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi Province has a dangerous beauty with natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. In fact, many have touted Huashan to be home of ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Hiking Trail’.
Since ancient times, Huashan had been considered a scared place, which led to pilgrims and religious believers to carve a network of stairs and trails in Huashan’s mountain peaks. This led to one of the more famous trails in Huashan – the ‘Plank Trail’. A safety harness can be rented cheaply at about USD5, and that’s definitely a price that’s worthwhile!
If the Plank Trail is not your cup of tea, Huashan also provides many safer paths where you can plant your feet more firmly on the ground. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, newer and safer paths have been built since the ancient times, and these paths provide great scenery of the fabulous views Huashan as to offer.
5) Emei Mountain
Emei Mountain in Sichuan Province will probably be quite familiar to enthusiasts of Chinese pugilistic novels. After all, Emei Mountain is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China and said to be one of the origins of Chinese martial arts.
Over 30 temples dot the landscape of Emei Mountain, each built around the surrounding environment. The temples are designed intricately, with complex towers, gardens, pavilions and platforms. Lovers of architecture will be mesmerised by the stability and design of the Emei Mountain temples.
A giant golden Samantabhadra Bodhisattva statue sits at the top. Standing at the mountain peaks with clouds beneath your feet, the view is an exceptional one.
There you have it. Five Mountains of China that you definitely must visit, each with its own unique views and history.
Keen to visit one of these lovely mountains? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to customise an itinerary to your needs and preferences.