8 most beautiful destinations in China for autumn sightseeing
Autumn is not only a harvest season, but also a season for traveling. As temperatures drop and leaves turn yellow, tourism heats up all over China. Here, China.org.cn chooses the eight most beautiful destinations around the country for autumn sightseeing.
Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve, Hainan (海南东寨港红树林自然保护区)
Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve, located in the northeast part of Hainan Province, is the first and biggest mangrove nature reserve in China. The mangrove tree, also known as "forest above the sea", is a kind of tropical tree, growing in swampy ground along sea coasts and river banks. In 1980, China’s first nature reserve was established there by the local government, with a total area of 4,000 hectares. There are 81 kinds of mangrove trees in the world, and 32 kinds of them can be found in Dongzhaigang. Besides containing mangrove forests, the area is also home to many rare birds, attracting lots of biologists and travelers visit there to discover the reserve’s unique flora and fauna.
Best Time to visit: September to April
Admission: 10 yuan
Getting there: Travel bus or taxi from downtown Haikou to Dongzhaigang.
Nanjing Qixia Mountain, Jiangsu (南京栖霞山)
Qixia Mountain, also named as Sheshan Mountain, is located about 22 kilometers northeast of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. It covers an area of over 860 hectares, and has three peaks – Dragon Peak, Tiger Peak and Fengxiang Peak, with the highest peak at 286 meters. Covered by 750 hectares of various maple trees, the mountain has fascinating scenery in autumn. Around the middle of October each year, the whole mountain will become a colorful carpet, with flourishing red, green and golden maple leaves, making it a wonderful place to enjoy fall colors.
Best time to visit: middle October to late November
Admission: 15 yuan; 35 yuan during Maple Festival (around mid-Oct. to Nov.)
Getting there: Nanshang Line, Nanqi Line, Dongshang Line from Nanjing Railway Station, or take No. 138 bus from Fuzimiao.
Daocheng, Sichuan (四川稻城)
Situated in the south of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Daocheng County is often referred to as "the last pure land in our blue planet." At an average elevation of 3,800 meters, Daocheng is renowned for its magnificent mountains, white glaciers, broad valleys, lush pastures and picturesque lakes. Forests, grasslands and creeks can also be found in the grand valley, fringed by splendid snowcapped mountain peaks. After September, the area goes into colorful autumn, attracting hundreds of visitors to travel and hike there and enjoy some of the quietest and purest natural scenery on Earth.
Best time to visit: all year round
Admission: 150 yuan; 70 yuan for students
Opening Hours: 07:00-18:30
Getting there: coach bus from Chengdu.
Xi’an, Shaanxi (陕西西安)
Xi’an, located in northwest China, is known as one of the four ancient capitals of the world, together with Athens, Cairo and Rome. Home to the Terracotta Army, the city has a long history of more than 3,100 years, including 1,100 years as the capital city for 13 dynasties. When travelling in Xi’an, you can not only visit Terracotta Army, City Wall and the Beilin Stone Sculpture Museum, but also can have a taste of the culture from Tang Dynasty in Tang Paradise Recreational Area and Huaqing Palace. While appreciating Xi’an’s history and culture, don’t forget to try some distinctive local snacks. Yang Rou Pao Mo (unleavened bread in mutton stew), mutton kebabs and cold rice noodles are among the most popular regional food.
Daming Palace Site: 60 yuan
City Wall: 40 yuan
Tang Paradise: 90 yuan
Drum Tower and Bell Tower: 40 yuan
Beilin Museum: 45 yuan
Huaqing Palace: 40 yuan
Big Wild Goose Pagoda: 50 yuan
Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and Terracotta Army: 110 yuan
Getting there: You can take travel buses from downtown to all scenic spots around the city.
Zhangjiajie, Hunan (湖南张家界)
Zhangjiajie, located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, is about 265 kilometers to Changsha, the provincial capital. Most scenic spots in the area are situated in the northern part of the city, including Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Wulingyuan, Tianmen Mountain, Huanglong Cave, Baofeng Lake, and Suoxi Valley. They are known for their beautiful forests, odd-shaped rocks, exquisite canyons, limestone caves, and jaw-dropping panoramic views. The hills present different views to visitors with the changing of the seasons. In October, colorful leaves, sheer cliffs and secluded valleys wow visitors.
Best time to visit: April to October
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: 245 yuan
Wulingyuan: 245 yuan
Tianmen Mountain: 260 yuan
Getting there: travel bus from Zhangjiajie to all the scenic spots.
Nyingchi, Tibet (西藏林芝)
Nyingchi, or Linzhi in Chinese, lies in the southeast part of Tibet Autonomous Region. Located near the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo River, it is blessed with a semi-humid climate and fascinating scenery. With a large number of river valleys and alpine gorges, Nyingchi is also called the "Switzerland of Tibet". When travelling there, you will be amazed by the lofty snow-capped mountain peaks, well-preserved original forests, cypresses that can grow up to thirty meters, and numerous colorful grasses. Travelers can also take part in various activities, such as mountain hiking, rock climbing and white water rafting, and experience the unique local customs of the Menba and Luoba people.
Best time to visit: May and October
Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon: 150 yuan for adults; 70 yuan for kids
Giant Cypress Forest: 10 yuan
Gangxiang Nature Reserve: free
Basongcuo Lake: 100 yuan
Getting there: You can take a plane to Linzhi Airport, or take coach or train to Linzhi from Lhasa or Chengdu.
Shangri-La, Yunnan (云南香格里拉)
Located in northwest Yunnan Province, Shangri-La is a Tibetan county of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, featuring spectacular landscapes and a mixture of ethnic cultures. Set in tranquil grasslands surrounded by snow-covered peaks, gorges, lakes and virgin forests, the county’s attractions include the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, Songzanlin Temple, Bita Lake Nature Reserve and Baishui Terrace (White Water Terrace). Shangri-la is at its most beautiful in May and October. In October, when leaves turn yellow and red, the area astounds visitors with its stunning vistas. Tourists can also experience the lifestyle, culture and cuisine of 13 different local ethnic groups.
Best time to visit: May and October
Tiger Leaping Gorge: 50 yuan
Songzanlin Temple: 85 yuan
Bita Lake: 30 yuan
Baishui Terrace: 30yuan
Getting there: You can fly to Diqing Shangri-La Airport, or take a train or coach to Shangri-la from Kunming, Chengdu, or Lhasa.
Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古额济纳旗)
Ejin Banner (Ejina Qi in Chinese), located in Alxa League, is located in the westernmost part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It borders east to Alxa Right Banner, southwest to the famous Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province, and north to Mongolia. Ejin Banner has one of the three extensive Euphrates Poplar tree forests in the world, with a total forest area of 30,000 hectares. In 1992, the Ejin Banner Euphrates Poplar Forest Nature Reserve was established there. Every October, when leaves turn yellow, the whole area becomes a sea of golden leaves, attracting thousands of tourists and photographers who flock to enjoy the amazing autumn scenery. more photos>>
Best Time to visit: late September to middle October.
Heishui Ancient City: 50 yuan
Badaoqiao Desert: 30 yuan
Euphrates Poplar Forest Nature Reserve: 15 yuan
Strange Forest: 50 yuan
Tawangfu: 20 yuan
Tel: +86-483-6521823 (Ejin Banner Tourism Bureau)
Getting there: You can take a coach from Yinchuan to Alxa Left Banner or Alxa Right Banner, and then rent a car (preferably a SUV) from there to scenic spots in Ejin Banner.
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