Spectacular photographs reveal why China is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth
Ancient and intoxicating; China has long excited travellers keen to explore its vast and varied landscape.
Although it may be one of the largest countries on earth, these stunning photographs prove it is also one of the most beautiful.
From rainbow-coloured rolling hills that look like they are from another world, to an abandoned village clad in vines in Shengshan Island – the Asian country is a visual feast.
Natural treasures such as the turquoise lakes of Jiǔzhàigōu National Park and sunsets on the rice fields in Yuanyang County are just two of the picturesque landscapes that have long attracted tourists to the country. Meanwhile the famous Great Wall of China is a huge pull for visitors, but how many have stopped to admire the end of the structure jutting into the sea?
Around every corner is an inviting panorama with one of the most incredible being the world’s largest Buddhist settlement in Larung, which features thousands of red wooden huts contrasting sharply against the green hills.
MailOnline Travel takes you on a visual journey to explore this breathtaking country in all its natural glory and reveal why China is well worth a visit.
Turquoise pools: The neon-coloured limestone ponds of the Huanglong valley are a visual feast for those looking for a slice of paradise. Nearby you’ll find snow-capped peaks and a wealth of animal life
Kaleidoscopic hills: With its rolling hills, rocky peaks and multitude of colours, this terrain is positively other-worldly. However, the spectacular lunar landscape can actually be found at the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province, China
Mosaic beauty: The terraced rice fields in Yuanyang County become flooded paddies from December to April and create pools that resemble broken mirrors. As the sun sets, colours are scattered in the reflective waters
Early morning journey: A Qj Doubleheader puffs its way uphill to Shangdian On The Jitong Tielu leaving a billowing trail in its wake
While many can instantly recognise pictures of the Great Wall of China, the fascinating end of the famous landmark is less well-known
Vines climb the old stone walls, weave through the windows and doors and creep along the crumpling paths in an abandoned Chinese fishing village which has been reclaimed by mother nature on Shengshan Island
Among the green rolling hills in the Larung Gar Valley in China, the last thing you would expect to see in the countryside are thousands of red wooden huts that have been built in a massive cluster. Despite its secluded location it is home to the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the world’s largest Buddhist settlement
The simplistic beauty of this Sundried Kelp farm in the water is truly mesmerising. The cultivation area is located in the Fujian Province
Pearl Shoal Waterfall is regularly called the most beautiful waterfall in the Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park in the northern Sichuan province of south western China. Unsurprisingly, the waterfall gets its name from the pearly droplets of water created as it cascades down the rocks
You can see why this winding driveway in Tianmen Mountain National Park is called Serpentine Road. The road took eight years to construct. To get there, you need to drive up Tongtian Avenue, which has 99 turns thought to symbolise heaven having nine palaces
The stunning Unesco World Heritage Site of Jiǔzhàigōu National Park is visited by more than two million people every year who are lured by its turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls and its deep green trees
Detian Waterfall is a transnational waterfall in the Sino-Vietnamese border. In spring, the fiery-red kapok trees scatter around the waterfall making it more exquisite
The Stone Forest or Shilin is formed of jagged limestone formations in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province which feature coloured plants dotted among it
Looking like a scene from a movie, the Maijishan Grottoes, cut in the side of the hill of Majishan in Tianshui, Gansu Province, feature a stunning selection of murals and sculptures surrounded by winding walkways and spiral stairs
Stomach-jolting: You have to have nerves of steel to take on this vertigo-inducing trail – Mount Hua Shan in China. Situated in Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), a mountain range in the southern Anhui province of eastern China, the risky walkway is lined with tight and rickety walkways high up in the air, with the threat of a long, lethal drop below
Take a boat and weave in and out of the dotted man-made islands that make up the Qiandao or Thousand Island Lake
Lè Shān’s gigantic, 1,200-year-old Grand Buddha sits carved from a cliff face overlooking three busy rivers: the Dàdù, Mín, and Qīngyì. The giant statue has fingernails larger than the average human, and attracts multitudes of tourists to the area