NOTORIOUS: fable-making mountains
NEAREST AIRPORT: KWL, Guilin Liangjiang International Airport
COORDINATES: 25.2667° N, 110.2833° E
CURRENCY: Chinese Yuan (¥)
You guys. This is Guilin. It is not a fairy tale – I’ve been. Had to share it with you all. This is a well-known Chinese destination – so much so that a scene from the Lijiang River is featured on the 20¥ note. Introduced to me by my friend Charlie Wu, I visited in 2011 with my dad’s friend from Shanghai. Together we toured Guilin and Yangshuo for four days and I literally couldn’t believe my eyes.
I knew it was famous but… I have never seen such a landscape again in my life. Highlights: Take a river tour on bamboo rafts and meet the local fisherman and their families. Visit the vast, beautiful Reed Flute caves – they are completely lit up and magical.
PLACE: Zhangye Danxia Landform Park
LOCATION: Gansu, China
NOTORIOUS: Unusual Landscape
NEAREST AIRPORT: Fly from Beijing to Jiayuguan, take bus to Zhangye from here (few hours)
COORDINATES: 38.9333° N, 100.4500° E
CURRENCY: China Renmenbi
This place is so unusual – it looks like an acrylic painter ran down the mountain sides with meter-wide paint trucks. It’s located in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province in China. The Silk Road passed through this area, following a narrow route between the Tibetan Plateau (too cold!) and the Gobi Desert (too hot!) that’s known as the Hexi Corridor.
The unusual colours of the rocks are the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years. May is one of the best times of the year to visit the area, with an average high temperature of 23°C, an average low of 8°C, and not much chance of rain.
Have you trekked out here? I want to know about it. Comment!
PLACE: Tianzi Mountain, Wulingyuan National Forest
LOCATION: Hunan Province, China
NOTORIOUS: Inspired Avatar Mountains
NEAREST AIRPORT: Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport, DYG
COORDINATES: 29.1333° N, 110.4833° E
Ya, woah. Tianzi Mountain (天子山) is located in Zhangjiajie, part of the Wulingyuan National Forest in the Hunan Province of China, which close to the Suoxi Valley (yeah, that’s a mouthful). Despite living in China and seeing much of its incredible landscape, I have never had the chance to see this place. Also known as Zhangjiajie’s Rock Column Forest (I love that), the sandstone and limestone cliffs and towers are hundreds of feet tall.
Apparently you need to book 4-5 days to really see the area because this was China’s first designated national forest. There are 5 main entrances to the forest but the one with the most amount of accommodations is located by the East entrance. Definitely avoid visiting mid-morning and mid-afternoon when bus tours unload hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists.
Been here before? Leave any travel suggestions for the area below: