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Geomorphic Landscapes

Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-10-26

1、Geomorphic Landscapes

The geomorphic landscapes of China include mountain, karst, sand blown by wind, loess, volcano and earthquake remains and site, etc. 

1.1 Mountain Landscapes

China is a country with numerous mountains. According to statistic, the area of mountains, hills and plateaus accounts for 69% of the total land area of the country. As far as the altitude is concerned, there are in total fourteen high peaks with an altitude above 8000 meters in the world, of which nine are located at the boundary line and within the confines of China on the Himalayas Range and Karakoram Range. The first highest peak in the world, Everest Peak (with an altitude of 8848.13 meters), the second highest peak in the world, Chogori Peak (with an altitude of 8611 meters), the third highest peak in the world, Kangchenjunga Peak (with an altitude of 8586 meters), the fifth highest peak in the world, Makalu (with an altitude of 8463 meters), and the seventh highest peak in the world, Cho Oyu Peak (with an altitude of 8204 meters), are all located at the boundary line of China. The fourteenth highest peak in the world, Xixiabangma Peak (with an altitude of 8012 meters), is located within the borders of Tibet in China. As for high peaks with an altitude above 5000 meters, they are numbered in the thousands on the mountains such as Himalayas Range, Karakoram Range, Gangdese Range, Nyainqentanglha Range, Tanggula Range, Kunlun Range, Tianshan Mountian Range, Qilian Range, Transversal Mountain Range, Daxue Mountains and Min Mountain, etc. The peaks are incomparable to those of other nations either in height or in quantity.

The main mountain systems of China are as follows:① Tianshan—Altai Mountain System,② the Pamirs—Kunlun— Qilian Mountain System,③ the Major Xing’an Mountain— Yinsha Mountain System,④ Yanshan— Qilian Mountain Range— Taihang Mountain System,⑤ Changbaishan Mountain System,⑥ Karakorum—Tanggula Mountain System,⑦ Gangdese— Nyainqentanglha Mountain System,⑧ Himalayas Mountain System,⑨ Transversal Mountain System,⑩ Bayan Har Mountain System,(11)Qin Mountian Range— Dabashan Mountain System,(12) Wumeng— Wuling Mountain System,(13) Southeast Coast Mountain System,(14)Taiwan Mountain System,(15)Hainan Mountain System.

★ Famous Tourist Mountains of China ★

(1) The Ten Most Beautiful Tourist Mountains of China

The Ten Most Beautiful Tourist Mountains of China are the Namjagbarwa Peak in Tibet, the Gongga Mountain in Sichuan, the Everest Peak in Tibet, the Meili Snow Mountains in Yunnan, the Huang Mountain in Anhui, the Xiannairi Mountain in Sichuan (the Sanshen Mountain in the Daocheng), the Chogori Mountain in Xinjiang, the Kangrinboqi Peak in Tibet, Tai Mountain in Shandong and E’mei Mountain in Sichuan. All these famous mountains have the following common features:

The first one is the relative height of the mountain;
The second one is the relatively numerous natural vegetation belts of the mountain;
The third one is the relatively good primitive ecological environment of the mountain without being artificially damaged.;
The fourth one is of relatively high value in scientific expedition;
The fifth one is of relatively high ornamental value.

★ Namjagbarwa Peak in Tibet

Namjagbarwa” means “war spear piercing the blue sky” in the Tibetan language. The main peak of the Namjagbarwa Peak, which enjoys a good reputation as “the father of iceberg”, is as high as 7782 meters. At the foot of the Namjagbarwa Peak, there are a good many hot springs and extraordinarily dense plants. Therefore, it is an ideal resort for exploration, mountain climbing and recuperation. It is the objective towards which the mountain climbing organizations of all nations in the world yearn. It is an ideal area for developing tourism, mountain climbing, expedition and drifting and also the best site for conducting expeditions of earth sciences and biology.   

TipsThe best season for appreciating and taking photographs of the Namjagbarwa Peak is the summer of every year. The autumn sky is clear and the air is crisp. Generally the air is clean at this time. Hence, there are many opportunities to take pictures of the lofty and steep Namjagbarwa Peak.

Gongga Mountain in Sichuan

Sichuan Gongga Mountain is located within the borders of three counties in Sichuan Province, namely, Kangding, Luding and Shimian. It covers an area of 400 thousand hectares. It is a national-level scenic area. The main protection objects are forest ecological system, rare animals and natural landscapes such as modern glacier

The Gongga Mountain is located in the transitional belt between the Tibetan Plateau and the Sichuan Basin. Its main peak has an altitude of 7556 meters. It is the king of Shu Mountains and also one of the famous high peaks in the world. The area preserves natural landscapes such as ancient glacier remains, modern glaciers, primitive forests, hot spring, lakes and snow peaks, etc. The Gongga Mountain Reserve is a very important species gene pool in the world and also one of the best representatives of biological and geographical areas in the world. It has extremely important value in protection and scientific research. Moreover, the area has exotic landscapes and graceful natural landscapes. Therefore, it is also a famous tourist resort.

TipsIn Kangding, there are special tourist buses heading for the Gongga Mountain. At the foot of the Gongga Mountain, there are cable cars taking tourists up the mountain with a fare of about 160 yuan. (The price here is only for information. Tourists should inquire about the actual price)

Everest Peak in Tibet

It means “the virgin Mary” in the Tibetan language. With an altitude of 8848 meters, it is the first highest peak in the world.

TipsIt is not very difficult to hitch a ride from Shigatse or Lhatse to Xindingri. However, there is little possibility that you can get free rides for the remaining 100 kilometers to the base camp. Therefore, you are recommended chartering a vehicle in Lhasa. It is the safest way to go there.

★ Meili Snow Mountains in Yunnan

The Meili Snow Mountains is also called the Prince of Snow Mountains. It is located in the middle section of the Transversal Mountain Range about ten kilometers northeast of Deqin County, Yunnan Province and between the Nujiang River and Lancangjiang River. It is connected to Adonggeni Mountain of Tibet in the north and neighbors the Biluo Snow Mountain in the south.

The Meili Snow Mountains is the grandest snow mountain complex in Yunnan Province. It has thirteen peaks with an average altitude above 6000 meters, which are called “Thirteen Peaks of Prince”. The main peak Kawabog, which is the highest peak in Yunnan Province, has a height of 6740 meters above sea level. The Prince of Snow Mountains is well known in the world for its loftiness, magnificence and mystery. As early as the 1930s, an American learner praised the Zankagebo Peak as the “most beautiful mountain in the world”.  

Tips

1. There are shuttle buses heading for Deqing at the county of Shangri-la every day with a fare of about 40 yuan.  
2. There are Zang people who come from all parts of Shangri-la, Tibet and Ganzhi of Sichuan Province to make pilgrimages and spin prayer wheels in the winter of every year.

Huang Mountain in Anhui

The Huang Mountain stands towering in the south of Anhui Province. It is well known in the world for oddity, grandeur, beauty and grace. It is also a national-level scenic spot and historic area with abundant resources, complete ecological system and significant value in science and ecological environment. It belongs to the world cultural and natural heritage and has been listed into the World’s Heritage Records. The Huang Mountain has now become the representative of famous mountains in China. It enjoys a reputation as the “oddest mountain under heaven” and ranks with the Yangtze River, the Great Wall and the Yellow River as one of the symbols of the Chinese nation. A saying going like this: “If you take a tour of the Five Famous Mountains, you will not appreciate mountains in your neighborhood after coming back. However, if you take a tour of the Yellow Mountain, you will not appreciate the Five Famous Mountains after coming back.”  

Xiannairi Mountain in Sichuan (Sanshenshan Mountain in Daocheng

The name of the Xiannairi Mountain means “Mercy Buddha” in the Tibetan language. It is located between the Shuiluo River and the Dongyi River. It heads the three high peaks in the Yading scenic area. It is the five largest mountains in Sichuan Province. With an altitude of 6032 meters, it is lofty, grand and beautiful. It seems like a masculine sword sticking into the skies.

TipsThe traffic of Sanshenshan Mountain in Daocheng: The shuttle buses between Chengdu and Daocheng have been opened to traffic. It runs on even days and arrives at the destination in two days. You may stay in Kangding or Yajiang for one night. The fare is 218 yuan.

Chogori Peak in Xinjiang

The name of Chogori Peak means “high and majestic peak” in the Tajik language. It has a height of 8611 meters above sea level. It is the main peak of the Karakoram Range, which is only second to the Himalayas Range in altitude on earth. It is located at the border between China and Pakistan. Its height ranks the second among the fourteen peaks with an altitude above eight thousands meters in the world. It is also called K2 Peak at abroad. It is acknowledged as one of the peaks with a greater degree of difficulty in climbing in the international mountaineering field.

Kangrinboqi Peak in Tibet

The name of Kangrinboqi Peak means “the mountain of deity” in the Tibetan language. It is the main peak of the Gangdese Mountain. Though Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bon religion hold different beliefs and believe in different gods, they all think that Kangrinboqi is the “center of the world” and regard it as a holy mountain. All these endow Kangrinboqi with the superimposed holiness of several religions, thereby sending out colorful halos and aureoles of all kinds of beliefs. Hence, it has become the palace of ten thousand gods and the Olympus in the orient.  

Tips

1. The best time for traveling: July- September; During that period, the temperature on the mountain top is relatively high. Good weather last for a relatively long time. Therefore, it is the best time for climbing the mountain.

2. Traffic: You may set out from Urumchi and drive along the highway for a passage of time, and then turn off into the provincial highway and drive through Tuokexun. When you turn off into a main road, it is the time for the highway to disappear.  

Tai Mountain in Shandong

The Tai Mountain, which is located in the middle of Shandong Province, was called Dai Mountain and Daizong in ancient times. As one of the Five Famous Mountains in China, it is located in the east and hence called the ancient eastern mountain. The Tai Mountain covers a total area of 426 square kilometers. Its main peak Yuhuang Summit has a height of 1532.8 meters above sea level. The mountain has grand and splendid appearance and majestic vigor with a large number of scenic spots and historic sites. It is reputed as “the most honorable of the Five Famous Mountains”. Confucius says that when one climbs to the top of the Tai Mountain, he will find the world small; Du Fu, a great poet in the Tang Dynasty, wrote the famous verses that when you climb to the summit of the mountain, you will find all the other mountains small. The Tai Mountain has become the symbol of greatness and sublimity in the hearts of people.

E’mei Mountain in Sichuan

The E’mei Mountain is located in E’mei Mountain City of Sichuan Province. Its main peak is the Golden Summit. The highest peak, Ten Thousand Buddha Peak, has a height of 3099 meters above sea level. It neighbors the Leshan Great Buddha, the largest stone carved statue of Buddha Maitreya in the world, in the east.

The E’mei Mountain and Leshan Great Buddha is one of the three natural and cultural heritages in China and one of the eighteen in the world at present.

The E’mei Mountain as the “Puxian Taoist Field” is one of the four famous Buddhist Mountains in China.

The E’mei Mountain has extremely abundant natural and cultural heritages. It enjoys a reputation as “a kingdom of natural plants”, “a paradise for animals”, “a geological museum” and “Heaven of the Buddhist kingdom”. It is also praised as “the most graceful mountain under heaven”. It is tourist resort for sightseeing, making pilgrimages, worshipping Buddha, taking leisure and vacation, fitness and entertainment, and scientific expedition.

Tips

1. Traffic:If you would like to take a tour of the E’mei Mountain, you may first get to Leshan by way of Chengdu. There is a perfect highway traffic network within the borders of Leshan. The highway between Leshan and the E’mei Mountain has become a hot tourist route all the year round. There are shuttle buses running every ten minutes on average. The trip takes less than one hour.

2. Best time for traveling:The spring and autumn is the best season for traveling in the E’mei Mountain as during that period the mountain has a moderate climate and charming sceneries.

(2)Chinese Traditional Famous Mountains

★ Hua Mountain

The Hua Mountain, the ancient western mountain, is located in Huayin City 120 kilometers east of Xi’an, Shanxi Province. It was called Taihua Mountain in ancient times. It has an altitude of 2200 meters. It is a national-level scenic area in our country. 

The Hua Mountain enjoys a reputation as the “oddest and most dangerous mountain under heaven”.

There are also a large number of scenic spots and historic sites in the Hua Mountain. Buddhist temples, Taoist temples, pavilions, platforms, storied buildings, statues and carved stones can be found everywhere. The famous historic sites on the mountain include Jade Spring (Yuquan) Temple, Zhenwu Taoist Temple, Jintian Palace (Baidi Ancestral Temple). The Xiyue Temple, which is located seven kilometers north of the Hua Mountain, is the temple where the Hua Mountain God of the ancient western mountain was enshrined and worshipped in ancient times.  

Heng Mountain

The Heng Mountain, the ancient southern mountain, is located 50 kilometers north of Hengyang City. It has deep and serene gullies and dotted temples as well as flowing spring and flying waterfall lying about exuberant forests. It has been a tourist resort all through the ages. 

★ Hen Mountain

The Hen Mountain is praised highly as the second mountain under heaven.

The Hen Mountain, the ancient northern mountain, is a divide separating the Sanggan River, a tributary of Haihe River, and the Hutuo River. Known as the 108th peak, it consists of two peaks with the Tianfeng Range in the east and the Cuiping Mountain in the west. The two peaks stand facing each other with muddy water flowing between them. It has been a natural barrier which is the point of battle since antiquity. On the mountains of Tianfeng and Cuiping, there are queer rocks and ancient towering trees as well as storied buildings and worship halls scattering among the dark green pines and emerald green cypress. In ancient times, there were eighteen scenic spots, of which more than ten have remained now, such as worship hall, Huixian Mansion, Nine Heavens Palace and Xuankong Temple. It also has natural scenic areas such as Qinqi (Musical Instrument and Chess) Platform, Wuyun Grotto and Zizhi Valley. A large number of inscriptions by ancient learners are left on steep cliffs.  The natural landscapes with specific environment and time such as Pine Escaping from the Summit of the High Mountian, the Setting Sun Flashing Back, Golden Chicken Herald the Break of a day, Jade Sheep Traveling on Clouds appeal more to tourists.

★ Song Mountain

The Song Mountain, which has the most famous temple under heaven, Shaolin Temple, is situated west of Dengfeng City, Henan Province. Its main body is composed of the Taishi Mountain and the east and west Shaoshi Mountains.

The Song Mountain is reputed as the museum of the historical development of China. It assembles the three religions of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism and boasts a large number of historic sites. Of them, there are six bests in China:the ancestral shrine of Buddhist Zen;the existent largest-scale pagoda forest——the Shaolin Temple;the existent oldest pagoda—— Songyue Temple Pagoda of the North Wei Dynasty;the existent oldest towers——three towers of the Han Dynasty (namely, Taishi Towers, Shaoshi Towers and Qimu Towers);the cypress with the highest tree age—— the “general cypress” conferred in the Han Dynasty;the existent oldest stellar observatory—— Gaocheng Stellar Observatory of the Yuan Dynasty.

Where are there so many assemblages of Zen Buddhism? They can only found in the Song Mountain. Perhaps having a look at the quiet and mysterious Buddhist resort and experiencing its lustration, peacefulness and refinement will become a good wish of every tourism lovers.

Wutai Mountain

The Wutai Mountain, which is located in the northeast of Wutai County in Qinzhou Area in the northeast of Shanxi Province, ranks with the E’mei Mountain, the Jiuhua Mountain, the Putuo Mountain as the four famous Buddhist Mountains in China, towards which tourists at home and abroad yearn. It has five encircling high peaks with even and broad summits. Hence, it is called the Wutai Mountain. It is the Buddhist field of Buddha Wenshu.

The Wutai Mountain has five summits, namely, the east summit Wanghai Peak, the west summit Guayue Peak, the south summit Jinxiu Peak, the north summit Yedou Peak and the central summit Cuiyan Peak. There are overlapping mountains, crisscrossing ravines, flowing Valley Rivers, lofty and emerald woods and intersecting basin and mountains, which forms a treasure land of landscapes with brilliant colors and cool climate suitable for sightseeing and sunstroke prevention.

Putuo Mountain

The Putuo Mountain is one the four largest famous Buddist Mountains in our country and also a famous sea island scenic and tourist resort. It is such a beautiful small island with so many cultural relics and historic sites, which can be unique in our country.

The Putuo Mountain is located about 100 sea miles east of the Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang Province, is a small island of the Zhoushan Islands. It is noted not only in the vast sea and sky, but also in the deep mountain forest. Climbing the mountain and overlooking the green sea, you will find Sea Islands floating on the sea surface with white sailboats running among them, which is rather a charming sight.  

Jiuhua Mountain

The Jiuhua Mountain, which is located within the borders of Qingyang County in south Wan (the south of Anhui), is one of the four Buddhist mountains in our country.

The Jiuhua Mountain, which was formed in late Cenozoic Era, is characterized by exotic mountains, graceful peaks and numberous Buddhist temples. It is a Buddhist field of Buddha Ksitigarbha with a long history of Buddhism. Temples scatter about the whole mountain. There are now fifty six well preserved Buddhist temples.

The Jiuhua Mountain is not only well known for Buddhist human landscapes, but also has majestic, exotic and graceful landscapes and a large number of scenic spots and historic sites. Within the range of 120 square kilometers in the whole mountain, there are overlapping exotic peaks, rugged queer rocks, gushing spring, flying waterfalls and rilling stream. The singing of birds is accompanied by the sounds of bells and drums. The cloud mists set off against queer pines. The natural landscapes are very charming.  

★ Wudang Mountain

The Wudang Mountain was called Taihe Mountain in ancient times. It is located within the borders of Shiyan City in the north of Hubei Province. With majestic appearance, it faces the Danjiangkou Reservior and lies at the back of the Shennongjia Forest Zone, extending as far as more than 400 kilometers. It has seven two peaks. The main peak Celestial Post Peak has a height of 1612 meters above sea level. All the remaining peaks lean towards the Celestial Post Peak, which is rather a marvelous spectacle. The Wudang Mountain has been an ideal place for the Taoists to pursue a fairyland all through the ages. The Taoist buildings scatter about the whole mountain on a grand scale. It is said that in ancient times Xuanwu achieved sagehood, ascended to heaven and became an immortal.  

“A mountain will not become famous if not conferred a title.” Since the birth of Taoism in the East Han Dynasty, emperors of all dynasties had held the ceremony of closing off the mountain area for several times in the Wudang Mountain. Hence, it had an increasingly greater reputation. During the period of Emperor Chengzu’s reign in the Ming Dynasty, it ranked above the Five Famous Mountains for a time with a reputation as a “Major High Mountain”. What makes the Wudang Mountain really widely known is Zhang Sanfeng, a great master of one generation. He established the Wudang School of martial arts, which was on a par with the Shaolin School of the Song Mountain.   

The sceneries of the Wudang Mountain combine the grandeur of the Tai Mountain, the oddity of the Huang Mountain and the serenity of the Yandang Mountain. Mi Fu, a great calligrapher and painter in the North Dynasty, praises it as “the first mountain under heaven”. Though the praise is rather exaggerated, we can see from it that it is a place worth traveling.

★ Dragon and Tiger Mountain

The Dragon and Tiger Mountain, which is originally named Yunjin Mountain, is a national key scenic spot and historic site. It is located 20 kilometers southwest of Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province. It is said that during the middle period of the East Han Dynasty, Heavenly Master Zhang refined the elixir here; “when the elixir was refined, a dragon and a tiger appeared, whence the name of Dragon and Tiger Mountain came”. The Dragon and Tiger Mountain becomes the birthplace of Chinese Taoism for the same reason.

The Dragon and Tiger Mountain Scenic Area has ninety nine peaks, twenty four rocks and one hundred and eight sceneries. The area of landscapes reaches about 200 square kilometers. The Taoist culture with a long history, the green water and elixir mountain with unique characteristics and the Cliffside tombs on a grand scale constitute the “three wonders” of the natural and human landscapes of the Dragon and Tiger Mountain Scenic Area.

★ Zhongnan Mountain

The Zhongnan Mountain is a sacred place of the Taoist religion. It is located southeast of Luliang County. It is 78 kilometers away from Qujing City. The Zhongnan Mountain “with lofty, steep and dangerous appearance is a majestic town in the south of the city”. There are pines and oaks all over the mountain and wild flowers all over the field with charming and graceful sceneries. On the mountainside, there is the Stone Fish Grotto, which is marvelous, magnificent and lifelike with varied shapes. 

★ Qingcheng Mountain

The Qingcheng Mountain is one of the first scenic spots and historic sites proclaimed by the state council in China. It is 16 kilometers away from Dujiangyan City. The Qingcheng Mountain is close to the snow range of Min Mountain and faces the Chuanxi Plain; Surrounded by peaks like the outer wall of a city, it has deep woods and dense trees, which are green all the year round; there are one thousand stairs and winding paths leading to quiet seclusion. Up to the present, it preserves tens of Taoist temples in good condition and treasures up a large quantity of cultural relics and historic sites as well as scripts of celebrities in modern times. The Qingcheng Mountain is, as it is, a living Taoist “museum” with a history of thousands of years. The scenic area on the back mountain has mysterious grottos, relics of the Great King of Shu, flying waterfall and deep ponds scattering about the mountain, curved bridges and winding plank paths, which are quite of primitive rustic charm. The human and natural landscapes of the Qingcheng Mountain set off against each other. Hence, it enjoys a good reputation as “the quietest mountain under heaven”.

★ Lao Mountain

The Lao Mountain Scenic Area has more than 220 scenic spots. Its main peak is the Giant Peak (Jufeng) with an altitude of 1133 meters. It is the highest peak along the 18000 kilometers of coastline in China. The mountain centers on the Giant Peak and radiates in the five directions of northeast, east, southeast, south and west. It is steep in the east and south, and continuous in the northwest. The mountain, which is connected with the sea, has dark and bright light sent out by mountain mist through reflecting the sunlight, overlapping ridges and peaks, rugged and exotic rocks, deep gullies and serene valleys, blue sea and dwellings of immortals as well as vague mirage. All these constitute the natural beauty of serenity, depth, vastness, oddity and diversification in the Lao Mountain.

Lu Mountain

The Lu Mountain is under the jurisdiction of Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. Shrouded by mountain mist, it is majestic, exotic, graceful, tall and straight. There are numerous flowing springs and flying waterfalls as well scenic spots and historic sites scattering about the mountain. With a cool and agreeable climate in summer, it is a famous tourist area as well as summer and recuperation resort in our country. In 1996, it was listed into the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Records.

For a long time after 1840, the Lu Mountain has become a resort for influential political figures. On the mountain, there are several existent villas, which have been inhabited by political leaders such as Zhang Xueliang, Jiang Jieshi, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. It makes it a famous mountain people look forward to. In 1996, the world heritage committee of UNESCO approved the Lu Mountain to be listed into the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Records as a “world cultural landscape”.   

★ Wuyi Mountain

“The landscapes of the Wuyi Mountain are the oddest under Heaven and the fairyland in human world is in Wuyi.” The national-level key scenic spot and historic site, Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area, is located southwest of Wuyishan City in Fujian Province. Covering an area of tens of square kilometers, it forms a resort on its own. It is called the first mountain in Fujian with a reputation as “the oddest and most graceful mountain in the southeast”. The Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area, which is characterized by karst landform, has the resorts of “double three and double six”. “Double three” refers to the curved and winding Nine Bends (Jiuqu) Stream. “Double six” refers to the thirty six mountains on both banks of the Nine Bends Stream.   

There are green water and red mountains. Each bend of the Nine Bends Stream has one different view. Moreover, there are also seven two immortal’s grottos and ninety nine famous rocks. The blue and clear Nine Bends Stream flows through the mountain. Taking a bamboo raft against the river from the Wuyi Palace, you will sometimes pass by shallow beach with splashing rapid waves and then suddenly float on deep pond with waves as calm as a mirror.

The thirty six peaks are graceful, tall, straight, exotic, majestic, luxuriantly green and continuous, which is rather a marvelous spectacle. The Great King Peak, which stands erect at the mouth of the Nine Bends Stream, is reputed as “King of Immortal’s Gully”. The stone wall at the summit of the peak is carved with the characters of “Being Vigilant When Standing at a High Place”.

The Pure Girl (Yunv) Peak stands facing the Great King Peak across the stream. It is graceful, moist, clean, and slim like a fairy with graceful bearing. Up to the present the story of the Great King and the Pure Girl falling in love with each other still goes round here. The Wuyi Mountain not only has bright and beautiful landscapes, but also boasts abundant animal and plant resources. There are rare bamboos and trees, exotic flowers, rare birds and beasts as well as medicinal materials. It enjoys a reputation at home and abroad especially for abounding in the Wuyi Rock Tea with gorgeous color, thick fragrance and pure flavor.

★ Yandang Mountain

The Yandang Mountain is located within the borders of Yueqing prefecture-level city. It is one of the first national-level key scenic resorts and historic sites and one of the top famous mountains in China. The mountain acquired the name of a bird as “there is a lake on the top of the mountain, which is overgrown with reed and inhabited with autumn wild geese. The Yandang Mountain takes roots in the East Sea. The landscape is noted for peaks, waterfalls, caves and shield-like peaks and enjoys a reputation as “a famous mountain on the sea” and “beautiful scenery in the world”. It was called “the first mountain in the southeast” in the history. The mountain was chiseled in the South and North Dynasties and flourished in the Tang and Song Dynasties. Hence, it has profound cultural foundation.

The Yandangshan Mountain has unique characteristics. “The view in the day time is a feast for the eyes and the night view attracts and delights you.” “You can view and admire the mountain landscape while savoring seafood.” “The view is shifty and changes when you move steps.” Those are the three features which differentiate itself from other famous mountains and rivers of China. 

★ Wuling Source

The Wuling Source is located in the west of Hunan Province. It has a sandstone peak forest landform rare in the world. The whole scenic area has crisscrossing ravines, lofty peaks, emerald green trees and flocks of birds. It enjoys a good reputation as “a maze of nature” and “the first oddest mountain under heaven”.

The Wuling Source is praised by tourists home and abroad as “a fairyland in human world and Xanadu”, “the representative of mountains, the model of mountains and the fairy of mountains”, “enlarged bonsai and shrunken fairyland” and “the prototype of Chinese landscape painting”. In the scenic area, three thousand peaks rise above the ground and stand erect in the primitive field, and eight hundred streams run meanderingly through valleys. It can be said that it incorporates woods, grottos, lakes and waterfall and blends oddity, grace, serenity, wildness and danger into one. There is a different view every five steps and a different world every ten steps”. Hence, it was evaluated as a national key scenic spot and historic site. 
   
In 1992, the Wuling Source was formally listed into the World Heritage Records by UNESCO for its special and world value. Since then, it has enjoyed a reputation all the over the country and the whole globe for its marvelous, graceful and charming landscapes.

★ Fanjing Mountain

The Fanjing Mountain is located on the borders between the three counties of Jiangkou, Yinjiang and Songtao in Tongren Area in the northeast of Guizhou Province. With an altitude of 2572 meters, it is the main peak of the Wuling Mountain Range.

The Fanjing Mountain is high and steep with numerous valleys, rapid currents and waterfalls. The slopes of the mountains generally range from 30 degrees to 35 degrees. Cliffs can be found everywhere. Since it is located in the zone of subtropical humid monsoon climate, it has a mild climate with abundant water source and a great variety of animals and plants. In October of 1986, it was accepted as a member of the Network of “Man and Biosphere” Reserves by UNESCO. Its protective objects are mainly the primitive natural ecological system, Guizhou golden monkeys reputed as “the only son of the world” and rare animal and plant resources such as Davidia involucrata, reputed as “the flowering dove tree of China”.

(3)Famous Historical Mountains in Modern Times

 Famous historical mountain in modern times refers to the scenic mountains which win fame due to significant historical activities and process in politics, economy, military affairs and culture in modern times, especially the process of social changes, such as Jinggang Mountain, Shao Mountain and Yan’an Baota Mountain.

★ Jinggang Mountain

The Jinggang Mountain is located in the middle section of Luoxiao Mountain Range at the borders of Hunan Province and Jiangxi Province. The mountain is high and large. Its main peaks all have an altitude above one thousand kilometers.

There are high mountains and dense forests here with a steep topography. In autumn of 1927, communists such as Mao Zedong and Zhu De led China workers’ and peasants’ Red Army and established the first rural revolutionary base, opened up a path of encircling the cities from the rural areas for Chinese revolution. Hence, the Jinggang Mountain is called “the cradle of revolution”. There are more than thirty revolutionary sites existent in the mountain, of which ten are under the national-level protection.

The Jinggang Mountain has extremely abundant natural resources with a forest coverage rate of 64%. The scenic area boasts more than 3800 species of plants, of which more than 30 species are rare trees, and more than twenty species of rare animals. Because of abundant animal resources, the state established a nature reserve in the Jinggang Mountain in 1981, which covers an area of 16.6 square kilometers; in 1982, the Jinggang Mountain was listed as a national key scenic area and historic site.

★ Shao Mountain

The Shao Mountain belongs to Xiangtan City. It is 100 kilometers away from Changsha.

It is a place with bright mountains and graceful water. It has been a secluded Xanadu till the modern times. The great man Mao Zedong was born and spent his youth here.

 The Shao Mountain is one of the seven two peaks of the ancient southern mountain. It is surrounded by mountains all round. Ridges and peaks stand lofty and erect with verdant pines and cypresses. It is said that there is a “dragon root” hidden among mountain ranges (the ridges are indeed a bit like a dragon bone). Mao Zedong used to put his ox out to fee in the mountains when he was young. In 1994, the Shao Mountain was fixed as a national key scenic area and historic site and at the same time as a revolutionary tradition education base for young people of the whole country. 

The Shao Mountain has been left with many relics of Mao Zedong pursuing his studies, living and engaging in revolutionary activities during his adolescent life. The present-day Shaoshanchong has scenic spots such as the former house of Mao Zedong, the tombs of his parents, Mao ancestral temple, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and South Bank (the place where Mao Zedong pursued his studies as a child), which give people a chance to pay their respects. Moreover, the Dishui (Dripping Water) Cave Scenic Area is also a place you must pay a visit to.

1.2 Karst Landscapes

Karst landscape refers to the carbonate rocks such as the limestones at the surface of the earth, which are formed into all sorts of landform shapes under the dissolution effect of water and carbon dioxide and the accompanying mechanical effect, such as stone shoots, peak cluster, peak forest, doline, swallow hold (sinkhold), underground rivers, caves and uvala, etc. This kind of landform is called “karst” internationally.  

In the development area of karst landform, there are always marvelous spectacles of exotic peaks standing in great numbers and rugged mountains rock. China is one of the nations with relatively fully developed and widely distributed karst landforms in the world. Carbonate rocks have a distribution area of about 1300 thousand square kilometers, which accounts for one seventh of the total area of the country. They are most narrowly distributed in Guangxi, Guizhou and the east of Yunnan. They also have a wide distribution in the east of the two provinces of Hubei and Hunan, Chongqing, Shangdong and Shanxi. Just because of the different conditions of climate and lithology in different places, the development degree of karst varies greatly. Generally karst landform gains most typical development under the damp and hot conditions in the south. The picturesque Guilin landscapes in Guangxi Province and Lunan Stone Forest is the typical representative of this kind of landform.  

The karst landform of China is mainly distributed in the three provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi.

(1) Guilin Landscapes

Guilin Landscapes refer to the karst scenic area along the Lijiang River in the northeast of Guangxi, which stretches from Xing’an in the north to Yangshuo in the south and centers on Guilin. It belongs to the karst peak forest valley and karst isolated plain in landform and is the typical representative of the subtropical karst landform. The main characteristic of the landform is that steep and odd ridges and peaks stand tall and upright on the river bank and flat land, just as the verses goes, “Thousands of peaks go straight up to outer space with flat lands all round.” Among these peaks, there are isolated peaks rising above the ground such as Duxiu Peak, which seems as if a large pillar supporting the sky and standing tall and upright in the center of Guilin City. With a height of more than sixty meters, ancient people titled it as “A pillar Piercing into the Southern Sky”. The Fubo Mountain stand erect beside the river with vigor of winding waves and turning billows round. The lifelike peaks of Guilin are in all shapes. They are like natural sculptures such as elephant nose, flying dragon, warship, lotus, lying Buddha, studying company, pure girl dressing and making up and old peasant doing tillage. Therefore, they mostly name after their images, such as Elephant Nose Mountain, Old Man Mountain, Monkey Mountain, Camel Mountain and Treasure Tower Mountain, etc. The graceful Lijiang River originates from the Miao’er Mountain in the north of Guilin City. It flows through the limestone areas from north to south with an extremely low content of sediment. According to a measure, every ton of water merely contains 67 gram of sediment. Therefore, it is clear, green and transparent. It curves around thousands of peaks and gullies and reflects emerald green peaks in bright and clear water. Taking a boat in the river feels as if traveling in a picture. The caves are serene, elegant and deep. Merely in the urban areas of Guilin, which covers an area of 144 square kilometers, there are unexpectedly more than 300 caves in different sizes, depths and shapes. The most famous ones are Ludi Rock and Qixing Rock. There are a superb collection of beautiful and colorful stalagmites, stalactites, stelae and stone curtains in the cave. Ancient people used the sentences that “there is no mountain without cave; no cave are not odd; all the caves are intercommunicable” to describe the exotic caves of Guilin. At the same time, there are also many human landscapes such as verses and inscriptions of all dynasties in the cave, which add content and pleasure to the tour.

(2) Lunan Stone Forest

The Lunan Stone Forest is situated within in the borders of Lunan County 86 kilometers southeast of Kunming. In Lunan covering a wide area of 350 square kilometers, hundreds of black megaliths standing dark like woods. Some can make a view alone and others are crisscrossed and connected with each other, covering an area of tens of hectares. On the vast winding and heaving fields, exotic rocks rise above the ground, which are irregular, lofty and steep like bamboo shoots after a spring rain scattering about the crisscross paths and farmlands. These stone peaks are in all shapes with superb craftsmanship excelling nature. Hence, they are reputed as “the most marvelous spectacle under heaven”.   

Lunan Stone Forest can be called a wonder in the natural landscape of the world for “serenity and oddity”. It is one of the grandest stone forest scenic areas in the world. There is a saying going around among the tourists home and abroad that “if one has not been to the stone forest, he shouldn’t claim that he has been to Yunnan”. We can see from here the oddity and beauty of the stone forest. The stone forest is the habitat of Sani Nationality. In June 24th of the Chinese calendar of every year, the Sani people gather together in the stone forest to enjoy their own Torch Festival. They will dance and sing all through the night. It has been in fashion for a period and added a beautiful sight to the stone forest.

(3)Zhijin Cave

The Zhijin Cave is located in the west of Guizhou Province. It is a famous karst scenci area and one of the top forty tourist resorts in China. 

The Zhijin Cave belongs to the subtropical humid monsoon climate zone. It is located on the south bank of the Dijie River Valley in the upper reaches of the Wujiang River in our country. The Zhijin Cave is a dry cave at a high position, which is formed when massifs are uplifted and the river cut its way through solution rock mass below under the influence of new tectonic movement. The geological formation takes about 500 thousand years, passing through the early stage of the late Pleistocene Epoch to the Miocene Epoch and the Holoeene Epoch. Becaue of the complicated and changeable geological structure, the cave has the characteristic of multi-layout, multi-stage and mulit-category full development. Large scale, varied shapes and numerous colors are the distinctive characteristics of the Zhijin Cave landscapes.

(4) Leye Dashiwei “Sky-pit Groups”

Dashiwei is located to the north of the Shubacun in Tongle Town, Leye County. It has the largest underground primitive forest in the world. It has a depth of about 613 meters, which ranks the second among large-sized karst funnels of the same kind in the world. It has a length of about 600 meters and a width of about 420 meters. Its cubage reaches 80 million square meters, which also ranks the second in the world. The Dashiwei sky-pit groups are reputed as “the sacred place of karst” in the world. It is the place where upright silos, which blend unique and exotic caves and primitive forests as well as rare animals and plants into one, develop into a landscape that there are caves at the bottom of the natural caves and swift rivers in the caves. Moreover, the rivers are two intersecting underground rivers with one cold and the other hot. In the underground rivers, there are erect and clustering stalagmites, tall and straight stelae supporting the sky, bright and shining stone curtain and stone waterfalls to be found everywhere. With exotic and charming landscapes, the scenic spots are colorful with extraordinary designs and combinations, hence having extremely high ornamental value.  

1.3 Drift-Sand Landscapes

The effect of drift-sand is most lively in arid areas. It is widely distributed in the northwest of our country. The drift-sand landform landscapes, which are formed under the effect of drift-sand, are very widespread in places such as Xinjiang and Gansu, such as wind-erosion pillar, wind-erosion mushroom and all shapes of windy hills. 

(1) Yardang Landform Landscapes

★ Luobubo Yardang Landform

The Area in the north of Luobubo County develops an expanse of “Yardang” wind-erosion landform, which is generally distributed in the east, west and north of Luobubo, of which the “Yardang” landform in the east Luobubo is the most typical. This eroded land with an east-west width of about 35 kilometers and a north-south width of about 100 kilometers covers an area of 3500 square kilometers. These wind-erosion mounds lie in succession like numerous long dragons strolling in the sand sea as far as the eye can see. Some of these mounds are covered with a layer of white halomorphic soil or very thick crystalline salt sometimes; other mounds are white badigeon themselves, which reflect brilliant silvery light as the sun rise in early morning.

★ Demon City

The Demon City is located south of Wubao Town, Hami City. It is 20 kilometers awary from Wubao Town and about 100 kilometers away from Hami City. Since it is enveloped in mystery, people who are not familiar with the topography may have the danger of losing themselves when they are caught in a storm. The Hami Yardang landform stretches from the Camel Peak outside Yandun in the east through the Yamansu iron mine and Dananhu coal mine to Wubao Sha’er Lake and Shisanjianfang. It has a length of about 400 kilometers and a width of about 5 to 10 kilometers. As a special geological environment in Hami, it is formed by long-term natural wind erosion.

You may find those varied shapes of landscapes such as castles, temple halls, Buddhist pagodas, monuments, figures, birds and beasts, dazzling steep cliffs, prismy agate mixed in gravels, pertrified wood to be found every where, fossil plants with fresh branches and leaves in the demon city. Sometimes you may obtain pebbles which are like the dinosaur egg fossils as well as marine fish fossils and bird fossils. When night falls, you may hear wild shrieks and howls sometimes, which will really make your hair stand. Hence, it is called “demon city” by local people.  

Wu’erhe Windy City

The Wu’erhe Windy City is located in the Wu’erhe mine area in the lower reaches of Jiamu River at the northwest edge of Junggar Basin. It is 100 kilometers away from Karamay City in the southwest. The city has a unique wind-erosion landform with bizarre shapes. Hence, the local Mongolians call it “log Haq Sulu”, which means “demon city” in the Mongolian language.

Overlooking the windy city from the distance, you will see a large castle of medieval Europe. Large and small castles stand in great numbers with some high and some low in a picturesque disorder. Owing to millions of years of wind and rain erosion, ravines of different depths are formed at the surface of the earth. The bare rock layer is carved into bizarre shapes by force wind. Some bare its teeth like a monster; some rise high above a dangerous platform with clear-cuts battlements like a castle; some are like pavilions, platforms and storied buildings with eaves; some are like magnificent palace standing firm and proudly. These varied shapes will make thought throng in your minds indeed. The heaving mountain slope is covered with stones of many colors such as blood red, azure blue, white and orange, which seem like beads left by a succuba and to great extent add a mysterious color to the city. The windy city is at the mouth of wind. Hence, it is windy in four seasons here. Whenever the wind blows, it carries sand and drives stone. It will be dark all round with dim shadows. The arrow-like air currents shuttle and whirl among exotic rocks and mountains, making a shrill sound like the wolves and tigers howling as well ghosts and gods crying. If it happens in a quiet place on a night with dim moonlight, it will be more horrible.    

(2)Sand Forest Landscapes

The sand forest is mainy distributed in the southwest and northwest areas of China. 

★ Yunnan Luliang Colored Sand Forest

Luliang Colored Sand Forest is located at the foot of Five Peaks (Wufeng) Mountain about 145 kilometers east of Kunming City and 18 kilometers southeast of Luliang County. It is a marvelous spectacle of great nature newly discovered in recent years. The scenic area covers about six square kilometers. The sand layer, which originally contains multi-color mineral components, develops into unique sand forest landscapes by long-term weathering and rain-wash. The sand forest takes red, yellow, white, green and black as the main colors. The sand pillar, sand peaks, sand walls, sand ditches heave and vary in height. A short sand pillar is merely several meters high while a high one is as high as more than thirty meters. In the sunshine and moonlight, it will produce different ornamental effects from different angles. When tourists stroll among them, they will all regard it as an eye-opener.    

(3) Desert Landscapes

Desert is mainly distributed in the northwest of China.

★ Singing Sand Mountain

The Singing Sand Mountain, which is located about five kilometers south of Dunhuang City, stretches from the top of Mogao Cave cliff in the east and borders on Danghe Reservior in the west. The whole mountain is formed by the accumulation of yellow sand in the shape of thin rice grain. When the force wind blows, the sand mountain will make a loud sound while when the gentle breeze sways, the sound is like that of pipe, string and traditional stringed and woodwind instruments. Hence, the mountain acquired its name of “Singing Sand Mountain”. The Singing Sand Mountain has two peculiar qualities: if a man slides down the mountain, the sand below his feet will whine; the footprints people leave when they climbing the mountain during day-time will disappear without a trace in the next day.  

The singing sand doesn’t sing itself. But a sound will be produced when a man slides down the surface of the sand. It is a marvelous spectacle in natural phenomena. It is reputed as “a strange sound between heaven and earth and a melodious movement in nature” by someone. When you slide down the steep sand slope from the summit of the mountain, the flowing sand will look like brocades hanging on the sand slope and also like a group of golden dragons flying swiftly upward, and the song of sand will keep in pace, which first sounds like that of pipe, string and traditional stringed and woodwind instruments, then like bells and chime stones singing together, and lastly like golden bell singing together with endless roar. 

Tips

1. After getting to Dunhuang, you may take a special bus for the Singing Sand Mountain.

2. Tourists may climb the mountai, slide on the sand barefoot, ride a camel up the sand dunes, play sand skateboarding, try para gliding and hang gliding, take a sand bath and therapy in the scenic area, all of which are full of sentiments. The best time for traveling in the Singing Sand Mountain and the Crescent Spring is at dusk and towards evening. 

3. You had better stay in Dunhuang for two nights. Since it is not easy to pay a visit to it, it is best to spend one day to appreciate the Mogao Cave.

★ Badanjilin Desert

The famous Badanjilin Desert covers a total area of 47 thousand square kilometers. It is the fourth largest desert in the world and the third largest deserts in our country. The area within the borders of our country is 35 thousand square kilometers. The Badanjilin Desert is noted for the five wonders of “exotic peaks, singing sand, lakes, holy springs and Buddhist temples.” The altitude generally ranges from 1100 meters to more than 1600 meters. The relative height of sand peaks ranges from 200 meters to 500 meters. The area of high sand mountains takes up 61% that of the whole desert. In the hinterland of the desert, there are continuous huge and compound sand dunes regularly arranged and high peaks standing in great numbers like huge waves churned by Ground Sea, which is rather spectacular vigor. The summit of the sand mountain is meandering like the edge of a knife. There are crisscrossing sand ravines and steep sand walls. Its highest sand peak Bilutu Peak, which has an altitude of 1617 meters and a relative height of more than 500 meters, is the highest peak of the sand mountains in the world. It is more than 70 meters higher than the highest peak of the Sahara Desert. Hence, it was popularly called “the Everest Peak of Deserts in the world”. The Badanjilin Desert is the largest singing sand area in the world. The whole central zone is covered with singing sand mountains with a relative height of 200 meters to 500 meters. The singing sand sounds like thunder and also like the roar of a group of fighter planes, which is heavy, dull and far-reaching, reaching as far as more then ten li. Hence, it is reputed as “the kingdom of singing sand in the world”. The Badanjilin Desert has 113 known lakes, which is reputed as “one thousand lakes in the desert”. These lakes are in all shapes with greatly different landscapes.

The development and construction of the world-level exploration and tourism base in the Badanjilin Desert have attracted increasingly more attention at home and abroad.

★ Tenggeli Desert

The Swan Lake of the Tenggeli Desert is located at the east edge of the Tenggeli Desert. It has a north-south length of about 1500 meters and an east-west width of about 500 meters. It is about 35 kilometers away from the Moon Lake in the north and south, and is at the same distance from Bayanhaote in the east and west. These three form an isoceles triangle with an obtuse angle. The Swan Lake covers an area of about 3.2 square kilometers. It has a vast desert all round with heaving sand dunes and surging sand billows, which is rather an exotic, grand and spectacular sight and makes one relaxed and happy. The Swan Lake and the Moon Light with one small and the other large is an outstanding pair of sisters among more than 190 lakes in the Tenggeli Desert. They set off against each other but have their own charm, thus attracting multitudes of tourists. 

★ Takelamagan Desert

The Takelamagan Desert, which is called “the sea of death”, is located in the hinterland of the Talimu Basin that covers an area of 560 thousand square kilometers. The whole desert has an east-west length of about more than 1000 kilometers and a north-south width of about more than 400 kilometers. It covers a total area of 337600 square kilometers. The Takelamagan Desert, accounting for 47.3 % of the total area of the country’s deserts, is the largest desert in China and also one of the seven largest deserts in the world. Since it is located in the center of the Euroasian continent and is surrounded by high mountains all around, the Takelama Desert is full of bizarre hallucinatory and mysterious color. The changing and diversified shape of the desert, the rich sand plants, which is resistant to salinized drift-sand, the arid climate with evaporation exceeding rainfall, the lakes which is still existent in the deserts, the oasis which passes through the sand sea, the rivers which slip into the desert, and the wildlife, flying birds and insects surviving in the desert, especially the silk road relics buried deep in the sand sea, villages of remote antiquity, underground petroleum and many kinds of metal mines , are all shrouded in the marvelous dense fog and remain to be explored by human beings. 

1.4 Loess Landscapes

The loess of China is mainly distributed in the arid and half arid regions of the north. It is located between 34º and 45º north latitude and stretches from east to west in the shape of belt. The west and north side of the loess area is connected with the deserts. From northwest to southeast, the order is the Gobi, desert and loess in a gradual transition. The northwestern part, which is close to deserts, has sand with relatively thick granularity. The more you travel southeastward, the farther you are away from the desert and the thinner the granularity of loess gradually becomes. 

The north of Shanxi Province in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, the middle and east of Gansu Province, the south of Ningxia Province and the west of Shanxi Province are the regions where loess are most narrowly distributed in our country. It has not only a wide distribution, but also a large thickness (the largest one reaches 200 meters). Because of high topography in this area, the famous Loess Plateau is formed.

★ Shanxi Wuzhangyuan

The Wuzhangyuan Scenic Area is located 25 kilometers south of Qishan County. It is 130 kilometers away from Xi’an in the east and 56 kilometers away from Baoji in the west. It covers an area of about 50 square kilometers.

Wuzhangyuan, which is a lute-shaped loess tableland, is originally as high as more than 40 zhang. It has a south-north length of 80 li and an east-west width of 3 li. It lies at the back of the Qin Range in the south and overlooks the Wei River in the north. It faces the sky on three sides and is surrounded by water on two sides. Hence, strategically located and difficult of access, it was a communications center controlling the path from Guanzhong to Bashu (present-day Sichuan) in ancient times and also a critical place in a war. In 234 A.D., Zhuge Liang, a minister of the Han Dynasty, led an army out of the Xiegu Valley to strike the Wei State. He stationed his troops in Wuzhangyuan, ready for a fight with Sima Yi, a Wei general, on the north bank of the Wei River. The two sides were locked in a stalemate for more than one hundred days. Because of overwork, Zhuge Liang eventually died of illness in the military camp of Wuzhangyuan in August of the same year.

★ Yunnan Yuanmou Soil Forest

Yunnan Soil Forest has a relatively wide distribution. Of them the soil forests in Banguo and Xiaolei Mountain of Yuanmou County and those in Yongde County are the best of all. It ranks with the Shishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest and the Lunan Stone Forest as “the three forests of Yunnan”. Yuanmou Soil Forest is located within the borders of Yuanmou County. It is about 12 to 38 kilometers away from the county town. It is a place you must pay a visit to.

Once you step into the soil forest with designs of all shapes, you will feel as if entering another novel and strange world. Some soil pillars are like prick or sword, sticking into the blue sky; some are like stately warriors all kitted out for a battle; some are like beautiful girl staring into the distance; some soil pillars have clustering weeds with wild flowers at long intervals on the top; some sandstones are piled up with bare bodies…… Of course, all shapes of soil pillars are distributed mixedly. Hence, the soil forest develops colorful and constantly changing postures, thus being acclaimed as the peak of perfection. 

However, as long as you go deep into the soil forest, you will find the soil forests are mostly composed of grains of sand and clay. When the quartz and agates mixed in the soil pillar manifest themselves, they will give out extraordinary luster in the sun.

Tips

1、 Traffic:Tourists may take a shuttle bus heading for Yuanmou at the Kunming Coach Station. The trip takes about five hours; they may also take a shuttle bus at the Chuxiong Passenger Transport Station. The trip covers about 140 kilometers. It takes four hours to get to Yuanmou County. After getting to the county, tourists may take a horse-drawn cart or ride a horse at the county to get there. The fare is about 6 to 30 yuan.

2、Admission fee:12 yuan

3、 Boarding and lodging:There are hotels in the Soil Forest Scenic Area and also tents for hire

★ Tibet Zhada Soil Forest

In Zhada County, which is located between the Gangdese Mountain and the Himalayas Mountain, there is a soil wilderness forest with grand and extensive vigor along the Elephant Spring (Xiangquan) River Valley. This is the famous “Zhada Soil Forest”. Zhada Soil Forest belongs to the secondary structural landform of the Quaternary Period. It is an extremely unique plateau landscape formed by long-term river erosion of the basin of the ancient great lake and the riverbed of the great river. It scatters about the whole Zhada County. Within the range of several hundred square kilometers, the “forest”, which is arranged in a disorder with some high and some low, is in all shapes. In the psychedelic light and shade of the plateau, it seems as if a mythical world. Below the high and flat ridges, the mountains are in neat formation with some like arhats standing in a solid line and some like row upon row of castles, which is different in approach but equally satisfactory in result with the Colorado Grand Valley in the west of America. In the sunglow and setting sun, the mountain lines with orderly bright and dark are golden in color, and lifelike and splendid in appearance. The soil forest along the Lion Spring (Shiquan) River and the neighboring collapsed and abandoned Buddist pagoda are mysterious and solemn in the twilight. In the Zhada Soil Forest, there are many cave sites of human beings in an early stage and widely distributed rock paintings. Thus, someone thinks that Qionglong ErKa, the capital city of the ancient Xiangxiong State in the legend of the Tibetan Bon religion, is located in Qionglong Area within the borders of present-day Ali Zhada.

1.5 Volcano Landscapes

The volcano activities of China can be divided into two belts: the volcanoes in the east activity belt includes the Five-linked-great-pool Lake volcanoes, the Changbai Mountain volcano, Datong volcanoes, Datun volcanoes and volcanoes in the areas such as Leiqiong of Guangdong Province, Anhui Province and Jiangsu Province; the volcanoes in the east activity belt includes Tengchong volcanoes and volcanoes in areas such as Xinjiang Province.

★ Changbai Mountain Heavenly Pool

The Changbai Mountain Heavenly Pool, which is also called Baitou Mountain Heavenly Pool, is situated in the southeast of Jilin Province. It is a boundary lake between China and Korea. The north part of the lake is within the borders of Jilin Province. The Changbai Mountain is located at the borders of China and Korea. With vast and grand vigor, it has abundant resources and very beautiful sceneries. In remote antiquity, the Changbai Mountain was originally a volcano.  

Though the Heavenly Pool is surrounded by peaks and merely has a height of 2194 meters above sea level, it is the highest lake at the mouth of a volcano in our country. It is an oval on the whole with a north-south length of 4.85 kilometers and an east-south width of 3.35 kilometers. It has an area of 9.82 square kilometers and a perimeter of 13.1 kilometers. The lake has very deep water. Its average depth reaches 204 meters. The deepest place is 373 meters deep. Hence, it is the deepest lake in our country. Its total capacity reaches about 2 billion cubic meters. 

★ Datong Volcanoes

It is one of the Quaternary volcanoes in our country. At present there are more than thirty known volcanoes, which are mainly distributed in the east of the Datong Basin, which can be further divided into the four districts of the east, the west, the south and the north. The east district is located in Xubao Town and the Holy Spring Temple or whereabouts. The west district refers to Zhuayuan and the north Xiping area. The south district is to the south of the Sanggan River. The north district is the mountain to the north of Datong City.

TipsTourists may take the bus route 201 at the railway station. The destination is Datong County. 

1.6 Earthquake Relic Landscapes

★ Tangshan Earthquake Relics

At 03: 42: 53, early in the morning, July 28th of 1976, an earthquake measuring MS 7.8 occurred in Tangshan City. Houses collapsed; chimneys broke off; the ground was distort; sand was cast and water sprang up; highways crazed; rails were bended; oil derricks were tilt; riverway were blocked. The industrial city with a history of one hundred years was razed to the ground in a split second. The severity of the situation of the disaster and the greatness of the losses caused by the disaster were rare in the history. After the earthquake, with the approval of the State Department, seven earthquake relics were preserved: Tangshan Steel Company Club, the Office Building of Tangshan Porcelain Factory, the Cast Steel Workshop of the Tangshan Locomotive and Car Factory, the Ground Displacement in the Courtyard of Tangshan Tenth Middle School of, the Displacement of Tree Line on the Jixiang Road, the Garage of the Food Company on the Tangbo Road, the Library Building in the Hebei Institute of Mingand Metallurgy (present-day Hebei Institute of Technology), of which the well preserved earthquake relics is the Library Building in Hebei Institute of Technology. 

★ Kunlun Mountain Earthquake Relics

After the fourth surveying trip of China Earthquake Administration to the relics of a violent earthquake measuring MS 8.1, which occurred to the west of the mouth of Kunlun Mountain in Ge’ermu in November 14th of 2001, experts on earthquake claimed that this earthquake had developed a geological landscape which is rare in the world.

The earthquake occurred at a large-sized structural belt, namely, Kunlun Mountain structural belt, inside the Tibetan Plateau. It is the earthquake of the highest magnitude grade in our country for the past fifty years and also the highest in the whole world since the 21st century. The phenomena such as the fracture of the earth’s surface formed by the earthquake have been the best preserved, grandest and newest earthquake relics so far, which is the sole one of China and rare in the world. The rarest phenomenon of this earthquake is the earthquake fracture zone formed at the surface of the earth, which has a total length of about more than 400 kilometers. The fracture zone is located at the south foot of the Kunlun Mountain. The west end is to the west of the Bukadaban Peak and the east end is 70 kilometers east of the Qing-Zang Highway. The width of severely distorted surface zone ranges from tens of meters to thousands of meters. The earthquake swells are in a picturesque disorder like a camel caravan walking in the desert. The ground fissures formed by the earthquake are unfathomably deep and exhibit the marvelous landscapes of great nature.

Since the earthquake fracture zone near the mouth of the Kunlun Mountain along the Qing-Zang Highway is relatively close to the highway, its marvelous and grand sight attracts a large number of drivers and tourists passing by to halt and appreciate every day.

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