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Exploring the Vibrant Colors of China: 10 Recommended Scenic Spots to Visit in Autumn

Sep 28,2023 | Tom


China, with its rich history, diverse culture, and spectacular landscapes, offers a mesmerizing experience during the autumn season. Each year, as the temperatures become milder and nature transforms, travelers have the opportunity to witness stunning fall foliage and immerse themselves in beautiful scenery. In this article, we will introduce 10 recommended scenic spots in China for foreigners to visit during the autumn season. Furthermore, we will discuss important preparations and notes to keep in mind before embarking on your journey.

Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

Image result for Kanas Lake, Xinjiang Image result for Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

Nestled in the pristine Altay Mountains of Xinjiang, Kanas Lake mesmerizes visitors with its ethereal beauty during autumn. As the deciduous forests surrounding the lake turn into kaleidoscopes of red, orange, and gold, the reflections on the tranquil turquoise water create a scene of unrivaled magnificence. Explore the enchanting Hemu Village, visit the legendary Moon Bay, and take a boat ride to witness the magical colors mirrored in the crystal-clear lake.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

Image result for Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan Image result for Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan

Nestled in the heart of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. During autumn, the valley transforms into an otherworldly landscape adorned with stunning hues. The colorful forests, shimmering lakes, and cascading waterfalls complement the snow-capped peaks in the distance, creating a visual spectacle that seems straight out of a painting.

Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve, Hunan

Image result for Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve Image result for Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve

Located in Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie is a place of ethereal beauty that inspired the floating mountains in the movie "Avatar." In autumn, the foliage of the countless trees in the vast Wulingyuan Scenic Area transforms into a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. The misty landscapes, towering sandstone pillars, and lush flora all contribute to a spellbinding experience in this natural wonderland.

Longji Terraces, Guangxi Province

Image result for Longji Terraces, Guangxi Province Image result for Longji Terraces, Guangxi Province

In the terraced fields of Longji , located in Guangxi Province, autumn brings about a picturesque transformation. As the rice plants turn golden, the cascading terraces become a mesmerizing sight. The terraces, resembling giant staircases harmoniously integrated into the mountainous landscape, offer a breathtaking panoramic view that is best admired during sunrise and sunset.

Huangshan, Anhui

Image result for Huangshan, Anhui Image result for Huangshan, Anhui

Regarded as one of China's most iconic mountains, Huangshan , or the Yellow Mountain, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. As autumn arrives, the forested peaks become adorned with vibrant colors, creating a surreal atmosphere. Wander along the iconic pathways, capture the floating sea of clouds, and marvel at the sunset painting the sky with warm hues. Huangshan is a testament to nature's grandeur.

Shangri-La, Yunnan

Image result for Shangri-La, Yunnan Image result for Shangri-La, Yunnan

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayan mountains in southwestern China's Yunnan province, Shangri-La is a place that seems like it stepped right out of a fairytale. This idyllic region is dotted with stunning alpine landscapes, serene lakes, and lush forests. In autumn, the mountains come alive with a blaze of colors as forests of golden larch trees paint the slopes. The picturesque town of Dukezong, with its Tibetan-style architecture and vibrant local culture, adds another layer of charm to the Shangri-La experience.

Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve, Sichuan

Image result for Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve, Sichuan

Image result for Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve, Sichuan

Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve , located in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, is often referred to as "nature's last pure land." This hidden gem is a sanctuary of snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and vast grasslands. In autumn, the reserve undergoes a stunning transformation as colorful foliage blankets the landscape. Hiking through this picturesque environment, with the backdrop of towering peaks like Mount Xiannairi, Mount Yangmaiyong, and Mount Xianuoduoji, is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Ejina Desert Polar Forest

Image result for Ejina Desert Polar Forest

Image result for Ejina Desert Polar Forest

In the remote Ejina Desert in Inner Mongolia, lies a paradoxical sight that fascinates all who visit - the Ejina Desert Polar Forest. This extraordinary phenomenon sees sand dunes covered in verdant green trees, creating a surreal landscape reminiscent of a mirage. During autumn, the leaves of these poplar trees turn a dazzling shade of golden yellow, adding a touch of magic to the already otherworldly atmosphere. Exploring the desert on camelback and witnessing the juxtaposition of these lush forests against the sand dunes is an unforgettable experience.

Xiangshan Park(Fragrant Hill Park), Beijing

Image result for Xiangshan Park(Fragrant Hill Park), Beijing

Image result for Xiangshan Park(Fragrant Hill Park), Beijing

Just outside the bustling capital city of Beijing, lies Xiangshan Park , a tranquil retreat famous for its stunning autumn foliage. As the leaves on the maple and smoke trees change color, the park is transformed into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. Climbing the park's peaks offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding sea of fall colors.

Wuyuan Villages, Jiangxi

Image result for Wuyuan Villages, Jiangxi

Image result for Wuyuan Villages, Jiangxi

Located in eastern China's Jiangxi province, the villages of Wuyuan are a collection of picturesque hamlets that showcase the charm of rural China. Famed for its ancient architecture, intricate woodwork, and preserved cultural heritage, Wuyuan becomes a fairytale setting during autumn. The surrounding fields and hills are adorned with golden rice terraces, while ancient ginkgo and maple trees line the streets, creating a postcard-worthy scene that feels like stepping into a painting.

Travel Tips Before the China Journey

When a foreigner travels to China, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Visa Requirements: Check the visa requirements for your nationality and ensure that you have obtained the appropriate visa before traveling to China. The visa application process may vary depending on your purpose of visit, such as tourism, business, or study. It is essential to plan and apply for your visa well in advance.

  • Passport Validity: Ensure that your passport has at least six months of validity remaining beyond your planned departure date from China. Some airlines may even require a longer passport validity period, so it's best to check the specific requirements.

  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Medical care in China can be expensive for foreigners, so having adequate insurance is important for peace of mind.

  • Language: While English is spoken in some tourist areas, the majority of China's population primarily communicates in Mandarin Chinese. It is advisable to learn some basic Chinese phrases or carry a translation app to help with communication, especially in non-touristy areas.


  • Currency: China's currency is the Chinese Yuan (CNY) or Renminbi (RMB). Familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates and find out the most convenient ways to access cash or make payments, such as through ATMs or using mobile payment apps like Alipay or WeChat Pay.

  • Internet and VPN: Access to certain websites and social media platforms may be restricted or censored in China. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass these restrictions and access the internet freely. Ensure that you download and set up a VPN on your devices before entering China. For networking, you can bring a Portable Mi-Fi or just get one China eSIM data plan , which means you can access the internet like the locals and it is cost-effective.

For eSIM way, you'd better check your device is eSIM-compatible***

  • Health and Safety: Check if any specific vaccinations are recommended or required before traveling to China. It's essential to stay updated about any health advisories or warnings from reliable sources. It's also wise to take necessary precautions to protect yourself from common travel-related illnesses and practice general safety measures.

  • Cultural Etiquette: Research and familiarize yourself with the cultural norms and etiquette in China. Learn how to greet locals, dress appropriately for different occasions and respect local customs and traditions. Respect for cultural norms goes a long way in ensuring a positive and smooth travel experience.

  • Access to Information: The internet in China may have restrictions on accessing certain websites and social media platforms. Familiarize yourself with Chinese apps, such as WeChat and Baidu Maps , which are widely used for messaging, navigation, and local information.

  • Local Laws and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations of China to avoid any legal issues. Pay attention to rules regarding photography, public behavior, transportation, and the import/export of goods.

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