Huangshan (Yellow Mountains)
Huangshan, located in the Anhui Province, is high-altitude mountain range featuring granite peaks that have eroded into incredibly vertical spires and cliffs. Much of the range is accessed via trails located on top of the mountains offering viewers the unique opportunity to look downward onto the dramatic landscape.
For over 1,500 years, Huangshan’s majesty has been a central source of inspiration of “shan shui,” the famous style of Chinese landscape painting depicting epic, layered natural scenes and traditionally associated with refined, scholarly tastes. Some of the most famous painters in Chinese history learned to create complex and brilliant works through careful observation of this mountain range.
Huangshan is known for a frequently occurring phenomenon known as the “Sea of Clouds,” where a vast blanket of low-lying fog sits around the base of the range, permitting only its tallest peaks to pierce through. The fog is produced when warm and humid air from the sea to the east, combines with the high peaks, deep valleys, and dense vegetation of Huangshan. The Sea of Clouds is almost exclusively observed in the winter and early spring, typically between November and May.
Guilin/Yangshuo & The Li River
Situated in the northeast of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin and the greater Yangshuo County boast thousands of verdant karst hills and mountains throughout the countryside. The hills are particularly striking given their frequent presence in generally flat farming land. These mounds are a central symbol of the rural Chinese imagination and even featured on the country’s paper currency.
Ample rain, fog, and mist irrigates the Gulin karst mountains and allow dense forests to grow around them. Much of this forest is bamboo, which functions as a highly practical and utilitarian tree used in construction and transportation throughout the region.
Renowned the world over for its soaring rock spires, Zhangjiajie is a geopark located in the Hunan Province of central China. There are over 3,000 stone peaks and pillars located in the astonishing park, 1,000 of which are more than 200 meters high. The eroded sandstone landscape, as well as its many lakes, forests, natural bridges, river valleys, and narrow gorges, have inspired hundreds of years Chinese landscape painting and artistic imagination.
The winters here are cold and wet, and the frost and ice generated freeze the trees and rock. In these conditions, the landscape transforms into a dreamlike blanket of white, as illustrated by the pictures below.