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The top scenic spots for elderly travelers to visit this spring

updated: 2010-04-02

"Jiangnan" small towns

"Jiangnan" means, literally, south of the Yangtze River, but in its purest sense it refers to a swath of land in southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang provinces, bracketed by Suzhou and Hangzhou, the proverbial twin paradises.

Characterized by waterways, arch bridges, stone-paved trails, and old houses with carved wooden windows and tiled roofs, the 'Jiangnan' small towns are straight out of a Chinese brush painting.

These towns are a photographer's dream destination, as every turn throws up a scene crying out to be photographed, even by the clumsiest shutterbug.

Wuyuan in Jiangxi

Wuyuan located in the northeast of Jiangxi province remains untouched by modernization and urbanization.

Its idyllic scenery of hills covered in rape, green farmland, and villages lying along small rivers, has been crowned the "most beautiful countryside in China".

Spring is the best time to visit Wuyuan, as the fields are a vibrant sea of cole flowers. Aside from the lovely scenery Wuyuan is also popular for its cultural heritage.

It was also home to some of China's top scholars, including Zhu Xi, a Confucius master in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and Zhan Tianyou, China's first railway engineer.

Tropical haven: Hainan Island

The picturesque island of Hainan enjoys a tropical climate ranging from 16 degrees during the winter months to mroe than 30 degrees in the summer, and the sun, surf, sandy beaches, and palms, have made it famous as the "Oriental Hawaii".

But there is more to the island than beach life and those who prefer cultural pursuits to sunbathing can enjoy the culture and customs of the island's minorities as well as its many historical sites.

One popular attraction is the Ends of the Earth, a beach on the southern coast dotted with large round boulders.

Although the name comes from the fact that it was a place of exile and imprisonment around 1,000 years ago, and those who lived here were cut off from civilization, the Ends of the Earth is bustling these days.

The Yanoda Rain Forest Cultural Tourism Zone, opened in 2008, is another must-see.

Mountains and sea: Fujian

Fujian, lying between mountains and the sea, is a uniquely favored place.It has a sub-tropical climate, with no distinctive difference between seasons, and a mean annual temperature of 17-21 C.

The verdant Wuyi Mountain rising in the north of Fujian is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and is famous for its peaks.

In fact, more than 80 percent of Fujian is mountains and hills, which means spectacular views and photogenic terraced fields.

Other famous tourist destinations in Fujian include the piano island of Gulang, the holy pilgrimage to Mazu, and the large, fortified earth buildings of Hakka Tulou, another UNESCO World Heritage site.

There is also the magnificent Zhangzhou Coastal Volcano National Geology Park, with its volcanic outlet in the shape of the eight fortune telling diagrams.

Located in the area between Longhai and Zhangpu, it covers an area of about 100 square kilometers and is unique in China.

Mountains in Guangdong

Located to the northeast of Shaoguan city in Guangdong Province, Danxia Mountain, Dinghu Mountain, Luofu Mountain and Xiqiao Mountain are the four famous mountains of Guangdong provinces.

Danxia Mountain, is called the "red rays of the sun" in Chinese, because of its steep red cliffs and Luofu Mountain, was known as the Grotto Heaven of Vermillion Brightness and Shining Perfection to Daoists.

Dinghu Mountain is known as the "green gem on the tropic of Cancer" and it has been a tourist attraction and a sacred site for Buddhists since ancient times.

Xiqiao Mountain is an extinct volcano, with numerous cliffs and hollows and spectacular waterfalls, and many scenic spots such as White Cloud Hollow with its many temples and monasteries.

 

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