Top 10 destinations of China in the autumn - tracing the most colorful sceneries of the season
2011-09-23China travel Guide
1. Fragrant Hill (香山) of Beijing- red maple leaves
When speak of the autumn, the beautiful red maple leaves of Fragrant Hill in Beijing could not be missed, which is one of the "top 16 new attractions" of the city. During every late autumn, striking red leaves are all over the mountains and except the red maple trees in the hill, there are also Cotinus coggygrias, lacquer trees, sapium discolors…dyed in different shades of red color, as well, beautiful yellow gongko leaves, all of these color together with green pines make the Xiangshan Hill a gorgeous world.
1. Amazing full view of red maple leaves can be enjoyed in a distance, and the best sightseeing site should be the Senyuhu Pavilion (森玉笏峰小亭).
2. The best time to enjoy the maple leaves is the late autumn from mid October to mid November, which is also the most crowded period for tourists; if possible, ordinary days should be chose to avoid the crowds on national vacations and weekends.
2. Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城)- red leaves plus the majestic of the site
To enjoy red leaves, Badaling Great Wall is another great option. In autumn, all the mountains and valleys here show up for the most impressive sights ever seen. After the China’s National Day holiday, some red and orange colors of the surrounding vegetation start to take on. At the top of this section, a broad view of a colorful autumn of dye on both sides of the Great wall just enhances the majestic and magnificent view of this site. Hiking on the Great Wall in the colors in a cooler temperature is definitely a rather pleasant experience of the season.
Tip: For hiking this section of Great Wall, comfortable clothes and shoes are necessary; sun protection is also needed.
3. Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟)- a fairyland in autumn
Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province is a key national natural reserve that listed into the world heritage sites with five wonders, colorful forest is one of which. Owing to the unique ecosystem and a temperate climate in the area, autumn is Jiuzhaigou Valley's most intoxicate season with a riots of colors mirroring in the bright blue waters reflecting the clear blue sky and bright white clouds. Cordially crowned as a fairyland on earth, the valley is an authentic enormous color kingdom with its highlight- the Wuhua Lake (五花海, colorful lake), which is the proud and essence of the valley that blended light yellow, blackish green, mazarine, dark blue … into a single water area.
4. Kanas Lake (喀纳斯)- a wonderland of the heaven
Some people say that only in Kanas of Altay that an authentic autumn scenery can be attainable. Implies by its name kanas in Mongolian, it is a "lake in the valley"; surrounded by the Altai Mountains forest zones, it is a paradise for spending vacations. Kanas Lake in the autumn is just like a wandering viridis jade belt zigzagging in mountain ridges or optionally stretching by the grasslands dotted with blocks of log cabins and local traditional houses. It is amazing that thick white birchs and cathay poplars covered the lakeside turn from green to the yellow, and then to the red by the gentle autumn winds. At dusk, everything here is shrouded in golden and smoke is spiralling up from kitchen chimneys make the lake tenderer waiting for the returned shepherd Kazaks. Such beautiful sceneries of Kanas are labeled as "Oriental Switzerland Scenery".
5. Bashang Grassland (坝上草原)- scenery within many beautiful things
If the red maple leaves is the sole view of autumn in your mind, then the Bashang Grassland in Hebei Province will offer you more. Enjoy a laudatory title as Imperial Hunting Ground and a Magnolia Paddock, the Bashang Grassland is a part of Mongolian prairie. Spring here is simply gorgeous, summer is full of vitality, winter is a little desolation, and autumn, absolutely, is its prettiest season, presenting a profound landscape painting with blue sky, long white clouds, and the colorful ground floor of cattle and sheep. Tranquility and satisfaction are just the two words for the grassland.
6. Miyaluo of Sichuan (米亚罗红叶景区)- the largest red autumn leaves beauty spot
Miyaluo is located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, northwest of Sichuan Province (just near the Jiuzhaigou Valley and Four Sisters Mountain Scenic Spot). It is a red leaves parkland with largest area (about 180 times larger than that in Fragrant Hill) and most spectacular view in China at present, attracting a multitude of shutterbugs every autumn. The splendid of Miyaluo is embodied in its palette within red, orange, golden yellow discharged from maples, birches… against the background of green pines, cypresses, oriental white oaks …
7. Qixia Mountain (栖霞山) of Nanjing- just gorgeous and brilliant
Qixia Mountain, a rather popular destination with Nanjing families, is located in Qixia Town, 22km northeast of Nanjing City. The mountain resounded in regions south of the Yangtze River by a Qixia Temple, a Buddhist Cave of Southern Dynasty (420-589), a stupa of Sui Dynasty (581-618), as well as its landscape sceneries, especially the maple forest in the late autumn. Entitled as the "first delicate hill of Nanjing" by Emperor Qianlong (1735-1795) of Qing Dynasty (1636-1911), the main peak of the mountain is 286 meters high above sea level. And maples at the mountain gate all covered with red leaves scattered amidst the flowers belts are small and exquisite just like the beaming children in red in the featured Chinese New Year Paintings.
8. West Lake (西湖)- on its most appropriate in good autumn
The beauty of West Lake in Hangzhou goes without saying. "The white lake is flat as a mirror, and it on its most appropriate in good autumn" (万顷湖平长似镜，四时月好最宜秋) is a famous description about the view "the autumn moon over the calm lake" (平湖秋月), one of the top 10 views of West Lake. Hence, autumn is the best season in West Lake to enjoy this view, which is more literary and romantic compare to other views. It is utmost comfort to be seated in a teahouse or liquor shop by the river leisurely watching the moon in the lake, or rafting by the ancient waterways and through arched bridges. The blow gently breeze of this season just make you fresh and relaxed.
9. Lijiang (丽江)- time is lost there
People likes to use lonely to describe the autumn, while Lijiang Ancient Town is the best option to drive away the loneliness as the time is often lost here. People say that it is easy to be absent-minded and slow down your steps in Lijiang. Here, no matter who you are, your will always in a good mood and only think about simple things; everybody is friendly, no quarrels, no fights, just amiable smiles and greetings. Travel in Lijiang, autumn of course is a good choice. Some people come for encountering, some for a romantic story, and some for an inner self, but all of them will leave with some regrets because of their lost time here- a moment that you may wish back again some day.
10. Guilin (桂林)- places of interest everywhere
Thought Guilin in autumn is not that colorful, its elegant waters and hills are beautiful all the seasons, and that in the cool temperature of this season is more delightful. Hills pluck up in diverse poses, clear and green waters of Li River is twists and turns, numerous odd caves houses fantastic rock peaks, all compose the Four Greatest of Guilin. In this cultural city of a over 2000-year history, places of interest are everywhere due to its particular karst landform, changeable Li River and the charming paddy fields by the riverside. In addition, autumn is also the best season to Longsheng for the marvelous Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces as the rice are ripe in this season and the golden color travels continuously along the mountain slope is making a rather grand sight.
---By April (VisitOurChina)