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China’s Top 16 National Parks

China’s Top 16 National Parks

Written by Coco YangUpdated Dec. 13, 2021

Do you love national parks? You probably know the national parks in your own country, like Yellowstone in the U.S., the Lake District in the UK, Uluru in Australia, etc. China has national parks too!

The recent Cop15 held in Kunming, Yunnan Province in October 2021 offered a spotlight on China’s particularly rich biodiversity. Five of China’s national parks were officially established for their preservation importance and spectacular natural landscape.

In this article, we will introduce the top 16 scenic national parks in China for you.

China Great Wall China Great Wall

1. Beijing Great Wall National Park — i.e. Badaling National Forest Park

According to a saying of Chairman Mao, ‘you are not a hero if you have not been to the Great Wall’. The Great Wall is a world wonder and also a symbol of China — a must-visit attraction, especially for first-time China visitors.

The Great Wall spans many city jurisdictions and provinces, but Beijing is the best place to see it. The Great Wall is the most popular attraction in China and Badaling is the most popular section of the Great Wall with 70% of Great Wall visitors. This makes Badaling National Forest Park China’s most popular national park.

However, we don’t often recommend Badaling as it tends to be teeming with Chinese tourists. You can enjoy the Great Wall and scenery of China’s most popular national park with fewer crowds at other popular sections of the Great Wall north of Beijing including Mutianyu, Jiankou, Jinshanling, Simatai, and Juyongguan, with different characters attracting different travelers. They are all in “Beijing Great Wall National Park”.

Mutianyu is the best restored Great Wall section and also the only section with a slideway experience. It is the most popular section for families with children.

Juyongguan’s Great Wall is the most accessibility-friendly section and cars can drive right up to the foot of the Wall. People in wheelchairs can reach the wall easily.

The Jinshanling Great Wall Section, with both restored and wild Wall, is regarded as the most beautiful section, and it is very good for photography. The Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall hike is the most popular hiking route in Beijing Municipality, which takes about 3 hours with only moderate difficulty. After the hiking, you could stay a night in Gubei Water Town with luxury hotels near the Simatai Great Wall, which is the only section equipped for Great Wall night visits.

If you want more adventure, you can challenge yourself to the Jiankou Great Wall hike. It is a totally wild section with an amazing precipitous landscape. Have you ever thought of staying a night on the ancient Great Wall? Then contact us to arrange a camping trip at Jiankou to escape the hassle of the busy city to enjoy the tranquility of nature and the awesomeness of the Great Wall.

  • Suitable for: hiking lovers, Great Wall fans, nature lovers, vacationers
  • Access: 1-3 hours driving from Beijing
  • Best time to visit: all year around but September to early November with comfortable weather and fall foliage on the surrounding mountains
  • Recommended visit time: 1+ days
Recommended Great Wall Tours:
Simatai Great Wall Night Visit Simatai Great Wall Night Visit

2. Giant Panda National Park — the Homeland of Pandas

The giant panda is a species unique to China. Covering the areas of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces, Giant Panda National Park preserves the panda’s natural habitat. This giant national park region encompasses 67 panda reserves, which are home to 1,340 wild giant pandas as well as many other rare animals, such as the Sichuan golden monkey and snow leopards.

Among the panda reserves in the national park, we highly recommend Wolong Nature Reserve and Ya’an Bifengxia Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, because of their large numbers of pandas, beautiful natural environments, and easy access from Chengdu city. Right now, there are 74 pandas in the Wolong base and more than 60 at Bifengxia. Wolong Nature Reserve is the only base where you can see the pandas at night.

Giant panda volunteer programs in the panda bases give you a unique experience with pandas and you will have a chance to feed the pandas, make special cakes for them, etc. Contact us for details about these panda programs.

  • Suitable for: animal lovers, especially panda enthusiasts
  • Access: Wolong is about a 2-hour drive from Chengdu city, Bifengxia is about a 3- hour drive from Chengdu
  • Best time to visit: all year round is fine
  • Recommended visit time: 1+ days
Recommended Giant Panda Tours:
Giant PandaGiant Panda

3. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park — the Real World of “Avatar”

Featuring awesome towering geology and rich wildlife, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a must-see place for nature lovers on a China trip. Yuanjiajie is the most popular part of the national park and it contains the inspiration for the floating rocks in Avatar.

Besides the forest park, you should not miss Tianmen Mountain and the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. It is very challenging and exciting to walk on the world’s longest glass bridge and seeing the bottom of the canyon far below. You can also climb up the 999 steps (‘Heaven-Linking Avenue’) on Tianmen (‘Heaven’s Gate’) Mountain.

Want a non-touristy route? Our 5-Day Zhangjiajie Hiking and Biking Tour for Any Level is a good choice.

Bungee jumping at Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is available. Contact us to arrange an adventure tailored for you.

  • Suitable for: mountain hikers, photograph lovers, Avatar fans, adventurers
  • Access: about a 3-hour flight from Beijing or 2½-hour flight from Shanghai
  • Best time to visit: September and October have cooler temperatures and wonderful fall foliage, but Zhangjiajie is visitable any time of year
  • Recommended visit time: 4 days
Recommended Zhangjiajie Tours:
Yuanjiajie Area Yuanjiajie Area

4. Huangshan National Park — the Legendary Yellow Mountains

Surrounded in myths of ancient immortals, the Yellow Mountains have some bizarrely charming geomorphology. Compact and complex, this National Park has it all in a small area. The Yellow Mountains are famous for their "Four Natural Wonders": the imaginatively-named pines, oddly-shaped rocks, Seas of cloud, and hot springs. Due to the comprehensive cable car network, you can reach popular areas high on the mountains easily. If you want a more challenging experience, you can hike from the foot. The West Sea Grand Canyon is the highlight of a Yellow Mountain Hiking trip.

If you were interested in ancient villages and classical architecture, you should not miss the nearby ancient villages: Hongcun Village, Xidi Village, and Tachuan Village. You can walk or bike among the ancient villages, stay in a typical Hui-style inn, and see how artists turn this small area into a rural paradise on canvas. 

  • Suitable for: mountain hikers, photography lovers, travelers who are interested in legendary Chinese landscapes
  • Access: 3 hours by bullet train from Shanghai or 6½ hours by bullet train from Beijing
  • Best time to visit: April to November for more comfortable weather
  • Recommended visit time: 3 days
Recommended Huangshan Tours:
Seas of cloud on Yellow MountainSeas of cloud on Yellow Mountain

5. Guilin Li River National Park — Karst Landscapes

More of a scenic area, with not much of a national park feel, the Li River National Park has no entrance or fee to enter. It covers the 80-km (50-mile) stretch of river between Guilin and Yangshuo, bounded by classic sheer karst hills, which have inspired many a poem and ink painting. Yellow Cloth Shoal is one of the highlights of the Li River, and it is the landscape on the 20-yuan banknote.

Are you ready for a camera shooting trip? You can get plenty of inspirational shots just in the vicinity of Yellow Cloth Shoal near Xingping Ancient Town.  

Or you can also challenge yourself to an SUP (stand-up paddleboard, i.e. a mini raft) on the Yulong River (a nearby tributary of the Li), take a bamboo raft, have a cycling tour into the countryside, or take an exciting drive with an all-terrain vehicle. If you are hiking lovers, Li River hiking is a must try!

  • Suitable for: hikers, photography lovers, countryside and nature lovers
  • Access: 2-hour flight from Shanghai or 3-hour flight from Beijing
  • Best time to visit: May to October for the comfortable and clear weather
  • Recommended visit time: 1+days
Recommended Guilin Tours:
Li River camera shooting Li River camera shooting

6. Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain National Park — the Holy Land of the Naxi People

As the must-visit attraction of a Lijiang tour, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) is famous for its upland meadows, glaciers, canyons, waterfalls, and snowy peaks. You can take a cable car up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for a fantastic view of the glaciated peak or skip the cable car, hike through the bushes and wade across a little stream to enjoy the exclusive views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that only hikers can.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the holy mountain of the local Naxi people. To know more about Naxi culture and legends, do not miss the “Impression Lijiang” show held daily at the mountain’s foot.

Between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain lies the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. This gorge is considered “the heaven of hiking lovers”. You can see the great gorge, snow-capped mountains on both sides, and discover the best-kept secret of the Jinsha River during a hiking trip.

  • Suitable for: hikers, ethnic culture lovers, mountain scenery lovers
  • Access: 1 hour’s driving from Lijiang
  • Best time to visit: November to April when there is plenty of snow on the summits and the sky is clear
  • Recommended visit time: Tiger Leaping Gorge hike is best done over two days. Take one full day to explore Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Recommended Lijiang Tours:
Jade Dragon Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain

7. Jiuzhaigou National Park — a Picturesque Fairyland

Jiuzhaigou (‘Nine-Village Valley’) National Park is known for its colorful lakes in high-altitude valleys, with waterfalls, snowy peaks, forested slopes, and Tibetan villages. It's a picturesque fairyland. You cannot imagine its natural charm until you have been to Jiuzhaigou!

  • Suitable for: travelers who like scenic mountain hiking, photography lovers
  • Access: a 2-hour flight or 8-hour bus ride from Chengdu
  • Best time to visit: September to October for the fall colors
  • Recommended visit time: 3 days
Recommended Jiuzhaigou Tours:
Jiuzhaigou Valley Jiuzhaigou Valley

8. Potatso National Park — the Secret Land of Shangri-La

As an important part of Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Area, Potatso National Park (Pudacuo National Park) is famous for lush mountains, meadows, lakes, rare animals and Tibetan culture. About a 50-minute drive from downtown Shangri-La, the park contains three main parts: Shudu Lake Scenic Area, Bita Lake Scenic Area, and Militang Alpine Pasture in between. You can reach them by the tourist bus from the park entrance.

Traveling around the park can be quite relaxing if you take the shuttle bus to see each scenic area one by one. Wooden boardwalks along the lakes allow you an easy walk as you take in the beautiful lake views and the surrounding mountain scenery. Or you can take a boat trip on the lakes for a more relaxing scenic experience.

If you want more of a challenge, there are also some short hiking routes in the park. Horse riding is also available in the park.

Route one: Walk from Lourong village to Jieti Waterfall — about 2.2 km (1.4 miles), taking about 50 minutes. You will see beautiful river views alongside the path.

Route two: Shudu Lake North Shore Pier to Tibetan Culture Experience Area — about 3 km (2 miles), taking about 1½ hours. You can see primitive forest and enjoy Tibetan culture during this hiking trip.

  • Suitable for: nature lovers, hikers
  • Access: Shangri-La is about a 6-hour flight from Beijing
  • Best time to visit: May to September has comfortable weather and the alpine meadows are full with blooming wild flowers.
  • Recommended visit time: a half day for the park, but 3 days are suggested for a Shangri-La trip. You can also extend the trip to Lijiang and Meli Snow Mountain, which are both within about 4 hours’ driving.
Recommended Shangri-la Tours:
Potatso National ParkPotatso National Park

9. Wuyi Mountains National Park

Wuyi Mountain (Wuyishan) National Park is located at the junction of Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, including various scenic spots and nature reserves with Wuyi Mountain as the core.

In the national park, you can take a bamboo raft on its Nine Bend Stream to appreciate the different peaks of Mount Wuyi.

You can take a walking tour of the various Buddhist and Taoist temples and nunneries and cliff inscriptions on the mountain to get a sense of its long history and culture.

Do you want to know how the local people “buried” their dead more than 3,000 years ago? You will discover the secret of the hanging coffins at Wuyishan.

If you are a Chinese tea lover, you must have heard of Da Hong Pao (‘Big Red Robe’), one of the famous Wuyishan rock teas. There are only six Da Hong Pao mother trees in the Dahongpao Tea Tree Area. The mother trees have been yielding tea for more than 350 years, and the last picking time was in 2007. Now, you can only see real Dahongpao tea from the mother tree in the National Museum of China in Beijing. The “Impression Da Hong Pao” show is a highlight there showing Chinese tea culture and history in a vivid way.

  • Suitable for: tea lovers, Chinese religion and culture lovers, scenery tourists
  • Access: 3-hour bullet trains from Xiamen
  • Best time to visit: June to August is best time for rafting; September to November offers comfortable temperatures and good conditions for mountain climbing
  • Recommended visit time: 3 days. With easy connections from Xiamen, people usually visit Wuyishan from Xiamen. You can fly to Xiamen then fly to your next destination from Wuyishan.
Recommended Wuyi Mountain Tours:
Wuyi MountainWuyi Mountain

10. Three Rivers’ Source National Park — China’s First National Park

The mesmerizing Three Rivers’ Source (Sanjiangyuan) National Park is located in the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. With an average altitude of more than 4,500 meters, it is truly a park on the roof of the world. As the source of three famous rivers — the Yangtze, Yellow River, and Lancang (Mekong) — Sanjiangyuan’s nicknames include ‘China’s Water Tower’ and ‘Asia’s Water Tower’.

Three Rivers’ Source National Park, including the famous Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve, is China’s first National Park and also the largest national park in the world, with an area larger than Britain’s. It has abundant biodiversity and travel draws, featuring Tibet culture and customs, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, wild animals, ancient forests, highland wetlands, and lakes.

May is the best time to watch the Tibetan antelopes’ migration. Tens of thousands of pregnant Tibetan antelopes pass under the Qinghai-Tibet Highway (through special migration tunnels) to Hoh Xil to give birth.

To protect the environment and the homeland of the wildlife, most parts of Sanjiangyuan Park are forbidden for tourists. However, if you take a train to Tibet, you will have a chance to see the amazing views of this roof of the world park, and trains pass the famous Tanggula Snow Mountain (source of the Yangtze) and Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve. Contact us for more on Tibet train travel.

  • Suitable for: adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, animal watchers, biological study
  • Access: about a 10-hour drive from Xining
  • Best time to visit: June to August, the rest of the year might be too cold
  • Recommended visit time: 3+ days
RecommendedTibet Train Tours:
Hoh Xil National Nature ReserveHoh Xil National Nature Reserve

11. Mount Lu National Park — One of the Birthplaces of Chinese Civilization

Nestled west of China’s largest lake Poyang Lake in, with the Yangtze River to the north, Mount Lu (Lushan) is one of the “spiritual centers” of China and a popular tourist honeypot, known for its spectacular scenery and history.

There are many famous attractions on the mountain: White Deer Cavern Academy (白鹿洞书院) — one of the most important academies in ancient China, the Immortal Caverns (仙人洞), the Five Old Men Peaks (五老峰), the Three Layer Springs (三叠泉) — the most famous rushing waterfall in Lushan, Luling Lake (芦林湖), Meilu Outhouse (美庐别墅)… You will also find many Buddhist and Taoist temples there.

Mount Lu is known as the ‘Summer Capital’, because many Chinese leaders spent their summers on the mountain from the 1930s, because Lushan’s summer is cooler than many other places.

From the late 19th century to the 1970s, many differently styled villas were built on the mountain around Guling Town. Now, there are 636 villas there, making Mountain Lu a ‘World Architecture Museum’. The most famous one is Meilu Outhouse.

Guling Town functions as the tourist center for Mountain Lu with its many hotels, restaurants, and shops. You can also go to various attractions around the mountain using shuttle buses from the town.

Lushan has been a famous tea town since ancient times. The world-famous Lushan Clouds and Mist Tea is grown on Mount Lu.

  • Suitable for: mountain hikers, summer resort seekers, Chinese religion lovers, architecture enthusiasts
  • Access: about a 2-hour drive from Nanchang City
  • Best time to visit: July to September, when the average temperature is around 17°C (63°F), it is a good place to escape the heat and there is a greater chance of seeing a sea of clouds
  • Recommended visit time: 1–3 days

You can visit Mount Lu with other attractions in Jiangxi Province, such as Wuyuan Ancient Town, about 3½ hours’ driving away, and the famous Jingdezhen, about 3 hours’ driving away.

RecommendedTours:
Mount LuMount Lu

12. Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park — Homeland of the World's Largest Cat

Featuring thousands of rare flora and fauna species, Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park is the homeland of Northeast China’s tigers (Siberian tigers) and leopards.

The park covers parts of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces along the China-Russia and China - North Korea borders. The Siberian tiger is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and it is the biggest cat in the world. According to the latest data in 2021, there are 50 wild Siberian tigers and 60 leopards in the park.

The best place to see Siberian tigers is the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, owning more than 1,300 Siberian tigers. For a stimulating tour and getting close to the big cats, it is recommended that you watch them from a thrilling tourist bus ride with a steel cage around the whole bus and feed them from the bus. The tigers will roam around you, and they may place their front paws on the steel cage, asking for food from you.

Winter (December–February) is the best time to visit the Siberian Tiger Park and other attractions around Harbin, such as Sun Island and the Ice and Snow World, where the yearly Ice and Snow Festival will be held. At that time, the whole park is covered by the thick snow, and the colorful Siberian tigers look exceptionally dazzling against the white snow.

  • Suitable for: tiger or animal lovers, snow and skiing lovers
  • Access: Harbin is about a 2-hour flight or a 5½-hour train ride from Beijing or a 3-hour flight from Shanghai.
  • Best time to visit: December–February
  • Recommended visit time: a half-day for the Siberian Tiger Park, but 4 days are suggested for a Harbin trip
Recommended Harbin Tours:
  • 1-Day Ice and Snow Fairyland Tour
  • 4-Day Harbin City Highlights and Jihua Skiing Tour
  • 6-Day Harbin City Highlights and Yabuli Skiing Tour
  • See our Harbin tours.
Siberian Tiger ParkSiberian Tiger Park

13. Hunan Nanshan National Park —  ‘Hulunbuir of the South’

Located on the migration route between Central Asia and Australia, Nanshan national park is a good place to watch birds. The best bird watching times are from March to April and from September to October.

Nanshan Grassland is the most recommended highlight of the park. It is the largest alpine steppe in southern China, known as ‘Hulunbuir of the South’. Camping tours are popular on the grassland in July and August. You can get to Nanshan Grassland easily from the Longsheng Rice Terraces, which are about 2½ hours’ driving away. From April to May is the best time to see rhododendrons in Nanshan.

  • Suitable for: hikers, bird watchers, camping lovers
  • Best times to visit: March to April and September to October for bird watching, April to May for the rhododendrons, July and August for a camping trip
  • Access: about a 3-hour drive from Guilin and about a 4½-hour drive from Changsha
  • Recommended visit time: 1-3 days
Recommended Tours:

 Our Guilin tours can easily be extended to include Nanshan National Park.

Nanshan GrasslandNanshan Grassland

14. Shennongjia National Park — Explore the Wild Man Legend

When mentioning Shennongjia, people think of the Wild Man legend. This is its unlocked secret, but Shennongjia National Park has attracts many tourists every year for more than its mysterious story: it combines geological wonders of Yellowstone National Park in the United States and the salt pan of Etosha National Park in Africa. It is one of the most anticipated national parks in the world.

The highly-recommended tourist part of the park is called Shennongjia Scenic Area, which features breathtaking landscapes and innumerable rare wildlife. The Sichuan golden monkey is the most popular animal there. This scenic area has different attractions in different seasons: blooming flowers in spring, rafting in the summer, mountain hiking and seeing the colorful leaves in autumn, and skiing in Shennongjia International Ski Resort in winter.

Located about 13 km (8 miles) from Shennongjia Scenic Area, Muyu Town functions as the tourist center of Shennongjia, with many tourist attractions within 10–20 minutes’ driving. Tourists always choose to stay in this town for their in-depth tours of Shennongjia.

  • Suitable for: nature and animal lovers, mountain hikers, skiing lovers
  • Access: about a 50-minute flight from Wuhan; a 4-hour drive from Yichang city
  • Best time to visit: May to October for comfortable weather; December to March for skiing
  • Recommended visit time: 1–5 days
Recommended Tours:

 See our Yichang (Yangtze River) tours, which can be extended to Shennongjia.

 Shennongjia Scenic Area Shennongjia Scenic Area

15. Zhejiang Qianjiangyuan National Park — a Great Hangzhou/Shanghai Gateway

About a 4-hour drive from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Qianjiangyuan National Park is a good place for weekend trip from Hangzhou or Shanghai. The national park was established to protect the source of Zhejiang Province’s ‘mother river’, the Qiantang River, and the precious fauna and flora nearby.

The recommended tourist attraction is Qianjiangyuan National Forest Park, celebrated for its lush mountains, dense forests, gurgling streams, rocky cliffs, flying waterfalls, and rare animals. It is a good summer retreat, known for its cool weather.

The spectacular tidal bore on the Qiantang River is the largest tidal bore in the world, which attracts large numbers of tourists every year. The best places to see the tidal bore are in Haining City, about 1½ hours’ drive from Hangzhou, and the best time is the few days after China’s Mid-Autumn Festival.

  • Suitable for: nature and animal lovers, mountain hikers, tidal bore watchers
  • Access: about a 4-hour drive from Hangzhou
  • Best times to visit: June to August for cool weather in the forest park, China’s Mid-Autumn Festival for watching the tidal bore
  • Recommended visit time: 1–2 days
Recommended Tours:

 Our Hangzhou tours can easily be tailored to include Qianjiangyuan.

Qiantang River tidal boreQiantang River tidal bore

16. Qilian Mountains National Park — a Bright Pearl on the Silk Road

Located at an altitude of 4,000–5,000 meters (13,000–16,000 feet), at the junction of Gansu and Qinghai provinces, Qilian Mountains National Park is a bright pearl on the Silk Road, featuring high mountains, grasslands, forests, glaciers, and deserts.

Qilian Mountain Scenic Spot, about a 6-hour drive from Xining, is the best place to see the mountain views in Qinghai Province. Heihe Grand Canyon in this scenic spot is the third largest canyon in the world. The main peak of the Qilian Mountains is Gangshika Snow Peak in Menyuan County, about a 3-hour drive from Xining City. July and August is the best time to see the cole flowers in Menyuan County.

If you want to enjoy the Qilian Mountain views in Gansu province, you should not miss Shandanjun Army Horse Breeding Farm, about a 2-hour drive from Zhangye City. This farm is the oldest and largest horse farm in the world. Horse riding experiences are readily available on the farm. Besides, the Danxia Landforms and Mati Temple are always must-sees on a Zhangye trip.

  • Suitable for: mountain hikers, photography lovers, Tibetan plateau scenery lovers
  • Best times to visit: July to August
  • Access: about a 3-hour drive from Xining to see the main peak of the Qilian Mountains; Zhangye is about a 2-hour flight from Xi’an.
  • Recommended visit time: 4 days
RecommendedSilk Road Tours:
Qilian Mountain Scenic SpotQilian Mountain Scenic Spot

Other Famous Chinese National Parks

Yunnan Shilin National Park — Yunnan's Stone Forest

The Stone Forest is another classic national park, but not quite as outstanding and full of interesting features as the featured parks above. There are various gatherings of pointy stone projections, caves, and lakes. The Yi and Suni peoples live in this sizable 350-sq-km (135-sq-mile) park.

Hong Kong's "National Parks"

Hong Kong has some amazing preserved coastline and hiking opportunities in its 30 country parks, but the closest thing Hong Kong has to a national park is Hong Kong Global Geopark (once Hong Kong National Geopark), which captures HK's most visually stunning geology.

Taiwan's National Parks

Taroko and Kenting, the cream of Taiwan's National parks, should definitely be given a mention. Taroko Gorge National Park, the most popular one, has a distinctly ethnic feel, with hiking and gorge trekking opportunities following ancient tribal paths. Adventurous pursuits abound.

Kenting National Park is Taiwan's oldest and largest, featuring delightful weather, plentiful facilities, ocean views, coral reefs, tropical forests rich in plant and bird species, old temples, prehistoric sites, and caves.

Desert Parks

If you venture northwest on the Silk Road in search of desert scenery, China's desert national parks capture some of the best. Kumtag Desert National Park, Xinjiang, has vast and beautiful shifting sands and is growing!

It is bettered however by Mingshashan-Yueyaquan National Park, which has more facilities and activities and is more accessible being only 5 km (3 miles) outside Dunhuang. Mingshashan ("Singing-Sands Mountain") has pristine dunes with camel rides, and Yueyaquan ("Crescent Spring") is a mini oasis.

Tibetan National Parks

Tibet has four national parks, but could have many more with its abundance of pristine wilderness. The most famous and visitable scenic one is Nyainqêntanglha Shan National Park, around Lake Nam, the highest saline lake in the world, and Tibet's largest lake. The crystal blue waters surrounded by towering snowy peaks are a haven for wildlife, and once a place of pilgrimage.

Tibet doesn’t accept independent travelers. Traveling with a travel agency is required. Contact us to explore the main highlights from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. Consider a top Tibet trekking trip, Everest Base Camp trek, if you’d love a more outdoorsy experience.

Famous Mountain National Parks

Other top national parks in China protect some of China's most famous mountains, like Mt. Emei, Mt. Hua, Mt. Tai, Mt. Putuo, and the Danxia Mountains in Guangdong.

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