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The Pearl River (Zhujiang) stretches for 1,376 miles (2,214 kilometers) from Xi Jiang to the Pearl River Delta where it pours into the South China Sea. It’s the third longest river in China and the second largest by volume. According to local legend, the river got its name from a huge boulder in the middle of the river, smoothed by water erosion to resemble a round pearl in the middle of the river.

Lying in the subtropical zone, the Pearl River delta receives plenty of rain-fall and its temperature is so mild that it seldom falls below zero centigrade even in the winter. An extensive network of rivers allows inland shipping to flourish. The delta teems with rich, sugarcane, jute, various flowers and fruit, silkworms, and other special crops used to make famous brand-name products. Local industries include sugar refining, silk weaving, iron and steel, ship building and chemicals. The Zhujiang River Delta has favourable conditions for developing foreign trade because of its convenient transportation network, and its proximity to Hong Kong, Macao and other islands on the South China Sea.

Recommended Route

Yunnan — Guizhou — Guangxi — Guangdong — Hunan — Jiangxi

Must-see Along The Route
01. Yunnan Province

Yunnan, “Dian” for short, is located in southwest China with Kunming as its provincial capital. Yunnan Province borders Myanmnar, Laos and Vietnam. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the southern part of the province. 

Yunnan’s terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast with an exceptionally great elevation difference. The main peak of Meili Snow Mountain, the highest point, is at an elevation of 6,740 meters, while the lowest place only 76.4 meters above sea level. Yunnan brings together the natural beauty of all kinds of climatic zones.

The province enjoys rich and diverse climate types. There are seven types of climates, the north tropical climate, south subtropical climate, mid-subtropical climate, north subtropical climate, warm temperate climate, mid-temperate climate and plateau climate.

Yunnan has 5 of China’s 45 world heritage sites, namely, the Old Town of Lijiang, Three Parallel Rivers, Lunan Stone Forest, Chengjiang Fossil Site, and Yunnan Hani Terraced Fields.

Yunnan is the province with the most ethnic groups in China, providing a variety of customs. There are Yi people in the Stone Forest, Bai people in Dali, Naxi people in Lijiang, Dai people in Xishuangbanna, Tibetan people in Diqing, etc. Each ethnic group has its own unique customs.

Old Town of Lijiang is an ancient town without walls’known as the “Oriental Venice.” In the ancient town, there are blue flagstone roads, small bridges, flowing waters, and well-arranged ancient houses. There is landscape of both the mountain and the water.

Stone Forest, the Three Gorges, Guilin Landscape and Jilin Rime are known as China’s four natural wonders. The Stone Forest Scenic Region is the world’s largest sword-like karst spectacle, hailed as ” the First Wonder in the World.”

Dali Ancient Town.was built in the Ming Dynasty. The simple, tranquil ancient town still preserves the layout of the Ming and Qing dynasties. “Foreigners’Street,” lined with bars and cafes, is undoubtedly the most famous in the town.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Luoping Canola Flower
Multi-ethnic Family
Hani Long Street Banquet
02. Guizhou Province

Guizhou, “Qian” for short, is located in Southwest China. It is beautiful, quaint, and picturesque. As one of the regions that boast the world’s most typically developed karst landform, it is known as “the National Park Province.” 

The province enjoys a very pleasant climate. It has a subtropical humid monsoon climate with four distinct seasons, abundant rainfall, and a hot rainy season. Summer in Guizhou is cool and humid, and it is also the best season for travel.

Guizhou’s unique and colorful ethnic customs have become one of its gems. There are numberous echnic festivals like the Miao people’s “Sister Festival” and the “Lusheng Festival,” the Dong people’s “Song and Wine Festival” and so on. Ethnic opera is the essence of ethnic customs while ground opera and Nuo opera are honored as “the living fossils of ancient operas.”

The ethnic buildings there are distinctive, particularly the Bell Tower of Dong People, Wind and Rain Bridge , stone houses of Bouyei people and the stilted buildings of the Miao people.

Huangguoshu Grand Waterfall, 74 meters high and 81 meters wide , is China’s largest waterfall, with Huangguoshu Waterfall, a typical karst erosion-split waterfall, at its center. On the 20-kilometer upstream and downstream river course, there are 18 grand, peculiar, perilous, and wonderful waterfalls of different styles. 

The Water Curtain Cave, one of the wonders of Huangguoshu Waterfall, is located on the waterfall at a height of 40 to 47 meters . It is 134 meters long , consisting of six water curtains, five cave halls, three ca e springs , and six passages. In the Water Curtain Cave, the sound of the waterfall becomes thundering and thrilling. A bead curtain hangs down from the waterfall and can be easily reached.

The main peak of the Fanjing Mountain is 2.494 meters above sea level. The original ecology has been preserved intact. The “mushroom stone” on the main peak offers a gorgeous landscape. The Fanjing Mountain is also a famous Buddhist mountain. According to legend, it is a bodhimanda for Maitreya.

Xijiang is the largest Miao village in the country. It is a place where the lifestyle of the Miao people is preserved comparatively intact, and is, thus, often known as “a natural museum.” Its beautiful stilted buildings are especially unique in China.

The Forest of Ten Thousand Peaks
Small Seven Archways
The World's Largest Radio Telescope
Horsetail Embroidery
Spicy Chicken
03. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is called “Gui” for short with Nanning as the capital city. Located in the southern part of China, the region borders Vietnam on the southwest and the Beibu Gulf on the south. A basin ringed by mountains on four sides among which the highest peak is Mao’er Mountain, Guangxi has widespread expanses of limestone topography which covers half of its over 230,000 km² area. It is a multi-ethnic region with a population of over 50 million including 12 ethnic groups such as Zhuang, Han, Yao, Miao, Dong, etc. 

Guangxi boasts rich tourism resources. First, it has charming natural scenery of waters and mountains, of which the Guilin Scenery is the most famous with its verdant mountains, limpid rivers, mysterious caves and fantastic rocks. Secondly, it has attractive marine scenery around the Beibu Gulf with blue sea, silver beaches and adequate sunshine, represented by the Silver Beach in Beihai, hailed as “the top beach of China”. Thirdly, it is rich in simple and unsophisticated local customs and lifestyle and blends customs of both Chinese and Vietnamese. All these tourism resources make Guangxi to offer not only a series of sightseeing tourism products, but also leisure tourism products and special tourism items. Now Guangxi has 15 leisure and holiday-making products, like the National Silver Beach Tourism and Holiday Resort in Beihai and drifting tour, convention tour, bicycle tour, local customs tour, forest exploration tour and hot spring convalescence tour as well.

With beautiful waters and mountains, charming beaches and colorful local customs, Guangxi will ensure you a happy and unforgettable time.

The Lijiang River is a national key scenic area and the essence of Guilin scenery. Stretching from Guilin to Yangshuo, the Lijiang River is 83 km in its full length. If you go aboard at Mopanshan Dock or Zhujiang Dock, the journey is about 60 km, in which the most beautiful section is the 40 km or so from the starting dock to Xingping. Scenery along the Lijiang River is charming and attractive, which is famous for the green mountains, clear waters, peculiar caves and beautiful rocks.

It is also named Elephant Hill located on the west bank of the Lijiang River in south Guilin. The hill looks like an elephant with its trunk dipping into the river for water and thereby gets its name. The large cave between the elephant trunk and the elephant body is called Water Moon Cave. When the water in the river rises, visitors can travel through the cave by boats. At night with full moon, the cave and its reflection in the water forms an image of full moon, which offers a fascinating scene of “elephant playing with moon in water”.

It is located in Heping Township in Longsheng Multi-ethnic Autonomous County, 78 km from Guilin. First built in the Yuan Dynasty (1206—1368), it has a history of more than 650 years. The terraced fields scatter between an elevation of 300 m to 1,100 m, and wind all the way to the top of the mountains with gentle and beautiful lines and melodic sense.

Duan Underground River National Geopark
Solitary Beauty Peak
Nandan Danlushan Glass Plank Road
Miao Lusheng Festival
Spiral Shell Rice Noodles
04. Guangdong Province

Guangdong lies in the southern tip of the mainland of China, with Nanling Mountain behind, the South China Sea in front, and borders Hong Kong and Macao. It is a famous native place of overseas Chinese. Most parts of Guangdong have a subtropical, marine and monsoon climate. All plants are green year round. With a beautiful landscape, the province is suitable for tours year round.  

Guangdong has a favorable geographical position and a long history It has rich tourist resources with the customs and features of the area in the south of Five Ridges (covering Guangdong and Guangxi). The main tourists areas include the four famous mountains: the Danxia Mountain (a world natural heritage), Xiqiao Mountain next to the South China Sea, Luofu Mountain in Boluo and Dinghu Mountain in Zhaoqing, the Seven-Star Rock surrounded by mountains and waters, Yingxi Peaks and the North Guangdong Grand Canyon. In addition, the Pearl River Delta, waterside villages in Chaozhou-Shantou Delta, extensive coastline, numerous islands, quantities of golf courses and various kinds of hot springs are all attractive to tourists.

A world cultural heritage block houses and villages in Kaiping, Liangyuan Garden in Foshan, Keyuan Garden in Dongguan, Qinghui Garden in Shunde and Yuyin Mountain Houses in Panyu are reputable historical sites in Guangdong. Guangzhou, Chaozhou, Foshan, Meizhou, Zhaoqing and Haikang are six national historical and cultural cities and are famous for their own unique historical and cultural sites.

Recently Guangdong has developed new scenic areas such as Chimelong Iburist and Holiday Resort in Guangzhou, the Overseas Chinese City in east Shenzhen, Ligong International Iburist and Holiday Resort in Shaoguan, Jinghuayuan Tourism Area in Heyuan, Qingxin Hot Spring Holiday Resort in Qingyuan, New Yiianmingyuan Garden and International Racecourse in Zhuhai make tourists forget to return.

In addition, Guangdong is well known for its delicious food and snacks. The elegant restaurants, modern shopping streets, local and special products of great varieties, crafts and regional folk culture constitute a charming picture featuring the customs of the areas south of the Five Ridges for Chinese and foreign tourists.

Blockhouses spread in rural areas of Kaiping, Guangdong Province. These multi-storied tower-style blockhouses were first built in early Qing Dynasty integrating defense, residences and combination of Chinese and Western architectural arts. Also they show the history of overseas Chinese, social form and traditional culture. Most of them are scattered in Kaiping and extend in length and breadth for dozens of kilometers in large scale, great varieties and unique shapes. In 2007, they have been included into the list of world heritage sites by the UNESCO.

Canton Tower is also known as the “Slim Waist.” Its overall height is 600 meters with the narrowest section at the 66th floor. As the highest tower in China, it integrates sightseeing and amusement, and contains catering and recreation facilities. The most exciting activities here are the Mega Drop and Ferris Wheel.

Splendid China stands on the bank of Shenzhen Bay and in the Eastern Overseas Chinese Town. It is miniature to vividly reflect China’s history, culture, art, ancient architecture and folk customs in various ways. It is the largest of its kind in the world. The Folk Cultural Village is China’s first cultural scenic area combining folk arts, folk customs and residential buildings.

Main Peak of the Mount Danxia
Jiufeng Mountain Flower Sea
Ruins of The Maba Man
Yao Embroidery Pattern
Claypot Rice
05. Hunan Province

Hunan, “Xiang” for short, is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. It is called the “land of hibiscus,, because hibiscus has been widely planted here since ancient times.  

The Hunan landscape is dominated by mountains and hills and the Dongting Lake, surrounded by plains. The area boasts water resorts like the Dongting Lake wetland, the mysterious and magnificent scenery of Zhangjiajie as well as the Danxia landform in Mount Lang.

Hunan enjoys a continental subtropical monsoon humid climate with abundant light and heat and ample rainfall. Vertical mountain climate changes significantly, particularly in the mountain area in Western and Southern Hunan.

The province has a long history and long-standing and well-established culture. Many talented people have come from the province. Numerous cultural and historical sites remain, such as the Yueyang Tower, Yuelu Academy, and others. Hunan is also Mao Zedong’s home province, making it an important location for visitors interested in the Chinese revolutionary history. Shaoshan City is especially important in this history, as numerous historical sites relevant to Mao Zedong have been preserved here.

Hunan is also rich in ethnic minority customs. Fenghuang Town and stilted buildings along the river demonstrate the mysterious charm of the Miao people in Western Hunan.

The rocks are peculiar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, with thousands of rolling and overlapping pinnacles in it. The strange pinnacles are steep, towering in different shapes. Elegant peaks stand alone and other groups of peaks complement each other in perfect shapes, creating vivid landscape.

Yuelu Mountain is located on the west bank of the Xiangjiang River. The Aiwan Pavilion, Temple of Yuelu Mountain, Grave of Cai E, Grave of Huang Xing and other attractions are all located in this scenic area. Yuelu Academy at the base of the mountain is one of the four ancient Chinese academies. Many ancient exquisite buildings have been preserved here.

The Orange Isle is the world’s largest inland island. Its major attractions include the Wentian Platform, Statue of Chairman Mao, River Overlooking Pavilion, Firework Square and so on. The statue of a young Mao Zedong is the most famous of these attractions.

Yueyang Tower
Birthplace of Mao Zedong
Furong Town
The Ancient Tea Horse Road--Yongxi Bridge
Steamed Fish Head in Chili Sauce
06. Jiangxi Province

Jiangxi Province lies along the southern bank of the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River in southeast China. It is bounded by Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces in the east, Guangdong Province in the south, Hunan Province in the west and Hubei and Anhui Provinces in the north. With a total area of 166,900 square km, Jiangxi Province has under its jurisdiction 11 cities (namely, Nanchang, Jiujiang, Jingdezhen, Shangrao, Yingtan, Fuzhou, Ganzhou, Ji’an, Xinyu, Yichun and Pingxiang.) 

Jiangxi Province is richly endowed with tourism resources, which can be broadly classified into three categories – revolutionary sites, natural tourist spots and places of historic interest. The major revolutionary sites include Nanchang where the revolutionary army’s flag was first raised, the Jinggang Mountain which is the cradle of the Chinese revolution, Ruijin which is known as the Red Capital of China, and Pingxiang which is the birthplace of China’s labour movement – all combined to make a remarkable contribution to the founding the the People’s Republic of China. Natural tourist spots include the Lushan Mountain which is a world cultural heritage site and astonishes visitors with its charming beauty, the Sanqing Mountain which is also a world cultural heritage site, Turtle Peak, Longhu Mountain, the Poyang Lake which is home to many species of rare birds, and Wuyuan which all visitors say is the most beautiful village they have ever seen in China – all of these being the generous gift bestowed to Jiangxi by the great nature. Others are those steeped in ancient civilizaiton, such as Jingdezhen, the known-to-all porcelain capital with a history of some 1,000 years, the Pavilion of Prince Teng which is one the three most famous buildings in south China, and Linchuan which is home to talents.

Welcome to Jiangxi, and you will learn more of China through the visit!

As a national AAAA tourist attraction, the Pavilion of Prince Teng is located at the southern crossing of the Yanjiang North Road and the Dieshan Road, where the Ganjiang and Fuhe rivers meet. In 653, or the fourth year of Emperor Yonghui’s reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), “Prince Teng” Li Yuanying, younger brother of Emperor laizong (Li Shimin), built the pavilion when he served as Dudu, the military chief of Hongzhou. It is feted as one of the three most famous pavilions in south China, the other two being the Yellow Crane Tower in Hubei and the Yueyang lower in Hunan.

Jingdezhen has long been famous for producing ceramic products. In fact, it is the most celebrated center of the ancient ceramic industry in the world, and as such has played an important role in the history of human civilization. It maintains the extra-large scale and extremely complete and complicated ceramic system from antiquity. This, plus its beautiful natural landscape, social economy and humanistic spirit, led to the city being included into the first group of the 24 historical and cultural cities by the State Council, and its recognition as a top tourist city of China and national ecological garden city.

The Lushan Mountain is a world-famous resort, combining resources of scenery, culture, education and religion. In 1982, it was included in the first group of the key national scenic and historic interest areas by the State Council. On December 6,1996, it was included in the World Heritage List as a “World Cultural Landscape” and awarded high praise by the UNESCO. The Lushan Mountain was made a national AAAAA tourist attraction in 2007. Its Wulao Peak, tucked away at an altitude of 1,436 meters, boasts the most beautiful scenery among all the peaks of the Lushan Mountain. Its fourth peak is the highest and its third peak steepest. From this peak, one can enjoy the spectacular scenery of queerly shaped pines and rocks and delightfully floating clouds.

In addition, there are some other natural sights, such as Hanpokou(Mouth That Swallows the Poyang Lake)and Sandie Spring(Three Stage Spring), as well as key cultural sights such as the White Deer Grotto Academy, the Donglin Temple and various groups of villas.

Poyang Lake at Sunset
Jiuhua Mountain
Huishi Square
Nanchang Fried Noodle