• We returned from our holiday last Wednesday and I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our tours in Beijing last week.
  • Thank you for making possible an enjoyable trip for us. We learnt about Shanghai’s people, history and culture.
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China Geography

China’s Geography

From the fertile coasts of the east to the arid desserts of the west, the lush tropics of the south to the freezing tundra of the north, China’s geography is a 5,000-kilometer adventure through every sort of topography known to humankind.

The landscape of Northern China has more in common with the steppes of Eurasia than the tropical beaches of the south. The provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Hebei are a mix of craggy peaks, cold wastelands and farmland growing potatoes and wheat. The cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning and Beijing are the main urban centers of the area. The desert topography continues along Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces to the west, all the way to sandy Xinjiang with its Turkic ethnic groups.

Heading south down the eastern seaboard, the coastal lowlands are home to cities like Qingdao, Shanghai, and Xiamen, and water-towns including Suzhou, Wuzhen and Tongli have sprung up along the waterways. The tropical climate of the south keeps the landscape lush around Guangdong, Guangxi and Hong Kong, while the stunning rock formations of Guizhou Province are among China’s most impressive. The Li River flows past some of the country’s finest scenery, especially around the towns of Guilin and Yangshuo. Yunnan Province contains even more incredible topography such as the snow-capped highlands of Shangri-la, while Tibet is well known for its peaks and palaces.

China is split roughly in two by the Yangtze River, which flows along the middle of the country from east to west. The geography of China’s middle region has been radically changed by the Three Gorges Dam project. Completed in 2006, it is the world’s largest engineering project, harnessing the enormous power of the Yangtze River to produce hydro-electric power. The dam’s construction flooded countless towns in Sichuan Province and neighboring regions, creating a vastly different landscape and calming the turbulent river as it passes through the stunning Three Gorges.

Since China is the third largest country in the world after Canada and Russia, it has borders with many nations. This adds color and variety to the landscape as well as the culture, such as the Vietnam and Myanmar hinterlands, the rocky passes leading to Nepal and India, and the vast wildernesses of Eurasia that touch Xinjiang Province in the west.

With so much diversity and natural beauty, China’s geography is one of the country’s highlights.