Top 9 Chinese places to appreciate maple leaves this autumn

Update:07 Sep 2010
1). Xiangshan Mountain (Fragrant Mountain), Beijing
 
 
What to see in autumn: sumac, red maple

Best time to visit: Frost's Descent

Best positions to view the maples: a small pavilion at the top of Mount Senyuhu, Yuhuaxiu Park, Kanyunqi, Shuangqing Villa, Chanchu Peak, Jingcui Lake, Xianglu (Incense Burner) Peak, Xiangwu Cave, Heshunmen and Xunlu (Reindeer) Slope.

Located at the east foot of Xishan Mountain in Beijing, the Xiangshan Mountain is one of the famous sites to view maples in China. The scenic spot Fragrant Mountain Red Leaves, one of the four most famous sites to view maples in China, is located in the well-known Fragrant Mountain Forest Park of Beijing. The best season for sightseeing in the mountain is from mid-October to the first ten days of November. During this time, thousands of hectares of maple leaves are so red that you would mistake them for fallen petals if looking from a further area.
 
2). Bashang Grasslands, Hebei

 
What to see in autumn: birch woods

Best time to visit: late September to early October

Located approximately 240 kilometers north of Beijing and covering an area of 350 square kilometers, the Bashang Grasslands is the nearest prairie from Beijing, which have long been one of the ideal sites to escape the city's summer heat. It presents different forms of beauty in the four seasons. Especially in autumn, the grasslands, lakes, mountains and valleys appear in colorful sights. In this season, no matter whip the horse or stand quietly in the grasslands, visitors can feel the wideness of Bashang Grasslands.

In autumn, one of the charming sights in Bashang Grasslands is the boundless birch woods, Korean pines and spruces. After several frost falls, the trees are full of vigor, making the grassland a cascade of colors.
 
3). Qixia Mountain, Jiangsu

 
What to see in autumn: maple woods

Best time to visit: late November to early December

Situated 22 kilometers northeast of Nanjing City, Qixia Mountain (Sheshan Mountain) is dubbed "the most beautiful mountain in Nanjing". The mountain is 286 meters high and has three peaks - Dragon Peak, Tiger Peak and Fengxiang Peak.

The mountain is popular for its maple trees. Each year, when the autumn arrives, thousands of local residents and visitors rush to the mountain to camp to see the red and golden maple leaves, which covers the whole mountain. Standing in the maple woods, visitors will feel surrounded with rosy clouds. Therefore, "the red maples on Qixia Mountain (Qixia Danfeng)" are regarded as one of the ten scenic sights in Nanjing.
 
4). Guangzhou Shilin National Forest Park, Guangdong

 
What to see in autumn: maple woods, lacquer trees

Located in Conghua, Guangzhou city, Guangzhou Shilin National Forest Park enjoys the fame of "Xiangshan Mountain in Guangdong Province". It is called the "the oasis of Tropic Cancer". At present, the most beautiful sight is the red maple woods. The maple trees in Shimen Valley attract visitors most. Their burning colors and various shapes constitute a beautiful picture beyond words.
 
5). Changxi Village, Wuyuan, Jiangxi

 
What to see in autumn: the contrast of maples and the ancient architecture of Hui Style

Best time to see: November to early December

Wuyuan county in Jiangxi Province is famous for the large pieces of rape flowers. But in fact, it becomes more poetic when autumn comes. In late autumn, Changxi Village is shore with deep and vivid tints. The maple trees growing in the front and back of the village turn to burning red. The tall trees contrast finely with the Mau Tou Wall (Horse Head Wall). The red maple leaves, white walls and black tiles blend into a unity, making a unique sight in this ancient village.
 
6). Haiyang Village, Guangxi

 
What to see in autumn: gingko

Best time to visit: December

Located in the southeast of Guilin city, Guangxi Province, Haiyang Village is praised as "the First Village of Gingko in China" as there are millions of gingkoes including 17,000 ones aged hundreds of years.

Datongmuwan Village and Xiaotongmuwan Village are the best places to admire the autumn scene and gingko trees. As located in the temperate regions, gingko tree leaves turn yellow in December, later than those in the north of China.
 
7). Miyaluo, Sichuan

 
What to see in autumn: maple trees, birches

Best time to visit: middle October to early November

Located in the Lixian county, Aba Prefecture, Sichuan Province, Miyaluo is a famous place for leaves appreciation and autumn travel. The name "Miyaluo" means "funny place" in Tibetan. It is one of the biggest areas with red leaves. Autumn is the most beautiful season of it. Every October, Miyaluo is crowded with tourists to enjoy its leaves and beautiful scenery.
 
8). Jiuzhai Valley, Sichuan

 
What to see in autumn: the contrast of maple leaves with blue lakes

Best time to visit: October

Located in southwestern China, Sichuan Province and covering the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and most of the Sichuan Basin, Jiuzhai Valley is praised for its amazing natural beauty and known as heaven on earth and a fairyland of colors. The scenery in Jiuzhai Valley differs with the four seasons. The autumn is the best season to visit it. When autumn comes, it becomes a big kingdom for colors. From the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountains, there are five plant distribution zones. Various kinds of plants present different colors, making the valley vivid and lively.
 
9). Ejinaqi, Inner Mongolia

 
What to see in autumn: poplar trees

Best time to visit: around October

Located in Alashan, Inner Mongolia, Ejinaqi is one of the only three extensive poplar woods in the world. Tourists and photographers are enthralled by its amazing autumn scene. There is a famous saying that goes like this: "Without going to Ejinaqi, you will not know the mighty of the oasis; without going to Ejinaqi, you will not know the magic of poplar trees".

The poplar trees in Ejinaqi are mainly distributed along Yidaoqiao to Badaoqiao. Visitors are suggested to spend two days trekking from Yidaoqiao to Badaoqiao. Beautiful pictures come into view one after another. In the sunlight, the golden poplar trees make a sharp contrast to the blue sky, gorgeous and bright. When reaching the Badaqiao Village, visitors can admire the view of Badain Jaran Desert, the most beautiful desert praised by National Geographic.
 
SOURCE: Global Times
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