Overpopulation, smog, cities growing out of control — these are some of the common issues people associate with China. While these problems may affect major urban centers in the country, people forget the sheer size of China, and how much it has to offer beyond the cities. China is one of the most beautiful and diverse places in the world. All around the country, alluring landscapes invite travelers to keep exploring. One of the most impressive features are the karst landscapes: a topography made up of soluble rock (like limestone) that has been eroded by dissolution creating towers, ridges, sinkholes and caves. These mystical-looking Chinese lands are one of my favorite spots in the world; here’s why they’ll be one of yours too.


For about a month every spring, the quiet village of Luoping in the East of the Yunnan province gets a radical makeover. Hundreds of thousands of canola flowers start blooming, leaving the village covered in a golden yellow blanket as far as the eye can see.


Luoping feels like another world when you first arrive. You’ll get that feeling that you’re really far away from every major city. Local beekeepers give out free honeycomb for all to try, and horses and carts drive the few tourists around the beautiful fields.


I've always bypassed Guilin when I travel around the Guangxi province, but this trip I decided to stay for a few days and see what the city had to offer. An evening hike up to a small viewpoint made me realize how beautiful this place is, with all those karst hills around it.


Yangshuo, famous for its bamboo rafting and incredible scenery, is becoming a popular destination in China, especially for international tourists. I think this picture clearly shows why.


There are so many places to photograph Xingping, but this spot has to be my favorite. The early morning mist creeping through the hills, and the sun rays beaming through is truly a spectacle to witness.


The land that inspired Avatar, Zhangjiajie, deserves a whole week to be properly explored. Take the tallest elevator in the world up amongst the karst peaks. From there, you can spend all day strolling from viewpoint to viewpoint before taking a cable car down at the end of the day.


Zhangjiajie National Park is fascinating as no two views look the same. The Emperor’s Writing Brushes viewpoint is one of my favorites, and it looks incredible from a drone perspective.


Getting to a higher vantage point in Guilin and Yangzhou is a must. You’ll get to see the true size of the mountains surrounding the tiny towns and villages below. Guangxi definitely deserves some time when traveling through China, especially during spring or autumn.


Getting lost amongst the peaks of Yangshuo is one of my favorite things to do, and you never get tired of the views. If you can find a hill with a hiking trail, I would highly recommend climbing it, especially during sunrise or sunset.


The karst landscapes of China are well known in places like Yangshuo and Zhangjiajie, but the small village of Tianxin is well worth a visit if you're looking for something more off-the-beaten-path. We drove there early in the morning and managed to catch the sun rising above the mountains and reflecting the mist on the ponds below.


Tianmenshan is another incredible spot in Zhangjiajie that deserves a day to be explored. On the cableway up to the mountain, you’ll pass by this incredible road which winds through the mountains to reach the top. It's also a stomach-turning way to get down to the ground below.