There's more to the world's 4th largest country than its big cities. Take a lazy boat ride, climb a mountain, get active and explore China's natural beauty.
Sitting at 3,270 m (10,728 ft) above sea level, the Napahai Nature Reserve (Nàpàhǎi Zìrán Bǎohùqū, 纳帕海自然保护区) is home to a wide range of indigenous wildlife, including the black-necked crane, a bird revered by the Buddhist tradition and found almost exclusively in the Tibetan Plateau. Located 8 km (5 mi) to the northwest of Shangri-La County, the reserve sits on the convergence of 10 local rivers, creating the largest grassland in the county. Horseback riding is quite popular here with many locals offering rides..
Located in a basin between several of Shennongjia's mountains, the Dajiu Lakes Wetland (Dàjiǔ Hú Shīdì, 大九湖湿地) has remained largely undisturbed by human activity. Although it has joined the scenic spots in Shennongjia open to tourists, the nine lakes that connect this mountaintop wetland are protected. Raised wooden walkways and raised stone pillar stepping paths weave through the shallow lakes, giving visitors a closer look.
If you live in Shanghai, taking a trip to Chongming Island (Chóngmíng Dǎo, 崇明岛) is a great way to get your all-things-plant-and-fresh-air-related fix. The island itself is over 1,000 sq. km and is China's second biggest island after Hainan. Getting to Chongming Island was streamlined in 2009 with the opening of the Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge, and it is now less than a two hour journey from doorstep to island's edge. Once you've arrived, you have a number of options. Parks, ecological villages and wetland preserves abound, and..