China is spectacularly vast -- larger than the United States or Brazil, should you need a geography refresher -- and certainly not lacking in the majestic scenery department. Take your pick between its long coastline, northern deserts, fertile river valleys, or densely packed urban centers. Personally, I’d go with the mountains.
I spent six years in China exploring many of the country’s most mind-boggling peaks on hikes and oxygen-poor bike rides, from the lunar karst mountains near Guilin to the undulating terrain of Yunnan Province. These near-celestial elevations bear complex ecosystems of plant and animal life that quite literally look like something out of Avatar, plus distinct cultural riches and a sense of spiritual calm that simply can’t be found on the ground. And all of them are just straight-up ludicrous to look at.