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Natural Attractions / Trip Ideas

Must-see karst landscapes in China

By Weiwei Guan

August 24

Karst in China is a distinctly unmissable landscape for every nature lover.

Karst in China is a distinctly unmissable landscape for every nature lover.

China has the largest area of karst landforms in the world, which is mainly distributed in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. Xu Xiake, a famous Chinese traveler and geographer of the 17th century, first discovered more than 100 underground caves associated with karst landforms around China and recorded them in his travelogue.

Karst topography is generally characterized by sink holes, caves and rock columns. Such landforms in southern China include Stone Forest in Yunnan, Libo in Guizhou and Wulong in Chongqing, which were all inscribed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in June, 2007. Let’s take a look at them.

Stone Forest in Yunnan

Stone Forest in Yunnan [Image Credit: CFP]
Stone Forest in Yunnan [Image Credit: CFP]
A vast sea about 300 million years ago, it now features a forest of stone, with the tallest pillars over 40 meters in height. Eroded by wind and water, the stone pillars are varied in shape, giving the spot its “Natural Sculpture Museum” nickname.

Libo in Guizhou

Libo in Guizhou [Image Credit: CFP]
Libo in Guizhou [Image Credit: CFP]
The well preserved Libo ecosystem is one of the most outstanding UNESCO heritage sites. Located in southeastern Guizhou, it boasts truncated rocks and diversified species of endangered plants and animals. Besides, it is the world’s largest ancient karst forest.

Wulong in Chongqing

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Wulong in Chongqing [Image Credit: CFP]
Furong Cave, Three Natural Bridges and sinkholes form part of the most gorgeous karst landscapes in China. Three Natural Bridges is unique in the world for its natural arches connected to sinkholes nearby, making it an ideal destination for photographers and adventure seekers.

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