Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: How to Ethically Volunteer Anywhere in the World

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: How to Ethically Volunteer Anywhere in the World

How to Ethically Volunteer Anywhere in the World

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 06:28 AM PST

Shannon O'donnel from alittleadrift.comI’m frequently asked about volunteering overseas and unfortunately, I don’t know much about it. So today, I’m turning the blog over to friend and volunteer tourism expert Shannon O’Donnell from the blog A Little Adrift. She’s been volunteering around the world for years and recently published a book on the subject. She is the expert so without further ado, here is Shannon’s advice on finding good volunteer opportunities.

A foundational motivation underpinning the past four years I have been traveling around the world was a notion that through serving others I would find a clearer direction for my own life. There are many prisms through which we can better understand and respect other cultures as we travel, but for me, the most effective prism has been volunteering. I left to travel for a range of reasons and I had many ideas and notions about what I would find when I left the confines of the United States. The mere act of travel dispelled many of those notions almost immediately, but it was only when I slowed down and spent time volunteering within these communities that I was able to sink into the travel experience in a way that goes beyond photographing the major temples, churches, and iconic sites.

When I first left in 2008 on what I thought would simply be a year-long round the world trip, I was overwhelmed by how convoluted and ethically ambiguous the international volunteer industry seemed. Simple searches to find projects I could support on my trip yielded a bevy of companies touting volunteer experiences operating in the poorest countries in the world and yet costing many thousands of dollars—it didn't make sense and it nearly discouraged me from doing any work at all. But once I traveled, and researched, and learned, I realized there are so many quality, ethical options out there for travelers interested in volunteering, but finding them is tougher than it should be. It is the very nature of this quandary that motivated me to write my book, The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook.

I know what it's like to want to volunteer and travel, but to be confused by the sometimes huge fees, the equivocal ethics, and the sheer number of options. With that in mind, I jumped at the opportunity Matt gave me to share five clear steps that show how to find and vet good-fit volunteer projects.

Step One: Understand Development and Aid

Shannon O'donnel from
During my first year volunteering internationally I overlooked this first step and instead fueled my volunteer efforts with enthusiasm and little knowledge, and as a result I unfortunately supported a few projects that I now see had fundamental ethical issues. One of the hardest things for new, eager volunteers to understand is that not all organizations—even non-profits—are doing good, necessary work that ethically develops the communities and eco-systems where we volunteer our time. For that reason, take a step back from the planning and instead learn more about core problems facing the development projects when they bring in Western volunteers and Western ideas.

Two core themes I analyze in my book center on how too many volunteer projects can  actually foster dependency on international aid and compromise the dignity of the people they are trying to help. Before you volunteer, your job is to understand the macro-industry around volunteering. I've collected a list of fantastic books, TED Talks, and websites that provide context for international aid conundrums and the interplay between volunteering and development work. Each one of these three offers a good start towards broad-level understanding:

  • The Elusive Quest for Growth by William R. Easterly: Nicely frames the major, core issues of international development models.
  • The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier: An easy read and great overall look at development; he presents interesting solutions to major aid issues.
  • "It Doesn't Take a Village: The perverse effects of local aid": This Economist article analyzes the idea that empowerment at the local level is best, countering with arguments of corruption, elitism, and bureaucratic issues—it illustrates that there is no panacea for the major development issues.

Step Two: Choose a Good-Fit Type of Volunteering

Shannon O'donnel from
There are an overwhelming number of ways to volunteer, and since I started traveling more than four years ago, I have tried most of them. I used a placement company on my RTW trip to find a monastery in Nepal where I could teach, I have taken recommendations from travelers on the road, and now I most often volunteer independently with small organizations I find organically as I travel. Your next step is to assess your time commitment and your personal volunteer motivations to pick your best-fit option.

  • Independent volunteering: Independent volunteering is ideal for long-term travelers and those on a flexible round the world trip if you don't know when or where you might be traveling. There is usually little or no facilitation—you must arrange all travel, accommodation, and food and in exchange the fees are low or free. You are traditionally working directly with the project/organization on a very hands-on level.
  • Placement companies: Middlemen take a fee to match you with a specific type of volunteer project and usually offer a medium level of facilitation. Ideal for very specific or niche volunteer experiences and either short or long time commitments.
  • Voluntours: These offer a high level of facilitation and are ideal for those on a short vacation and want to pack in a lot of sites with a nod to service integrated into the trip. Voluntours are expensive and the ratio of touring to service can vary greatly. Usually, the bulk of your fee goes to the tour company itself.
  • Social enterprises: All travelers can support the small businesses working within their own local communities for change. If you can only volunteer for a very short time, consider nixing the volunteering and instead infusing your money into local communities as you travel. Volunteering is not always the right choice on every trip but you can still do good by choosing restaurants, shops, and business with an underlying social mission.

Step Three: Research Organizations in Your Interest Area

Shannon O'donnel from
Now we're down to the nitty-gritty details. Travelers too often skip the first two steps and risk having an unfulfilling trip at best, and doing harm with their volunteering efforts at worst. My prep work for a new volunteer trip starts with a search of the major volunteer databases to see what projects exist within my interest area—I then use a spreadsheet or an Evernote folder to effectively track the details.

These websites allow you to sort and sift through the whole gamut of types of volunteering (conservation, teaching, medical, etc.) and requirements (family, timing, location). For now, simply fill your spreadsheet or folder with projects that excite you and in the next step we'll look at vetting potential volunteer projects.

  • Grassroots Volunteering: A small, growing resource of free and low-cost organizations and social enterprises all over the world. This site is my personal passion project that I launched in 2011.
  • Go Overseas: This site collates volunteering placements from many companies and returns a lot of variety in the search results.
  • A large database that occasionally returns some fantastic small, niche organizations.
  • Pro World Volunteers: A wonderful middleman placement company with community-driven projects that offers internships, volunteering, and study abroad programs.
  • Volunteer HQ: Very fair placement fees even with the refundable registration fee taken into account, and they seem to choose projects with a long-term community approach.
  • WWOOF: Working on organic farms is a wonderful way to give time to farm, agriculture, and sometimes conservation projects. Matt has previously covered a full guide on how to WWOOF on your travels.

Step Four: Ask the Right Questions

Vetting the volunteer projects you researched is your next step and allows you to narrow your list. Diligently follow through with this stage of the process because there are heartbreaking consequences to supporting projects that are not sensitive to the needs of the people and places. An example, and a cautionary tale, is the current orphanage scandals reported in Africa and Cambodia; something as innocuous as volunteering at an orphanage often has sad and heartbreaking side-effects on the children.

Frustratingly, there are disparate issues within each volunteering niche so I wrote up a full list of questions to ask your volunteer organization on my volunteer site. The core issues most volunteer projects face come down to:

  • Where is the money going? Look at placement fees and how much of that fee goes back into the community or projects.
  • How is the organization working with the community? Have they asked the local community if this project is something that is wanted/needed? Find out if the organization is prepared to stick around and support the project or development work for potentially many years if that is needed, or leave altogether if not.
  • What is expected of volunteers? What is the exact nature of the volunteer work and what is the level of volunteer support on the ground?

At the point that you have effectively questioned the organizations and projects that interest you, you are only left with the personal decision of weighing time, costs, and project details to decide which one fits your volunteering goals. My 11-year old niece and I volunteered during our seven month trip to Southeast Asia and my volunteer goals then were quite different than when I travel solo, and so my various projects over the years have reflected my differing circumstances … as will yours!

Step Five: Take a Deep Breath

The single decision to weave international service into my round the world travels changed the direction of my life. I left the United States back in 2008 confused about the direction I should take—I left behind my previous dreams as an actor living in Los Angeles and hoped that travel and volunteering would help me re-focus. It has done that and more; the regular integration of service in my life gave me a new lens through which to experience the world and an ability to experience communities and cultures in a way that simply traveling through a country does not allow.

Once you've picked your volunteer experience, take a deep breath before you tackle the planning phase and those practicalities. I have travel resources and volunteer resources when you're ready for that, but pause first. It's easy to get bogged down in the details, but the larger picture is very rewarding when you are able to sit down on the airplane—your bags are packed, vaccinations done, details planned—and simply anticipate the new experiences and new perspectives you are about to face.

Shannon O'Donnell has actively traveled around the world since 2008; she travels slowly and volunteers in small communities along the way. She recently published The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, A Little Adrift.

How to Ethically Volunteer Anywhere in the World is a post from: Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Urgent requirement with direct client for .Net Developer in St. Petersburg, FL

Hi ,


Greetings of the day!

Please send resume to or contact 770-255-7722


This is Rohit Sarmal from Pyramid IT Consulting PVT. LTD. We have a job opportunity for .Net Developer with our direct client in St. Petersburg, FL. If you are available and interested then please send me your updated resume in word format along with the contact details and best time to reach you and I'll call you to discuss this position in more detail. 


Position Role/Title:        .Net Developer

Position ID:                        16494

Duration:                             12 Months + (Could be a CTH)

Location:                             St. Petersburg, FL


The .Net Engineers will be working on the Serve- Config Management project utilizing C#, ASP .NET, TFS, WCF and IIS

Required Skills

·         C#, ASP .NET, TFS, WCF and IIS as below:

·         5+ years in application/technology development (.Net and SQL/Oracle DB).

·         3+ years of IIS management; alerting and logging; config management

·         3+ years in application production support.

·         Willing to work a flexible schedule; on-call

·         Ability to work well in a startup like environment.

·         2+ years of hands on coding.

·         2+ years of Team Foundation Server (TFS) or JIRA experience

·         Consultant must be able to communicate well with the team

·         Consultants must have good documentation skills..



Thanks & Regards


Rohit Sarmal

Pyramid Consulting, Inc.

Office: 770-255-7722 || fax: (678) 840-2109

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Very Urgent reQ. of Oracle Pl/SQL Developer, O'Fallon, MO, 12 Months

Hi Partners,

Please send resumes to only



This is a junior level, 1-3 years of experience


Oracle Pl/SQL Developer

O'Fallon, MO

12 Months


Job Description:
The merchant data enrichment team is looking for a developer to join us in our adventure of building a world-class hub for merchant data that fuels that business case for emerging products and services to both our traditional bank customer as well as direct to merchants themselves. Provides support of applications software through programming, analysis, design, development and delivery of software solutions. Researches alternative technical solutions for changing business needs.

Major Accountabilities:
Responsible for programming, testing, implementation, documentation, maintenance and support of systems application software in adherence with MasterCard standards, processes and best practices.
Develop high quality, secure, scalable software solutions based on technical requirements specifications and design artifacts within expected time and budget.
Research, create and evaluate technical solution alternatives for the business needs current and upcoming technologies and frameworks.
Perform feasibility studies, logic designs, detailed systems flow-charting, analysis of input-output flow, cost and time analysis.
Work with project team to meet scheduled due dates, while identifying emerging issues and recommending solutions for problems and independently perform assigned tasks, perform production incident management. Participate in on-call pager support rotation.
Document software programs per Software Development Best Practices. Follow MasterCard Quality Assurance and Quality Control processes.
Assist Senior Team members in modification of the documentation templates per the needs of the project and technology.
Contribute ideas to help ensure that required standards and processes are in place and actively look for opportunities to enhance standards and improve process efficiency.
Support collection and reporting of project and software metrics.

Bachelor's degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or Management Information Systems or equivalent work experience.

Knowledge / Experience:
Oracle/SQL, P/L SQL, SQL+, C++, Unix, Windows. Java a plus though secondary to the rest
Thourough understanding of relational databases and structures
Thorough knowledge and understanding of Software Engineering Concepts and Methodologies is required.
Must demonstrate MC Core Competencies.
1 to 3 years of experience in software engineering field.

Skills/ Abilities:
Must be high-energy, detail-oriented and proactive with the ability to function under pressure in an independent environment.
Must provide the necessary skills to have a high degree of initiative and self-motivation with a willingness and ability to learn and take on challenging opportunities.
Strong communication skills -- both verbal and written with strong relationship, collaborative skills and organizational skills.
Ability to work as a member of matrix based diverse and geographically distributed project team.



Thanks & Regards,



Logic Planet Inc.

Desk: 732-512-0009 * 122

jagdish.logicplanet (IM)

Fax : (732) 512 0003


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QA Tester/ Java Programmer // St. Louis, MO 63141 (Chesterfield) // 6 month contract // Pay Rate: $35/hr

Dear Professionals,
Please have the below requirement and send me your consultant resumes ASAP
Please reply at
Title: QA Tester/ Java Programmer
Openings: 3
Location: St. Louis, MO 63141 (Chesterfield)
Duration: 6 month contract
Pay Rate: $35/hr

5+ years of QA exp.
Understands traditional waterfall testing
Ability to build test scripts from scratch
Jr. level exp with Java programming (4 -6/10)
Experience testing utilizing Eclipse
Experience testing in an Agile environment
Experience with SOAP
Experience with SQL
This person will be assigned to a specific development group. They will be responsible for looking at the business requirements and writing up the test
cases. They will need to be able to look at them and ask 1) Is this testable? 2) How is this testable? And 3) Is it a candidate for automation? They will then code in java to automate the test scripts. They will also be responsible for assisting key business users (product owners) with backlog creation and grooming as well as creating and managing defects in Quality Center.
Thank you for your time and look forward to work with you.
Chris Brown | Technical Recruiter
Panzer Solutions LLC
Direct: 203-652-1444*125

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Very Urgent reQ. of QA Analyst, Costa Mesa, CA, 6 Months

Hi Partners,

Please send resumes to only


Software Quality Assurance Analyst

Costa Mesa, CA

6 Months


Interview Process: Phone and then In-person ( Costa Mesa, CA )


Minimum Years of Relevant Experience: 3


Job Description:

·         Develops, publishes, and implements test plans.

·         Writes and maintains test automation.

·         Develops quality assurance standards.

·         Defines and tracks quality assurance metrics such as defect densities and open defect counts.

·         Requires a bachelor's degree and 2-4 years of experience coding in C, C++, Java.

·         Must have a working knowledge of quality assurance methodologies.

·         Familiar with NT, UNIX and/or Solaris environments.

·         Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.

·         Performs a variety of tasks.

·         Works under general supervision; typically reports to a manager.

·         A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required.

Skills Required:

·         3-5 years of experience in SQA.

·         Familiar with defect tracking tools, test case management tools.

·         Solid Web based testing experience. Self-starter.

·         Comfortable in fast-paced large development environments.

Skills Preferred but Not Required:  Mobile testing a plus



Thanks & Regards,



Logic Planet Inc.

Desk: 732-512-0009 * 122

jagdish.logicplanet (IM)

Fax : (732) 512 0003


This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient(s), please reply to the sender and destroy all copies of the original message. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email, and/or any action taken in reliance on the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

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FlexiJourney Blog

FlexiJourney Blog

55 Places To Visit When You Are In China

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 05:04 AM PST

Here is a list of best places to visit in China, find the most attractive and grand tourist destinations with many attractions when you are in China.

1. Mount Everest
Digital photograph of Mount Everest taken at an elevation of 5,300 meter from Gokyo Ri, Khumbu, NepalDigital photograph of Mount Everest taken at an elevation of 5,300 meter from Gokyo Ri, Khumbu, Nepal [ Photo by Rdevany / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Everest (Nepali: सगरमाथा, Sagarmāthā; Tibetan: ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ, Wylie: jo mo glang ma; Chomolungma or Qomolangma CHOH-moh-LAHNG-mə, "Holy Mother"; Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰; pinyin: Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng;) is the Earth's highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level and the 5th tallest mountain measured from the centre of the Earth. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse, 8,516 m (27,940 ft); Nuptse, 7,855 m (25,771 ft) and Changtse, 7,580 m (24,870 ft). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

2. Mount Gongga
Minya Konka Northwest RidgeMinya Konka Northwest Ridge [ Photo by Kogo / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Gongga (simplified Chinese: 贡嘎山; traditional Chinese: 貢嘎山; pinyin: Gònggá Shān), also known as Minya Konka (Khams Tibetan pinyin: Mi'nyâg Gong'ga Riwo), is the highest mountain in Sichuan province, China. Situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range, part of the Hengduan mountainous region, Mount Gongga is the easternmost 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) peak in the world and the third highest peak outside of the Himalaya/Karakoram. In 1930 the explorer Joseph Rock, making the first attempt to measure its altitude, mis-calculated its height as 30,250 ft (9,220 m) and cabled the National Geographic Society to announce Minya Konka as the highest mountain in the world. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

3. Tien Shan
Tian Shan mountain range with Khan Tengri (6995 m) in the center. Taken on the flight from Urumqi to Bishkek, where Mt. Khan Tengri and Mt. Tomur (Russian: Mt Pobeda) can be seen clearly.Tian Shan mountain range with Khan Tengri (6995 m) in the center. Taken on the flight from Urumqi to Bishkek, where Mt. Khan Tengri and Mt. Tomur (Russian: Mt Pobeda) can be seen clearly. [ Photo by Chen Zhao / CC BY 2.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Tian Shan (Chinese: 天山; pinyin: Tiān Shān; literally "celestial mountains"; Kazakh:Хан Тәңірі (Khan Tengri: literally "Empyrean God"/"Heavenly Mountains");Kyrgyz:ТЕҢИРИ-ТОО (Tengiri-Too; literally "Heavenly Mountains"/"God's Mountains"/"Mountains of Tengri");Mongolian: Тэнгэр уул; Uyghur: تەڭرى تاغ‎, ULY: Tengri Tagh), also spelled Tien Shan, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak (Jengish Chokusu), 7,439 metres (24,406 ft). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

4. Mount Bogda
Tianchi Lake or Heaven Lake, Xinjiang, ChinaTianchi Lake or Heaven Lake, Xinjiang, China [ Photo by Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Bogda Shan (Mongolian: Bogd Uul, simplified Chinese: 博格达山; traditional Chinese: 博格達山; pinyin: Bógédá shãn) range is part of the eastern Tien Shan mountains, and located in Xinjiang, some 60 km east of Ürümqi. The highest elevation is Bogda Feng, at 5445 m. Administratively, the range forms the border between Dabancheng District to the south and Fukang City and Jimsar County to the north. In all three units, irrigated agriculture is based on the water flowing in streams that starts in the Bogda Shan. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

5. Mount Tai
Immortal BridgeImmortal Bridge [ Photo by Pfctdayelise / CC BY-SA 2.5 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Tai (Chinese: 泰山; pinyin: Tài Shān) is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai'an, in Shandong province, China. The tallest peak is the Jade Emperor Peak (simplified Chinese: 玉皇顶; traditional Chinese: 玉皇頂; pinyin: Yùhuáng Dǐng), which is commonly reported as 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) tall, but is described by the PRC government as 1,532.7 metres (5,029 ft). The west route, taken by fewer tourists, is more scenic, but has less cultural heritage. Mount Tai is one of the "Five Great Mountains". It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

6. Mount Hua
Western summit of the Hua Shan (Shaanxi, People's Republic of China).Western summit of the Hua Shan (Shaanxi, People's Republic of China). [ Photo by Ondřej Žváček / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Hua, or Hua Shan (simplified Chinese: 华山; traditional Chinese: 華山; pinyin: Huá Shān), or Xiyue (Chinese: 西岳; pinyin: Xīyuè; literally "western great mountain") is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi'an. It is one of China's Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres (7,070 ft). Mount Hua is located near the southeast corner of the Ordos Loop section of the Yellow River basin, south of the Wei River valley, at the eastern end of the Qin Mountains, in southern Shaanxi province. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

7. Mount Emei
Macaque Monkey on Emeishan Mountain, Sichuan, China.Macaque Monkey on Emeishan Mountain, Sichuan, China. [ Photo by Ishai Bar (Headrock), selfmade / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryMount Emeiis a mountain in Sichuan province, China. Its name is usually written as "峨眉山" and occasionally "峩嵋山" or "峩眉山" but all three are translated as Mount Emei or Mount Emeishan (a linguistic tautology). The word 峨 can mean "high" or "lofty", but the mountain's name is merely a toponym that carries no additional meaning. Visitors to Mount Emei will likely see dozens of Tibetan Macaques who can often be viewed taking food from tourists. Local merchants sell nuts for tourists to feed the monkeys. Some monkeys may be seen eating human food such as potato chips and even drinking soda from discarded bottles. Orographically, Mt. Emei sits at the western rim of the Sichuan Basin. The mountains west of it are known as Daxiangling. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

8. Mount Wutai
Mount Wutai from the airMount Wutai from the air [ Photo by Baptiste Marcel / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Wutai (Chinese: 五台山; pinyin: Wǔtái Shān; literally "Five Plateau Mountain"), also known as Wutai Mountain or Qingliang Shan, is located in northeastern Shanxi province, China. The mountain is home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples. Mount Wutai is home to 53 sacred monasteries, and they were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. It takes its name from its unusual topography, consisting of five rounded peaks (North, South, East, West, Central), of which the North peak, called Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng, is the highest, and indeed the highest point in northern China. Mount Wǔtái is one of the Four Sacred Mountains in Chinese Buddhism. Each of the four mountains are viewed as the abode or place of practice (dàocháng; 道場) of one of the four great bodhisattvas. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

9. Mount Huang
Huangshan mountain with Pinus hwangshanensis in ChinaHuangshan mountain with Pinus hwangshanensis in China [ Photo by Immanuel Giel / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryHuangshan (simplified Chinese: 黄山; traditional Chinese: 黃山; pinyin: Huángshān; literally "Yellow Mountain"), is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China. The range is composed of material that was uplifted from an ancient sea during the Mesozoic era, 100 million years ago. The mountains themselves were carved by glaciers during the Quaternary. Vegetation on the range is thickest below 1,100 meters (3,600 ft), with trees growing up to the treeline at 1,800 meters (5,900 ft). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's major tourist destinations. Huangshan is known for its sunrises, pine trees, "strangely jutting granite peaks", and views of clouds touching the mountainsides for more than 200 days out of the year. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

10. Mount Wuyi
武夷山风景名胜区九曲溪——玉女峰武夷山风景名胜区九曲溪——玉女峰 [ Photo by 老过 / CC BY 2.5 CN ]

Satellite ImageryThe Wuyi Mountains (Chinese: 武夷山; pinyin: Wǔyí Shān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Bú-î-soaⁿ) are a mountain range located in the prefecture of Nanping, in the northern border of Fujian province with Jiangxi province, China. The mountains cover an area of 60 km². In 1999, Mount Wuyi entered UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, both natural and cultural. It is the most outstanding biodiversity conservation zone of Southeast China. In the 7th century, the Wuyi Palace was built for emperors to conduct sacrificial activities, a site that tourists can still visit today. The mountains were an important center of Taoism and later Buddhism. Remains of 35 academies erected from the era of the Northern Song to the Qin Dynasty and more than 60 Taoist temples and monasteries have been located. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

11. Mount Ali
Alishan Forest Park, TaiwanAlishan Forest Park, Taiwan [ Photo by Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Alishan National Scenic Area (Chinese: 阿里山國家風景區; pinyin: Ālǐshān guójiā fēngjǐng qū; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: A-lí-san Kok-ka Hong-kéng-khu) is a mountain resort and natural preserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County in Taiwan, Republic of China. It is 415 km² in area. It includes, among other things, mountain wilderness, four villages, waterfalls, high altitude tea plantations, the Alishan Forest Railway and several hiking trails. The area is popular among tourists and mountain climbers, and Alishan or Mount Ali (Chinese: 阿里山; pinyin: Ālǐshān) itself has become one of the major landmarks associated with Taiwan. The area is also famous for its production of high mountain tea and wasabi. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

12. Mount Lu
Fog curls around the peaks of Mt Lu (Lushan) in Jiangxi province, China. The trees have been identified as Pinus hwangshanensis, or Huangshan Pine.Fog curls around the peaks of Mt Lu (Lushan) in Jiangxi province, China. The trees have been identified as Pinus hwangshanensis, or Huangshan Pine. [ Photo by Pfctdayelise / CC BY-SA 2.5 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Lu or Lushan (simplified Chinese: 庐山; traditional Chinese: 廬山; pinyin: Lúshān, Gan: Lu-san), also known as Kuanglu (匡庐) in ancient times, is situated in the northern part of Jiangxi province in southeastern China, and is one of the most renowned mountains in the country. The oval-shaped mountains are about 25 km long and 10 km wide, and neighbors Jiujiang city and the Yangtze River to the north, Nanchang city to the south, and Poyang Lake to the east. Its highest point is Dahanyang Peak (大汉阳峰), reaching 1,474 m above sea level, and is one of the hundreds of steep peaks that towers above a sea of clouds that encompass the mountains for almost 200 days out of the year. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

13. Taklamakan Desert
Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. [ Photo by Pravit / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Taklamakan Desert, also known as Taklimakan and Teklimakan, is a desert in in the southwest portion of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. It is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, the desert Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan (ancient Mount Imeon) to the west and north, and the Gobi Desert to the east. The name is probably an Uyghur borrowing of Arabic tark, "to leave alone/out/behind, relinquish, abandon" + makan, "place". Another plausible explanation is that it is derived from Turki taqlar makan, which means "the place of ruins". Popular accounts claim that Takla Makan means "go in and you will never come out". It may also mean "The point of no return" or "The Desert of Death". The Taklamakan Desert has an area of 337,000 km2 (130,116 sq. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

14. Stone Forest
Main entrance to the Shilin Stone ForestMain entrance to the Shilin Stone Forest [ Photo by 陈昀 / CC BY-SA 2.5 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Stone Forest or Shilin (Chinese: 石林; pinyin: Shílín) is a notable set of limestone formations located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China, near Shilin approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the provincial capital Kunming. The tall rocks seem to emanate from the ground in the manner of stalagmites, with many looking like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone. Since 2007, two parts of the site, the Naigu Stone Forest (乃古石林) and Suogeyi Village (所各邑村), have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the South China Karst. The site is classified as a AAAAA-class tourist site. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

15. Heaven Lake
A crater lake at Tianchi (Heaven Lake, 天池) at Baitou (Chinese Changbai Shan) at the border of China and North KoreaA crater lake at Tianchi (Heaven Lake, 天池) at Baitou (Chinese Changbai Shan) at the border of China and North Korea [ Photo by Bdpmax / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHeaven Lake (천지 (Ch'ŏnji or Cheonji) in Korean; 天池 (Tiānchí) in Chinese) is a crater lake on the border between China and North Korea. It lies within a caldera atop the volcanic Baekdu Mountain, a part of the Baekdudaegan mountain range and the Changbai mountain range. The lake has a surface elevation of 2,189.1 m (7,182 ft). The lake covers an area of 9.82 km² (3.79 sq mi) with a south-north length of 4.85 km (3.01 mi) and east-west length of 3.35 kilometres (2.08 mi). The average depth of the lake is 213 m (699 ft) and maximum depth of 384 m (1,260 ft). From mid-October to mid-June, it is typically covered with ice. In North Korean legend, Kim Jong-il is claimed to have been born near the lake on the mountain. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

16. Namtso
namtso shangrila chinanamtso shangrila china [ Photo by Julianbce / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryNamtso was born in the Paleogene age, as a result of Himalayan tectonic plate movements. The lake lies at an elevation of 4,718 m, and has a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres. This salt lake is the largest lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region. However, it is not the largest lake in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. That title belongs to Qinghai Lake (more than twice the size of Namtso); which lies more than 1,000 km [650 miles] to the north-east, in China's Qinghai province. The traditional fashioned turquoise, silver, choral, amber and carnelian jewelry, handmade cheese and the Thangka craft are tourist' favored local souvenir. Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

17. Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake, ChinaQinghai Lake, China [ Photo by NASA / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryQinghai Lake (Chinese: 青海湖) is the largest lake in China. Located in China's Qinghai province on an endorheic basin, Qinghai Lake is classified as a saline and alkaline lake. Both the current Chinese name "Qinghai" and the older Mongolian name Kokonur translate to "Blue Lake" or "Teal Sea" in English. Qinghai Lake is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into Qinghai Lake, most of them seasonal. Five permanent streams provide 80% of total influx. The lake has fluctuated in size, shrinking over much of the 20th century, but increasing since 2004. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

18. Kanas Lake
Lake Kanas in Xinjiang, ChinaLake Kanas in Xinjiang, China [ Photo by Wang Xiaozhe and Meng Jie / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryKanas Lake (Chinese: 喀纳斯湖; pinyin: Kānàsī Hú) is a lake in Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. The lake is located in a valley in the Altai Mountains, near the very northern tip of Xinjiang, and the province's borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia. The lake was born around 200, 000 years ago during the Quaternary period, formed as a result of glacier movement. The crescent moon shaped lake have water storage capacity 53.8 billion cubic meter, average depth 120 meters. Kanas Lake district locate at about 48° N latitude, the local tourism information office compare the Kanas environment to Lake Léman Genève (46° N) due to their great many similarity of climate and scenery, in fact both the lake district looks remarkably alike – at first sight from flight – in terms of their natural elements. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

19. West Lake
West Lake, Hangzhou, ChinaWest Lake, Hangzhou, China [ Photo by Mlq4296 / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryWest Lake or Xī Hú (Chinese: 西湖; literally "West Lake") is a freshwater lake located in the historic area of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. The lake is divided by the causeways of Sū Dī (苏提 / 蘇堤), Bái Dī (白堤), and Yánggōng Dī (杨公堤 / 楊公堤). There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. Both are miracles." Besides pilgrims, the tourists in Hangzhou included envoys of foreign countries, businessmen, monks and scholar candidates of the central examinations. The beauty of West Lake started to gain wide reputation. In those days, boating on the lake was a popular entertainment. According to records, there were hundreds of boats in the lake. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

20. Sun Moon Lake
A view of Sun Moon LakeA view of Sun Moon Lake [ Photo by Justin Hwang (Justinhwang1996 / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImagerySun Moon Lake (Chinese: 日月潭; pinyin: Rìyuètán; Wade–Giles: Jih4-yüeh4-t'an2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ji̍t-goa̍t-thâm; Zintun in the Thao language, also Lake Candidus) is the largest body of water in Taiwan as well as a tourist attraction. Situated in Yuchi, Nantou, the area around the Sun Moon Lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes in Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. Sun Moon Lake is located 748 m (2,454 ft) above sea level. It is 27 m (89 ft) deep and has a surface area of approximately 7.93 km2 (3.06 sq mi). The area surrounding the lake has many trails for hiking. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

21. Erhai Lake
lashi wetland (拉市海湿地), 丽江, Yunnan Chinalashi wetland (拉市海湿地), 丽江, Yunnan China [ Photo by Ariel Steiner / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryEr Lake, Chinese Erhai (ěrhǎi, 洱海), is an alpine fault lake in Yunnan province, China. Its name means "Ear-shaped Sea", due to its shape as seen by locals and travellers. Er Lake was also known as Yeyuze or Kunming Lake in ancient times. A commonly-seen mistranslation is Erhai Lake. Erhai is situated at 1,972 metres (6,470 ft) above sea level. In size, the North-South length of the lake is 40 kilometres (25 mi) and the East-West width is roughly 7–8 kilometres (4.3–5.0 mi). Its area is 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi), making it the second largest highland lake of China, after Dianchi Lake. Its circumference reaches 116 kilometres (72 mi), its average depth is of 11 metres (36 ft) and the total storage capacity of 2.5 billion cubic metres (2,000,000 acre·ft). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

22. Li River (Guangxi)
Image at the Lijiang River (Guanxi, China)Image at the Lijiang River (Guanxi, China) [ Photo by Miguel A. Monjas / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Li River originates in the Mao'er Mountains in Xing'an County and flows in the general southern direction through Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle. In Pingle the Li River merges with two other streams, and continues south as the Gui River, which falls into the Xi Jiang, the western tributary of the Pearl River, in Wuzhou. The upper course of the River Li is connected by the ancient Lingqu Canal with the Xiang River, which flows north into the Yangtze; this in the past made the Li and Gui Rivers part of a highly important waterway connecting the Yangtze Valley with the Pearl River Delta. The 437-kilometer course of the Li and Gui Rivers is flanked by green hills. Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence). Its unusual karst topography hillsides have often been compared to those at Halong Bay, Vietnam. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

23. Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas
梅里雪山梅里雪山 [ Photo by WebTurtle / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (Chinese: 云南三江并流; pinyin: Yúnnān Sānjiāngbìngliú) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Yunnan province, China. It lies within the drainage basins of the upper reaches of the Yangtze (Jinsha), Lancang (Mekong) and Nujiang (Salween) rivers, in the Yunnanese section of the Hengduan Mountains. The protected areas extend over 15 core areas, totalling 939,441.4 ha, and buffer areas, totalling 758,977.8 ha across a region of 180 km by 310 km. Here, for a distance of over 300 km, three of Asia's great rivers run roughly parallel to one another though separated by high mountain ranges with peaks over 6,000 meters. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

24. Ban Gioc Detian Falls
Detian – Ban Gioc Falls. karst terrain at the Sino-Vietnamese border, in the hills of Daxing County, Chongzuo prefecture of Guangxi ProvinceDetian – Ban Gioc Falls. karst terrain at the Sino-Vietnamese border, in the hills of Daxing County, Chongzuo prefecture of Guangxi Province [ Photo by Emit Chan / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryBan Gioc – Detian Falls (Chinese: 德天瀑布 & 板約瀑布 – Vietnamese: Thác Bản Giốc & Thác Đức Thiên) are 2 waterfalls on the Quây Sơn River or Guichun River straddling the Sino-Vietnamese border, located in the Karst hills of Daxin County, Guangxi (Chinese side), and in the district of Trung Khanh District, Cao Bằng province on the Vietnamese side, 272 km (169 mi) north of Hanoi.[Ref 1] The waterfall drops 30 m (98 ft). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

25. Huangguoshu Waterfall
Huangguoshu WaterfallHuangguoshu Waterfall [ Photo by WaitinZ / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHuangguoshu Waterfall (simplified Chinese: 黄果树瀑布; traditional Chinese: 黃果樹瀑布; pinyin: huáng guǒshù pùbù; Wade–Giles: Huang-kuo-shu p'u-pu; literally "Yellow-Fruit Tree Waterfalls"), is one of the largest waterfalls in China and East Asia located on the Baishui River (白水河) in Anshun, Guizhou province. It is 77.8 m (255 ft) high and 101 m (331 ft) wide. The main waterfall is 67 m (220 ft) high and 83.3 m (273 ft) wide. Together with minor waterfalls, the charms of the waterfall is a natural tourist draw, classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration. Huangguoshu Waterfall's vista changes depending on the location of the viewer. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

26. Hukou Waterfall
Hukou Waterfall of Yellow River, ChinaHukou Waterfall of Yellow River, China [ Photo by Leruswing / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Hukou Waterfall (simplified Chinese: 壶口瀑布; traditional Chinese: 壺口瀑布; pinyin: Hǔkǒu Pùbù), the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, China, the second largest waterfall in China (after the Huangguoshu Waterfall), is located at the intersection of Shanxi Province and Shaanxi Province, 165 km (103 mi) to the west of Fenxi City, and 50 km (31 mi) to the east of Yichuan. The Hukou Waterfall exists where water in the middle reaches of the Yellow River flows through Jinxia Grand Canyon. The width of the waterfall changes with the season, usually 30 metres (98 ft) wide but increasing to 50 m (164 ft) during flood season. It has a height of over 20 m (66 ft). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

27. Tianya Haijiao
Tianya Haijiao, (literally "Edges of the heaven, corners of the sea"), Hainan province, People's Republic of China.Tianya Haijiao, (literally "Edges of the heaven, corners of the sea"), Hainan province, People's Republic of China. [ Photo by Anna Frodesiak / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryTianya Haijiao (Chinese: 天涯海角; pinyin: Tiānyá Hǎijiǎo; literally "Edges of the heaven, corners of the sea") is a popular resort in the southern part of Hainan province, People's Republic of China. It is located 24 km to the west of Sanya's municipal region. It is for this reason that it is a popular sightseeing destination for tourists, as well as the fact that, on clear days, various islets are visible. In Chinese literature, the cape is mentioned in many famous poems, such as "I will follow you to Tian-Ya-Hai-Jiao", which means the couple will never be separated. Therefore many newlyweds spend part of their honeymoon visiting the place, just like young Indian couples visiting the Taj Mahal Palace in Agra. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

28. Paracel Islands
Aerial photograph showing recent harbour developments on Duncan IslandAerial photograph showing recent harbour developments on Duncan Island [ Photo by Livewireshock / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Paracel Islands, also called Xīshā Islands (西沙群岛) in Chinese and Hoàng Sa Islands (Quần đảo Hoàng Sa) in Vietnamese, is a group of islands where the sovereignty is disputed by the People's Republic of China (PRC), Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam. All of the islands are currently under the administration of Hainan Province of the PRC, which, in July 2012, established Sansha City covering the islands as one of the three townships of the city. Chinese and South Vietnamese forces both occupied parts of the Paracel Islands before 1974, when the Battle of the Paracel Islands occurred, after which the former took over and controlled all of the Paracels. The island has been open for tourists since 1997 as announced by the government of China. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

29. Yalong Bay
Yalong Bay, Hainan, ChinaYalong Bay, Hainan, China [ Photo by Anna Frodesiak / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryYalong Bay is a 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) beach located southeast of Sanya City, Hainan Province, China. It is also known as the Yalong Bay National Resort. Regarded as the best beach in Hainan Province[who?], many internationally-operated hotels have been constructed in Yalong Bay, including the Sheraton Sanya Resort, Marriott Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Resort, and Holiday Inn Resorts. Several domestically-operated hotels including Resort Horizon, Mangrove Tree Resort, and Cactus Resort have also been constructed. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

30. Wulingyuan
quartzite sandstone huangshizhai zhangjiajie wulingyuan hunan china panorama 2012 five fingers peakquartzite sandstone huangshizhai zhangjiajie wulingyuan hunan china panorama 2012 five fingers peak [ Photo by chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryWulingyuan (Chinese: 武陵源; pinyin: Wǔlíng Yuán) is a scenic and historic interest area in Hunan Province, China, noted for its approximately 3,100 tall quartzite sandstone pillars, some of which are over 800 metres (2,600 ft) in height and are a type of karst formation. The site is in the Zhangjiajie City and lies about 270 kilometres (170 mi) to the northwest of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province. Wulingyuan forms part of the Wuling Range. The scenic area comprises several national parks, one of which is the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

31. Shangri-La
Zhongdian Gyeltang in Yunnan province (China)Zhongdian Gyeltang in Yunnan province (China) [ Photo by Colegota / CC BY-SA 2.1 ES ]

Satellite ImageryShangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel Lost Horizon, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance. The word also evokes the imagery of exoticism of the Orient. In the ancient Tibetan scriptures, existence of seven such places is mentioned as Nghe-Beyul Khimpalung. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

32. Jiuzhaigou Valley
jiuzhaigou valley national park sichuan china autumn fall multi-coloured pool 2011 五花海, Wǔhuā Hǎi rize valley 日则沟jiuzhaigou valley national park sichuan china autumn fall multi-coloured pool 2011 五花海, Wǔhuā Hǎi rize valley 日则沟 [ Photo by chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryJiuzhaigou Valley (simplified Chinese: 九寨沟; traditional Chinese: 九寨溝; pinyin: Jiǔzhàigōu; literally "Valley of Nine Villages"; Tibetan: གཟི་རྩ་སྡེ་དགུ།, Wylie: gzi-rtsa sde-dgu, ZYPY: Sirza Degu) is a nature reserve and national park located in northern Sichuan province of southwestern China. Since opening, tourist activity has increased every year: from 5,000 in 1984 to 170,000 in 1991, 160,000 in 1995, to 200,000 in 1997, including about 3,000 foreigners. Visitors numbered 1,190,000 in 2002. As of 2004[update], the site averages 7,000 visits per day, with a quota of 12,000 being reportedly enforced during high season. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

33. Wolong National Nature Reserve
baby 7-month old panda cub in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, Chinababy 7-month old panda cub in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China [ Photo by Sheila Lau / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryWolong National Nature Reserve (simplified Chinese: 卧龙自然保护区; traditional Chinese: 臥龍自然保護區; pinyin: Wòlóng Zìránbǎohùqū) is a protected area located in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China. Established in 1963, the reserve covers an area of about 200,000 hectares in the Qionglai Mountains region. There are over 4,000 different species recorded in the reserve. Wolong National Nature Reserve houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas. The reserve is also a home to many other endangered species including: red pandas, golden monkeys, white-lipped deer and many precious plants. Wolong gets up to 100,000 visitors every year. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

34. Zhalong Nature Reserve
Red-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis) at the Zhalong WetlandRed-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis) at the Zhalong Wetland [ Photo by Refrain / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryZhalong Nature Preserve (simplified Chinese: 扎龙国家级自然保护区; traditional Chinese: 扎龍國家級自然保護區; pinyin: zhālóng guójiā jízìránbǎohùqū) is a wetland reserve in Heilongjiang province, China. Established in 1979, the 2,100 km2 (810 sq mi) marshland is a major migratory route for birds from the Arctic migrating to South East Asia and is one of the few breeding grounds in the far east for the Marsh Grassbird Megalurus pryeri. Its ponds and reeds make it an ideal home for over 300 different species of birds. It is protected by the Chinese government. Within the park, a large flock of Red-crowned Cranes is held in captivity for conservation purposes. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

35. Mount Siguniang
The Second Peak of Mt.SiguniangThe Second Peak of Mt.Siguniang [ Photo by Zhangmoon618 / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryMount Siguniang (Chinese: 四姑娘山; literally "Four Girls Mountain" or "Four Sisters Mountain"; Tibetan name: Skubla) is the highest peak of Qionglai Mountains in Western China. It is located in the bordering area of Xiaojin County and Wenchuan County in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Mt. Siguniang encompasses four peaks: DaFeng (Big Peak or 1st peak), ErFeng (2nd peak), SanFeng (3rd peak), and Yaomei Feng (4th peak). The highest peak is Yaomei Feng (Chinese: 幺妹峰; literally "peak of the youngest sister"), also known as the "Queen of Sichuan's peaks" (Chinese: 蜀山皇后), standing at 6250 meters. It is also the second highest mountain in Sichuan Province. The first ascent was in 1981 by a Japanese team via the east ridge. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

36. Hulun Lake
A garden overlooking Lake HulunA garden overlooking Lake Hulun [ Photo by NocturneNoir / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHulun Lake (simplified Chinese: 呼伦湖; traditional Chinese: 呼倫湖; pinyin: Hūlún Hú; Mongolian: hölön nuur, lit. foot lake) or Dalai Lake (Mongolian: Dalai nuur, lit. ocean lake), is a lake in Inner Mongolia, China. It is one of the five largest freshwater lakes in all of China, covering approximately 2,339 km². It is a tourist destination during the summer, but during off times, the lake's visitors are few. The lake isn't far from Manzhouli, which is on a major rail-line. Although there are several villages nearby, Manzhouli is the nearest city of reputable size. As in 1995 annual fish production was about 7,000 tons, 100 tons of shrimp, 4 kilograms of pearls, 1.5 million crayfish. The lake is also one of the key reed production areas in China. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

37. Shennongjia
On top of the Shennong Ding (Shennong's Peak)On top of the Shennong Ding (Shennong's Peak) [ Photo by Brookqi / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryShennongjia Forestry District (Chinese: 神农架林区) is a county-level administrative unit (a "forestry district") in northwestern Hubei province, People's Republic of China, directly subordinated to the provincial government. It occupies 3,253 square kilometres (1,256 sq mi) in western Hubei, and, as of 2007 had the resident population estimated at 74,000 (with the registered population of 79,976). There are numerous tourist attractions throughout the district, but most of the district is closed to foreign tourists, with the exception of a narrow strip along its southern border (south of Yazikou Junction). The open area includes the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

38. Summer Palace
Scenery of Longevity HillScenery of Longevity Hill [ Photo by Zhangzhe0101 / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Summer Palace (simplified Chinese: 颐和园; traditional Chinese: 頤和園; pinyin: Yíhé Yuán; literally "Gardens of Nurtured Harmony") is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres, three quarters of which is water. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park. Longevity Hill is about 60 metres (200 feet) high and houses many buildings positioned in sequence. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

39. Yuanyang
yuanyang rice terrace yunnan china 2012 duoyishu sunrise 多依树yuanyang rice terrace yunnan china 2012 duoyishu sunrise 多依树 [ Photo by chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryYuanyang County (simplified Chinese: 元阳县; traditional Chinese: 元陽縣; pinyin: Yuányáng Xiàn; Hani: Yeiqyaq) is located in Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan province, China, along the Red River. It is well-known for its spectacular rice-paddy terracing. It covers an area of 2200 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 365,000 (2002), of which 88% belong to ethnic minorities and 95% is associated with agriculture. The majority of the inhabitants of the county are from the Hani ethnic group. The GDP of Yuanyang county in 2002 was 630 million Yuan. The administrative seat of the county is the town of Nansha (a.k.a. New Yuanyang) down in the Red River valley at an elevation of 240 meters. It is situated 12 km towards the north-east of the former administrative seat Xinjie (a.k.a. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

40. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, near BeijingThe Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, near Beijing [ Photo by Nicolas Perrault III / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryThe Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

41. Forbidden City
Forbidden CityForbidden City [ Photo by Rabs003 / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Construction lasted 14 years and required more than a million workers. Material used include whole logs of precious Phoebe zhennan wood (Chinese: 楠木; pinyin: nánmù) found in the jungles of south-western China, and large blocks of marble from quarries near Beijing. The floors of major halls were paved with "golden bricks" (Chinese: 金砖; pinyin: jīnzhuān), specially baked paving bricks from Suzhou. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

42. Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven, Beijing, ChinTemple of Heaven, Beijing, Chin [ Photo by Maros M r a z (Maros) / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (simplified Chinese: 天坛; traditional Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán; Manchu: Abkai mukdehun) is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taois. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

43. Potala Palace
Potala PalacePotala Palace [ Photo by Philipp Roelli / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Potala Palace (Tibetan: པོ་ཏ་ལ, Wylie: Po ta la, ZYPY: Bodala; simplified Chinese: 布达拉宫; traditional Chinese: 布達拉宮; pinyin: Bùdálā Gōng) is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara. The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The building measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

44. Chengde Mountain Resort
Little Gold Mountain in the Mountain ResortLittle Gold Mountain in the Mountain Resort [ Photo by Gisling / CC BY 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Mountain Resort in Chengde (Chinese: 避暑山庄; pinyin: Bìshǔ Shānzhuāng; literally "Mountain Villa for Avoiding the Heat"; Manchu: Halhūn be jailara gurung) or Ligong (Chinese: 离宫; pinyin: Lígōng), is a large complex of imperial palaces and gardens situated in the city of Chengde in Hebei, China. Because of its vast and rich collection of Chinese landscapes and architecture, the Mountain Resort in many ways is a culmination of all the variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces from various regions of China. Built between 1703 and 1792 during the Qing Dynasty, the Mountain Resort took 89 years to complete. It covers a total area of 5.6 square kilometres (2.2 sq mi), almost half of Chengde's urban area. It is a vast complex of palaces and administrative and ceremonial buildings. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

45. Temple of Confucius, Qufu
The Hall of Great Perfection (Dacheng Dian), the main hall of the Temple of Confucius, Qufu.The Hall of Great Perfection (Dacheng Dian), the main hall of the Temple of Confucius, Qufu. [ Photo by Vmenkov / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Temple of Confucius (simplified Chinese: 孔庙; traditional Chinese: 孔廟; pinyin: Kǒng Miào) in Qufu, Shandong Province of China, is the "original", largest and most famous of the temples of Confucius in China and East Asia. Within two years after the death of Confucius, his former house in Qufu was already consecrated as a temple by the Prince of Lu. In 205 BC, Emperor Gao of the Han Dynasty was the first emperor to offer sacrifices to the memory of Confucius in Qufu. He set an example for many emperors and high officials to follow. Later, emperors would visit Qufu after their enthronement or on important occasions such as a successful war. In total, 12 different emperors paid 20 personal visits to Qufu to worship Confucius. About 100 others sent their deputies for 196 official visits. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

46. Yungang Grottoes
Entrance to Yungang Grottoes, Datong, ChinaEntrance to Yungang Grottoes, Datong, China [ Photo by Marcin Białek / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Yungang Grottoes (simplified Chinese: 云冈石窟; traditional Chinese: 雲崗石窟; pinyin: Yúngāng Shíkū; Wuzhoushan Grottoes in ancient time) are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao. The site is located about 16 km south-west of the city of Datong, in the valley of the Shi Li river at the base of the Wuzhou Shan mountains. They are an outstanding example of the Chinese stone carvings from the 5th and 6th centuries. All together the site is composed of 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

47. Longmen Grottoes
Longmen GrottoesLongmen Grottoes [ Photo by Alex Kwok / public domain ]

Satellite ImageryThe Longmen Grottoes (simplified Chinese: 龙门石窟; traditional Chinese: 龍門石窟; pinyin: lóngmén shíkū; lit. Dragon's Gate Grottoes) or Longmen Caves are one of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art. Housing tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples, they are located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of present day Luòyáng in Hénán province, Peoples Republic of China. The images, many once painted, were carved into caves excavated from the limestone cliffs of the Xiangshan and Longmenshan mountains, running east and west. The Yi River flows northward between them and the area used to be called Yique ("The Gate of the Yi River"). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

48. Dazu Rock Carvings
Dazu Rock CarvingsDazu Rock Carvings [ Photo by Gisling / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Dazu Rock Carvings (Chinese: 大足石刻; pinyin: Dàzú Shíkè) are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century AD, depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs. The sites are located in Chongqing Municipality within the steep hillsides throughout Dazu County, located about 60 kilometers west of the urban area of Chongqing. The highlights of the rock grotto are found on Mount Baoding and Mount Beishan. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

49. Pingyao County
View from Market TowerView from Market Tower [ Photo by severin.stalder / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryPingyao (Chinese: 平遥; pinyin: Píngyáo) is a county in central Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It lies about 715 kilometres (444 mi) from Beijing and 80 kilometres (50 mi) from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial centre of China. Its history dates back 2,700 years, and is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the known world. It is still inhabited by 50,000 residents and is renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the tourist high-season, the amount of visitors to the city can reach up to 3 times its maximum capacity per day. Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typical bagua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

50. Old Town of Lijiang
lijiang old town yunnan china 2012 unesco world heritagelijiang old town yunnan china 2012 unesco world heritage [ Photo by chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryThe Old Town of Lijiang (simplified Chinese: 丽江古城; traditional Chinese: 麗江古城; pinyin: Lìjiāng Gǔchéng) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lijiang City, Yunnan, China. This is to accommodate the large number of tourists who walk the cobblestone streets (cars are not allowed in the old city), typically as part of package tours. Evenings in the old city can be particularly rowdy, not least due to the many outdoor bars, where boisterous groups of tourists try ousting other groups. The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. It is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

51. Hongcun, Anhui
Nanhu Lake, Hongcun Village, Anhui, China Photo taken during my travels through China.Nanhu Lake, Hongcun Village, Anhui, China Photo taken during my travels through China. [ Photo by Montblanc.tins / CC BY 2.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHongcun (Chinese: 宏村; pinyin: Hóngcūn) is a village in Yi County county, Anhui Province, People's Republic of China, near the southwest slope of Mount Huangshan. The village is arranged in the shape of an ox with the nearby hill (Leigang Hill) interpreted as the head, and two trees standing on it as the horns. Four bridges across the Jiyin stream can be seen as the legs whilst the houses of the village form the body. Inside the “body”, the Jiyin stream represents the intestines and various lakes such as the “South Lake” (Nanhu) form the other internal organs. The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China. One of the biggest of the residences open to visitors, Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small museum. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

52. Wuzhen
General view of Wuzhen, ChinaGeneral view of Wuzhen, China [ Photo by Dishio / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryWuzhen (simplified Chinese: 乌镇; traditional Chinese: 烏鎮; pinyin: Wūzhèn) is a historic scenic town, part of Tongxiang, located in northern Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China. It lies within the triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. Covering an area of 71.19 square kilometres (27.49 sq mi), Wuzhen has a total population is 60,000 of which 12,000 are permanent residents. Located in the centre of the six ancient towns south of Yangtze River, 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of the city of Tongxiang, Wuzhen displays its history through its ancient stone bridges, stone pathways and delicate wood carvings. The town also has a rich cultural background. Mao Dun, a renowned modern Chinese revolutionary writer, was born in Wuzhen, and his well-known work, 'The Lin's Shop', describes the life of Wuzhen. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

53. Huangshan City
Street in the old part of Huangshan City, Huangshan (city), Anhui, PR ChinaStreet in the old part of Huangshan City, Huangshan (city), Anhui, PR China [ Photo by Arne Hückelheim / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHuangshan (Chinese: 黄山; pinyin: Huángshān), is a prefecture-level city in southern Anhui province, east China. Huangshan means Yellow Mountain in Chinese and the city is named after the famously scenic Yellow Mountains which cover much of the city's vast geographic expanse. The prefectural city of Huangshan includes three urban districts and four counties. The urban center of Huangshan was originally the city of Tunxi, and is now called Tunxi District. Locals still call the city Tunxi to distinguish urban core from other parts of Huangshan. It is a leading tourist destination in China. Keemun tea is produced in Qimen County, and the tea is named for the county. Mao feng, a green tea, is also produced in neighboring counties. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

54. Harbin
HarbinHarbin [ Photo by Yao Dao Luan / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryHarbin (Chinese: 哈尔滨; pinyin:  Hā'ěrbīn  ; Manchu language:, Harbin; Russian: Харбин Kharbin  listen ) is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, as well as the tenth most populated city in the People's Republic of China. According to the 2010 China census data, the city's urban area has 5,878,939 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city is up to 10,635,971. Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications hub in Northeast China. However, following the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, Russia's influence declined, and several thousand nationals from 33 countries including the United States, Germany, and France moved to Harbin. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

55. Dalian
The skyline of Dalian, as seen fro Lushan Hill. Labour Park with it's oversized football and ferris wheel can be seen in the foreground.The skyline of Dalian, as seen fro Lushan Hill. Labour Park with it's oversized football and ferris wheel can be seen in the foreground. [ Photo by Paul Louis / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Satellite ImageryDalianis a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning province, Northeast China. It is surrounded by the waters of the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Across the Bohai Sea to the south lies the Shandong peninsula. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Dalian is the southernmost city of Northeast China and China's northernmost warm water port. The second largest city in Liaoning province, next only to the capital (Shenyang), the city has a significant history of being used by foreign powers for its ports (Dalian's port and Lüshun's port). Today it serves as a regional financial base and an important international shipping centre and logistics hub in Northeast Asia. Dalian is a popular destination among domestic tourists and foreign visitors, especially from Japan, South Korea and Russia. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)