When it comes to the beautiful China landscapes in Xinjiang, even a simple camera can produce the most beautiful photographs. This is a collection of the most breathtaking Xinjiang landscapes you’ll find in China’s far western region.
Xinjiang, the largest province in China and located in the country’s far northwest, boasts the most diversity of China landscapes: from one of the world’s largest deserts to one of the world’s tallest mountain ranges.
The result is that “Xinjiang landscape” can mean so many different things. The diversity comes as a shock to most people who think of China as either a concrete jungle of massive cities or large rice patties.
Below are some photos to prove this diversity exists, but if you want to see it for yourself, you’ll need to grab a copy of the FarWestChina Xinjiang Travel Guide, the most comprehensive guide to exploring the landscapes of Xinjiang.
These are the kinds of places that you won’t find in a Lonely Planet and most travelers don’t even know exist. That’s part of what makes Xinjiang such an attractive place to visit…
…the China landscapes you see below are still relatively untouched and undiscovered.
Xinjiang Desert Landscapes
The Taklamakan Desert is the 2nd largest desert in the whole world and takes up almost 1/3 of the entire Xinjiang province.
In addition to the Taklamakan, you can visit the Kumtagh Desert near the ancient oasis of Turpan. It’s here where I’ve taken camel rides and even set up camp, as you can see above!
Log Cabin Village China Landscapes
The famous Hemu village is located near the Kanas Lake in Altay, Xinjiang. It’s one of the most popular places for professional photographers in the region, especially during the fall months when the leaves turn various colors.
The Keketuohai National Park is one of the most beautiful and least-recognized parks in China. Many compare it to Yosemite in the US.
Xinjiang’s Odd Rock Formations
The combination of dry climate, harsh winds and lots of time have added up to some interesting rock formations in Xinjiang.
This includes a placed referred to as the Xinjiang Grand Canyon located an hour north of Aksu. It’s very similar to Arizona’s Antelope Canyon.
There are other rock formations in Xinjiang known as “yardang” land forms, such as those found at the Karamay Ghost City.
These martian-like landscapes are created when fierce winds erode the rocks, leaving these towers of multi-colored rock standing in the desert.
Further south in Turpan, interesting Flaming Mountains feel like flames in the midst of incredible heat.
Natural Color Landscapes in Xinjiang
During different months of spring, Xinjiang experiences a number of colorful landscapes, some of which last for only a week or two.
Beautiful apricot blossoms near Yili, Xinjiang spring up every year and provide incredible pink landscapes over the rolling hills.
On the western side of Yili, fields of purple lavender spring up during the beginning of summer. Although this plant isn’t native to Xinjiang, it grows well here and is now a huge export of the region.
Finally, the forest of poplar trees near the city of Korla provide a great contrast to the desert and the mountains. During the fall season, these trees turn a fierce yellow color that is mesmerizing.
Mountain Landscapes of Xinjiang
With the Tianshan, Kunlun, Pamir and Altay mountain ranges spanning the massive region of Xinjiang, there are numerous places to experience gorgeous mountain landscapes.
The Stone Fort in Tashkorgan is a great place to see the Pamir mountains as well as the beautiful Golden Grasslands.
One of China’s most photographed Xinjiang landscapes, this bend in Kanas Lake is hard to beat. The Altay mountains provide a phenomenal background to this amazing natural wonder.
Final Thoughts | China Landscapes in Xinjiang
As evidenced by these photos, which are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beautiful photos of Xinjiang, China’s western region is home to an amazing diversity of landscapes.
In fact, it’s probably safe to say that there are more unique landscapes in Xinjiang than in any other part of China.
If you’d like to come see it for yourself, check out the FarWestChina Xinjiang Travel Guide, a book that will not only guide you through the popular tourist portions of the region, but will also show you off-the-beaten path locations.
Whatever your landscape preference, there’s likely a place worth visiting in Xinjiang!