WildChina > Destinations > The China Hiking Havens Few Outsiders Know About

In the western regions of China, unbeknownst to most travellers, are some of the world’s most spectacular places for hiking and exploration. Many of these areas are so awe-inspiring that they hold a special religious significance among local people. You’ll come across sacred mountains that pierce the heavens and find Buddhist monasteries and even Catholic chapels lying hidden in these alpine pastures.


Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Nature Reserve in the remote Kahm region of Sichuan Province is home to three spiritual Tibetan mountains said to bring energy, wisdom and compassion to Buddhist pilgrims seeking enlightenment. Their unique prominence amidst the surrounding landscape makes them some of China’s most magnificent peaks to witness.

yading-lake-trailYou’ll find yourself deep in thick poplar and evergreen forests and crossing mountain streams before arriving at a peculiar lake below the 6000m peak, Chenresig. Here, according to local folklore, visitors can see their future if they spend a few moments in silence.

Trek deep into the Yading Nature Reserve on our On The Trail Of Pilgrims journey 

hiking-china-mekongSalween to Mekong

Travel south to the remote corners of Yunnan Province and retrace a trail forged by French nineteenth century missionaries as you cross through the Salween and Mekong river valleys. You’ll find yourself among the native Taiwania trees as you navigate the steep vales and ravines which earned the area the name “land of corrugations” by early Western explorers.


Emerge from the surrounding nature to stumble across wild frontier towns containing ancient Catholic churches constructed from wood and stone by the ambitious French missionaries who came centuries before.

Discover this special region on the tour, From Salween to Mekong journey


Kora Kailash

Lying in the westernmost regions of Tibet, the Mount Kailash is sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. You’ll find yourself in the company of pilgrims as you follow the 2-day kora (pilgrimage ciruit) around the peak. On the south side of this diamond-shaped mountain is Lake Manasarovar, where it’s believed that a dip in its purifying waters, combined with a circumnavigation of Kailash, will bring salvation from reincarnation.

Circle the holy mountain on our awarding-winning tour, Expedition to Tibet’s West

photo credits: yading autumn forest by Raymond Ling via flikr; mount kailash via wikicommons

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