Mountains (The Himalayas abut or cross five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range.The Himalayas are bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, and on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain)The Himalayas edge southwestern China, encompassing Tibet and Nepal and forming a natural barrier along the border of India. Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak, is part of the Himalayan range. China invaded the Himalayan country of Tibet in 1959 and has since claimed Tibetan territory as its own. Tourists can travel from Beijing and other cities in China by air, but a visual tour of the country is now possible by train. The Qinghai-Tibet railway takes 48 hours from Beijing to Lhasa in the Himalayas, the former capital of Tibet. En route you can see the varied terrains of the Chinese countryside and the Tibetan plateau. The train has sleeper cars and oxygen to help neophytes get accustomed to the high altitudes. Tourists can spend a few days exploring Beijing and several days in Lhasa and the surrounding mountains.
Deserts (The 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)
Rivers of ChinaThe Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in southwestern China are massive, ancient seas with some of the driest conditions of any desert in the world. Taklamakan has perilous sand storms and drought, poisonous snakes and extreme weather. The Gobi, which has a legendary bone collection, is the site of ongoing digs where some of the most spectacular paleontological finds have been discovered. Hardy tourists can view the myriad landscapes and culture of the Gobi on tours with accommodations in Mongolian "gers," felt-lined lattice yurts. Desert visitors may stumble across dinosaur bones, see folk dancing, Mongolian horse racing and archery contests, tour old temples and monasteries, relax by a waterfall, hike the dunes, spend time in Ulaanbataar, the present-day capital of Mongolia, and Karakorum, the ruins of the ancient capital.
Rivers (With more than 50,000 rivers, China abounds in rivers. Almost all large rivers in China belong to the exterior river system, which directly or indirectly emptying into the seas. Because China's terrain is high in the west and low in the east, most of its rivers flow east and empty into the Pacific Ocean, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Heilong, Pearl, Liaohe and Haihe rivers.)
Desert in chinaThe Yangtze River, which divides North China from South China, is the third longest in the world, next to the Nile and the Amazon. The Yellow River is nearly as long. Both rivers run through the center of China and have created important agricultural regions due to annual flooding. Tourists today can see the Chinese effort to control the Yangtze's floods on a cruise that visits the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest dam and hydroelectric power supplier. Yangtze cruises, which are usually bookended with sightseeing in Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai, may include adventure hikes, kayaking opportunities, short cruises down smaller scenic rivers like the Li River in Guilin with its karst cliffs, and a bus ride to the peak overlooking the dam itself. The Yangtze flows through Nanjing and empties into the sea at Shanghai.
Himalayan RangesChina's coastline borders the Yellow Sea to the north and the China Sea at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Chinese navigators set sail in huge ships to explore the world long before China was discovered by European sailors. Today, the seas play a significant factor in China's defensive strategy and are a vacation playground. The country lacks the exotic tropical allure of Pacific Island and Southeast Asian beaches, but travelers can find a number of resorts along the coast that attract visitors and Chinese vacationers alike. Beidaihe Beach and Dalian Beach are the long-standing favorites of the Chinese political leadership and elites. Beaches near Shenzhen and Qingdao, on Hainan Island and near Beihai, offer full-service resorts and more modest accommodations for casual tourists and economical shore vacations.