--- SEARCH ---
Chinese Women
Film in China
War on Poverty
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar
Telephone and
Postal Codes

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies
China Post
China Air Express
Hospitals in China
Chinese Embassies
Foreign Embassies
Construction Bank
Bank of China
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Travel Agencies
China Travel Service
China International Travel Service
Beijing Youth Travel Service
Beijing Xinhua Tours
China Tibet Tour
China Tours
China National Tourism Administration

Online marketplace of Manufacturers & Wholesalers

(1) Principal Mountain Ranges

China's mountain ranges run in different directions across the length and breadth of the country, giving shape to the general topography of China. Most mountains run west-east and northeast-southwest. A few run northwest-southeast and north-south. They are interspersed and divides the land surface into many irregular chequers.

The west-east ranges consist mainly of three groups: The northern group includes the Tianshan range which crosses central Xinjiang, and the Yinshan range which extends across the middle section of the Inner Mongolia Plateau; the middle group includes the Kunlun range straddling the Xinjiang-Tibet border, and the Qinling range, cutting across the central part of the country; and the southern group consists of the Nanling Mountains on the Hunan-Jiangxi-Guangdong-Guangxi border.

The Himalayas generally run in a west-east direction.

The west-east ranges are important geographical boundaries in China. The Tianshan Mountains divide xinjiang into southern and northern parts; the Yinshan Mountains are part of the boundary line between the interior and exterior drainage basins; the Kunlun Mountains are part of the boundary line between the first and second steps of the staircase in China's topographical outline; the Qinling Mountains are the watershed of the Yangtze River and Huanghe river systems and the geographical dividing line between northern and southern China; and the Nanling Mountains are the watershed of the Yangtze River and the Zhujiang river and a natural geographical divide in southern China.

The northeast-southwest ranges consist also of three groups, mostly in the low-lying east:

In the western group, the Greater Hinggan Mountains lie between the Inner Mongolia Plateau and the Northeast Plain; the Taihang Mountains between the Loess Plateau and the North China Plain; the Wushan Mountains on the Sichuan-Hubei border; and the Xuefeng Mountains in western Hunan Province.

In the middle group, the Changbai Mountains are east of the Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces and the Wuyi Mountains are on the Fujian-Jiangxi border.

The eastern group consists of the Taiwan Mountains

The northeast-southwest ranges, the Greater Hinggan and Taihang chains in particular, stand as barriers in the way of the moist air currents from the sea, affecting the distribution of precipitation in China.

The northwest-southeast ranges, mainly in the west, include two groups: the Qilian Mountains between Gansu and Qinghai provinces and the Altay on the border between China and Mongolia and Russia.

The north-south ranges are the Helan and Liupan mountains in Ningxia and other provinces and the Hengduan Mountains straddling Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet. The Himalayas join with the Hengduan and other ranges to form a huge arc-shaped mountain chain.

(2)Famous Mountains and Peaks

Of the world's 14 mountains exceeding 8,000 meters, 9 are in China or on its borders. Many of China's world-renowned mountains are geographically important, some providing headwaters for major rivers and some forming climatic or river basin divides. Some of them, though not prominent on the map, are popular scenic spots or summer resorts; while some are known far and wide for their historical monuments or religious relics. Still others attract alpinists with their awesome height. Over a hundred mountains in China exceed 7,000 meters and more than a thousand exceed 6,000 meters.

The Himalayas, the most majestic and highest mountain range in the world, lie principally in China. Also the longest mountain range in China, they stretch fro 2,400 kilometers from west to east and 200-300 kilometers from north to south in China's Tibet, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. The main chain of Himalayas has an average elevation of more than 6,000 meters, far exceeding the average height of any other mountain range in the world. Forty Himalayan peaks exceed 7,000 meters all 11 pass the 8,000 m. mark. Mount Qomolangma, towering 8,844.43 m. on the China-Nepal border, is the highest in the world. The Himalayan peaks are covered with ice and snow all year round (Himalaya means "abode of snow" in Tibetan), their glaciers cover some 10,000 square kilometers. The northwestern slopes of the Himalayas are dry and cold, with sparse plant growth, while the southern slopes receive plentiful precipitation. A sub-tropical scene is not unusual in the Zayu and Medong areas in southeastern Tibet.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences through several extensive surveys of the Himalayas has collected a wealth of scientific data. Discoveries of numerous fossils of marine animals and plants, including those of a huge ichthyosaur 160 million years old found at an altitude of 4,800 meters, reveal that the Himalayas were once a vast expanse of sea. The mountain range has continued to rise in elevation at a yearly speed of 0.33-1.27 cm---which indicates that it is one of the world's youngest ranges.

Mount Qomolangma, the main peak of the Himalayas and the highest peak in the world, lies on the border of China's Tibet and Nepal with its northern slop in China. A 2005 survey by Chinese alpinists put its precise height as 8,844.43 meters. Shaped like a pyramid, the snow-covered peak is crisscrossed by several huge glaciers the longest 26 kilometers. Mount Qomolangma, which means " Goddess the Third" in Tibetan, is called Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and is known in the West as Mount Everest after the Indian general survey office in 1855 under the direction of the British arbitrarily named the mountain after its surveyor-general, Sir George Everest. In 1952, the Chinese government renamed it Mount Qomolangma. Long an attraction to outstanding world alpinists, the mountain has been open to foreign mountaineers on the Chinese side since 1980. Chinese mountaineers have three times scaled its summit from the northern slope: on May 25, 1960, May 27, 1975 and May 22, 2005 .

The Kunlun Mountains, known as the "Spine of Asia", tower north of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 6,000 meters above sea level, starting from the Pamirs Plateau in the west and extending 2,500 kilometers eastward along the boundary of Xinjiang and Tibet. Viewed from a distance, the snow-covered peaks of the Kunlun Mountains crisscrossed by glaciers look like a huge silvery dragon wreathed in clouds. In spring, when the ice and snow begin to melt on such imposing peaks as Muztag (7,723 meters), Muztagata (7,546 meters) and Kongur (7,719 meters) streams of melt-water flow over the dry land of northwest China and into the Yangtze River and Huanghe river.

The Kunlun range as it runs east splits into three branches: the Altun range, which becomes the Qilian Mountains; the Qiangtag range; and the Hohxil range, which becomes the Bayanhar range. The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway crosses the Western part of the Kunlun Mountain Area.

The Tianshan Mountains, one of the largest mountain ranges in Asia, has rich deposits of coat, rock salt and metals and provides China with one of its major pasture lands The Tianshan range runs across the middle of xinjiang to divide it into the Junggar and Tarim basins. The range has a total length of 2,500 kilometers, of which 1,500 kilometers are on Chinese wide from north to south, it includes several mountain chains running parallel west to east at an elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. Higher in the west than in the east, it has two famous passes in its eastern section linking the northern and southern parts of Xinjiang. One is Dabancheng, which leads the Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway to the city of Urumqi in the northwest; and the other is Qijiaojing northwest of Hami. The Tianshan range has many high, snow-covered peaks, notably Hantengri (6,995 meters) and Tomur (7,435 meters) , and its numerous glaciers provide headstreams for many rivers. There are many intermontane basins, the best-known being, from west to east, the Ili, Yanqi, Turpan and Hami basins. Air currents from the Arctic Ocean make the northern slopes of the Tainshan range more moist than the southern ones. The northern slopes have dense spruce forests, while mountain grasslands dominate the southern slopes.

The Greater Hinggan Mountains, also called West Hinggan Mountains, are the country's leading natural forest area. Situated in northeast Inner Mongolia, the Greater Hinggan range is an important natural geographical dividing line between the eastern coast and the northwestern inland regions. A watershed of the Inner Mongolia Plateau and the Songliao Plain, the Greater Hinggan range---200-300 kilometers wide---starts from the banks of the Heilong River in the north to upper reaches of the Xilamulun River in the south, running 1,200 kilometers in a northeastsouthwest direction. The Greater Hinggan range is not high1,500 meters above sea levelwith its main peak, Mount Huanggangliang, reaching an elevation of 2,029 meters. The mountain tops are round and the eastern slopes steeper than the western ones. Though not so much a windbreak as the Qinling range in central China, it still influences the climate in the area since the summer monsoons blown over long distances from the southeastern coast are blocked by the mountains here from penetrating farther into the northwest. The western section of the range, therefore, is dry, while its eastern section is humid and covered with dense woods.

The Yinshan Mountains run west-east in the middle of Inner Mongolia composed of the Langshan and Ula mountains in the west; the Daqing and Huitengliang mountains in the middle; the Liangcheng and Huashan mountain sin the south; and the Damaqun Mountains in the east. It is 1,200 kilometers long from west to east, 50-100 kilometers wide from north to south and 1,000-2,000 meters above sea level. Its main peak rises in the north of Salaqi 2,850 meters above sea level. The Yinshan Mountain Area is an important dividing line in topography, climate, farming and stockbreeding. It is a watershed between interior and exterior drainage basins. North of it is the Inner Mongolia Plateau, a pastoral area, and to its south is the fertile Hetao Plain, an agricultural region. Part of the Great Wall is built along the Yinshan Mountains.

The Qinling Mountains, extending about 1,500 kilometers across central China from the Gansu-Qinghai border in the west through Shaanxi to central Henan in the east, form a natural dividing line between China's sub-tropical and warm-temperate zones. The mountain range embraces a series of mountains, including the Xiqing , Minshan, Dieshan, Zhongnan, Xiaoshan, Songshan and Funiu. The western slopes are steep while the eastern slopes rise more gently. A geographical divide between north and south, it is the watershed of the Weihe-Huaihe and the Hanjiang-Jialing drainage systems. In its narrow sense, the Qinling range covers the section rising 2,000-3,000 meters above sea level in Shaanxi, whose main peak is the majestic, 3,767-meter-high Mount Taibai.

The Qinling range has vital bearing on the country's climate. While making it difficult for moist ocean air currents to penetrate deep into the northwest in summer, it also keeps the cold northern air from descending father south in winter. The rivers south of it have a much bigger flow than the rivers to its north.

The Nanling Mountains, a general term for all the mountains on the Guangxi-Guangdong and Huna-Jianxi borders, extend from west to east for more than 1,000 kilometers. Consisting of the Yuechengling, Dupangling, Mengzhuling, Qitianling and Dayuling mountains, the Nanling range is also called the Five Mountains. As a matter of fact, the Nanlin grange also includes the Jiulian Mountains on the Jiangxi-Guangdong border. Each of the ridges is separate from the other. Most of them are short and small and run in a northeast-southwest direction, but as they range one beside the other from west to east they are a west-east range when viewed as a whole. Among the mountains are many low valleys and passed that have been vital passages for north-south communications since ancient times. Though not high (about 1,000 meters above sea level), the Nanling range is a natural dividing line in southern China, separating the Yangtze River from the Zhujiang. Its southern and northern slopes present entirely different scenes. Crops grow lush and green in all four seasons in the southern slopes, where it is warm from one end of the year to the other; while in the north it is cold and often snows in winter.

The Hengduan Mountains are a series of parallel north-south ranges running from western Sichuan and Yunnan provinces to eastern Tibet. Among these are, from west to east, the Gaoligong, Nushan, Daxue and Qionglai mountains. It is said that the range derived its name, which means "barrier mountains" in Chinese, from the fact that it blocks communication between west and east. The Hengduan range is 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level, 5,000-6,000 meters at some points, and it highest peak, Mount Gongga, is 7,556 meters. The Jinsha, Lancang, Nujiang and other turbulent rivers flow parallel south through the deep intermontane valleys. Generally, the difference in altitude between ridges and valleys is about 2,000 meters, making it a spectacular scene to behold. There are clearly defined vertical zones of soil and plant life--tropical, temperate and frigid. Mount Gongga, for instance, is covered with snow on the top, but it is warm halfway down its slopes where there are dense forests. It is hot in the valleys 1,000 meters above sea level, where subtropical crops flourish.


Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688