Top Filming Locations in China

Have you ever noticed that there are more scenes and elements of Chinese features in those excellent European and American movies, such as Hollywood movies? And you must wonder where those beautiful, amazing, and impressive scenes were shot, like the unbelievable mountain in the Avatar, primative hometown of giant pandas in Kung Fu Panda 3, town in the Mission: Impossible 3 by Tom Cruz, tranquil village in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the place in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life by Angelina Jolie, and so on. Now, we will take you to see the top popular filming locations in China for your travel with the movies. Let’s start!

China Map - Map of China Filming Locations

Top 10 Amazing Filming Locations in China - Attractions

Among all the popular filming locations, we list the top 10 amazing attractions filmed in a series of world famous movies, such as Avatar, 2012, Hero, etc. Check the highlights of each one at below.

Zhangjiajie National Park in “Avatar

Location: Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province

Best Season: Spring & Autumn

Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days

How to Get There: frequent short-distance buses are available from Zhangjiajie Bus Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, for about 40 minutes

Where was Avatar filmed? You must be quite curios about the Hallelujha Mountain in the air in this outstanding movie. Precisely, that came from the landform in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (张家界国家森林公园), and especially the part of Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. Though the real mountains are not in the air, Zhangjiajie looks particularly like a fairyland with the mists and really beautiful sightseeing. So prepare your camera well and begin your shooting. Check more about Zhangjiajie National Park.

Related Reading: Zhangjiajie Avatar Mountains | Yuanjiajie | Wulingyuan Scenic Area | Zhangjiajie Travel Guide

>> 3 Days Zhangjiajie Nature Beauty Tour

>> 4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge

Where Was Avatar Filmed

Terracotta Warriors in “The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Location: Xian City, Shaanxi Province

Best Season: all year round

Recommended Visiting Time: 3-5 hours

How to Get There: drive about 50 minutes from Xian downtown; also buses are available from Xian downtown, Xian Xianyang Airport, and Xian railway stations

Those tomb figures are not mummies in traditional concept of the Egyptian ones. Those are the impressive warriors inspired from the Terracotta Warriors and Horses (兵马俑) in Xian city, which was the protection army of the Emperor Qin Shihuang in ancient China and has been reputed as one of the Eight Wonders of the World with super large scale, outstanding skills and the brilliance of ancient Chinese. Why not go in front of the real figures to admire their appearances with no one same. Check more about Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

>> 2 Days Xian City Tour

>> 3 Days Classic Xian Tour

Filming Location of Mummy 3
Xian Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Mount Everest in “Farewell Atlantis (2012) ”

Location: Tingri County, Shigatse District, Tibet

Best Season: April to May; September to October

Recommended Visiting Time: 2-4 days

How to Get There: drive from Lhasa City for over 15 hours

Do you remember the last safe place in this movie? That is the Mount Everest in Tibet Region. And the highest monastery survived is the very old Rongphu Monastery at the foot of the Everest (珠穆朗玛峰). With the devout Buddhists and rich Buddhist culture, the monastery and mountain there in China are more sacred and attract a lot of people to admire their holy features and awesome look. Pure white snow, azure sky, colorful prayer flags, standing pagoda, dark red wall, and innocent local people would take all your troubles far away. Check more about Mount Everest.

Other movies shot here: Everest, The Wildest Dream, Into Thin Air, Storm over Everest, etc.

>> 8 Days Lhasa & Everest Base Camp Tour

Farewell Atlantis
Mount Everest

Hongcun in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Location: Yi County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province

Best Season: Spring & Autumn

Recommended Visiting Time: half day

How to Get There: sightseeing buses are available to Hongcun Ancient Village from Huangshan Bus Station, and Huangshan Mount Front Gate.

Li Mubai walked across the South Lake leading his ox. That tranquil and antique place is Hongcun Village (宏村) located near the Yellow Mountain in Huangshan. Complimented as the village in the paintings, Hongcun village is super nice and popular among foreign tourists. Only the mirror-like lake, arch stone bridge, very old black and white houses surrounded, and the typical flavor of Jiannan style, and so forth could calm down your mind. The harmonious scenes there would worth your visit. Check more about Hongcun Village.

>> 4 Days Best Huangshan Tour with Hongcun & Xidi Ancient Villages

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Hongcun Village

Jiuzhaigou in “Hero

Location: Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan

Best Season: July to October

Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days

How to Get There: frequent flights are available from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou Valley, about 50 mins

The background of the fight scene of the two leading actors of “Hero” was taken in the Arrow Bamboo Lake in Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province in Southwest China. Clear flying springs and running streams, shimmering lake, prosperous forests in green, yellow, orange, golden, etc. Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟) is praise as a fairy tale world for its super fantastic natural landscape. Far away from the city, it is a cool place to take good pictures and inspire you a lot. Check more about Jiuzhaigou Valley.

Notice: as for the big earthquake of magnitude-7.0 on 8th August, 2017, Jiuzhaigou National Park is closed for reconstruction. You'd better not plan a trip to Jiuzhaigou at this period of time.

Hero Movie
Jiuzhaigou Valley

Mount Qingcheng in “Kung Fu Panda 3

Location: Dujiangyan, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province

Best Season: Summer

Recommended Visiting Time: half to one day

How to Get There: take a bullet train from Chengdu and the local Dujiangyan bus to the gate of Mount Qingcheng

I do like the mist-shrouded bamboo forests, whispering streams, wood houses, and other primitive elements in the Panda Village in Kung Fu Panda 3. How about you? If yes, you could find the one in our reality at Mount Qingcheng (青城山) near Chengdu City. This holy Taoist place is welcomed for its relaxing and harmonious atmosphere, ever emerald sightseeing, and quiet charm. Also as it is very close to the living area of giant pandas, you could know how they live happily in their home during your discovery there. Check more about Mount Qingcheng.

>> 1 Day Kung Fu Panda Tour with Mount Qingcheng

>> 2 Days Dujiangyan Panda Your

Kung Fu Panda 3
Mount Qingcheng

Xitang Water Town in “Mission: Impossible 3

Location: Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province

Best Season: Spring and Autumn, especially in April to May and September to November

Recommended Visiting Time: 1 day

How to Get There: take a rain from Shanghai, Hangzhou, etc. to Jiashan Railway Station and transfer to local bus to Xitang Water Town

Surprised or not? Tom Cruz running through the corridor in Xitang Ancient Town (西塘古镇) was really cool. Furthermore, the movie location of Mission: Impossible 3 chosen there has brought another new wave of tourists to discover the scenes in that movie and experience the traditional old flavor in China. Besides the leisure strolling along the old streets and alleys, taste local snacks, you are highly recommended to take small boat to sail by the antique houses and let time go by slowly. Check more about Xitang Water Town.

>> 2 Days Poetic Hangzhou with Xitang Water Town Tour

Mission Impossible 3
Xitang Water Town

Kashgar Old Town in “Kite Runner

Location: Kashgar City, Xinjiang Region

Best Season: all year round

Recommended Visiting Time: half day

How to Get There: take a taxi from Kashgar Airport to Kashgar Old Town for about 20 minutes; also local buses are available

This impressive and famous movie Kite Runner was shot in Kashgar in Xinjiang area actually. In Kashgar Old Town (喀什噶尔老城), particular charm of Islamic could make you feel like standing in a place in Central Asia. During your visit there, you could roam in the multiple lanes to appreciate the exotic buildings and find the best place for photography. But more importantly, make sure to pay a visit to the One Hundred Year Old Tea House to sip a cup of local tea and get close to the local life style. Follow the Kite Runner to experience the Muslim flavor in Kashgar.

>> 2 Days Kashgar City Tour from Urumqi

Kite Runner Film
Kashgar Old Town

Qiao’s Family Compound in “Raise the Red Lantern

Location: Qiaojiabao Villages, Qi County, Shanxi Province

Best Season: Spring, Summer and Autumn

Recommended Visiting Time: half day

How to Get There: buses are available from Pingyao for about 40 minutes and Taiyuan Jiannan bus station for about 80 minutes to Qixian station

The traditional Chinese movie Raise the Red Lantern by Yimou Zhang receiving the Oscar Prize was filmed at Qiao’s Family Compound (乔家大院) in Shanxi. A little different from the dark atmosphere in that movie, this domestically famous compound of typical northern Chinese feature is harmonious and full of the warm of people. The bright red lanterns, exquisite carving on the roof, brick paved paths and walls could take you back to the old years and experience the life of local Shanxi merchants. Check more about Qiao’s Family Compound.

>> 2 Days Classic Pingyao Tour

Raise the Red Lantern
Qiao's Family Compound

Wulong Karst Landscape in “Transformer 4: Age of Extinction

Location: Wulong County, Chongqing

Best Season: Spring, Autumn and Winter

Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 days

How to Get There: take a train from Chongqing North Railway Station for 2 hours to Wulong County and transfer to a minibus from Wulong Bus Station to the Tourist Center on Xiannv Town for 30-50 minutes

If you are a big fan of the Transformers, you must remember the scene at the sky hole. That was done at Wulong County (武隆县) in Chongqing. And after that soul-stirring movie’s putting on show, a lot of fans visited this awesome place to enjoy the hard to see Karst landform and get close to nature. Have never seen that kind of landscape in my life before, I am really appealed by the huge hole with emerald plants, especially antique Chinese houses, and the fresh air to refresh mind. Check more about Wulong Karst Landscape.

>> 4 Days Chongqing & Wulong Karst Landscape Exploration Tour

Transformer 3
Wulong Karst Landscape

Top 4 Famous Filming Locations in China - Destinations

Hollywood films and world movies have gradually taken more scenes of amazing cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and so on. Here please check the top most popular destinations in China filmed in those famous works, and start planning your visit.


Movies filmed here: Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; The Painted Veil, etc.

Highlighting Places to Go: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Hutongs, etc.

Beijing (北京), as the capital of China, keeps perfectly a large series of traditional cultures, histories, artistic charm, and many other elements. After enjoying the scenes in those movie filmed there, in fact, you could pay a real visit to this capital city to get close to its magnificent but easy-going charm, a large number of hundreds-year old and exquisite constructions of past emperors, Chinese Kung Fu and Beijing Opera, interests of cycling through narrow Hutong alleys, and more highlights in the Forbidden City, world well-known Great Wall, and so forth.

>> Check more about all things to do in Beijing.

>> 2 Days Beijing Layover Highlights Tour

>> 3 Days Beijing Essential Short Stay Tour (Visa Free)

Forbidden City


Movies filmed here: Mission: Impossible 3; 007:Skyfall; Her; Looper, etc.

Highlighting Places to Go: The Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden & Bazaar, Shanghai Disney Resort, etc.

Building many skyscrapers in its large city area, Shanghai (上海) is a great choice for filming the exciting fighting scenes of those great movies. No matter the scene of 007 swimming in a high building with the summits of other high buildings outside his window, or the leading actor walking down the streets in Lujiazui area and near the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai shows a wonderful image to attract people to see its real look. In your visit there, happy hours could easily be enjoyed in the Bund, Lujiazui high buildings, Shanghai Disney Resort, Tianzifang old lane zone, and the old but different exotic buildings in the downtown.

Check more about all things to do in Shanghai.

>> 2 Days Classic Shanghai Tour

>> 3 Days Shanghai Past and Present Contrast Tour


Hong Kong

Movies filmed here: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Doctor Strange; Transformer 4: Age of Extinction; Pacific Rim, Enter the Dragon, etc.

Highlighting Places to Go: Hong Kong Skyline, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Stanley Market, etc.

Being third largest financial center in the whole World, Hong Kong (香港) has shown on many Hollywood movies and classic films of Bruce Lee. Therefore, you could follow those highly praised film masterpieces to visit Hong Kong, where you could savor the bright harmoniously contrasting of traditional China and the Western world. you could walk along the roads to see the aging Chinese residences facing the modern high buildings, taste different kinds of delicious snacks in the prosperous streets and markets, have fun in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort with your friends and families, and stay leisure in a close offshore isle, etc.

>> check more about all things to do in Hong Kong

>> 1 Day Valuable Hong Kong Tour

>> 2 Day Essence of Hong Kong Tour

Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong


Movies filmed here: The Painted Veil; Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith

Highlighting Places to Go: Li River, Yangshuo, West Street, Elephant Trunk Hill, etc.

Guilin has particularly gorgeous natural sceneries of Karst landform, which may be why directors of some successful movies make their scenes in this beautiful place. Reaching Guilin (桂林), you could be impressed by its rare landscape with hills rising around, shimmering river floating, folk customs of local Zhuang, Miao, and more ethnic minorities, and the simple and pure life of villagers in the countryside. The Li River, Yangshuo, etc. are real highlights not to be missed. Only if you arrive in Guilin, you could know the meaning of a famous word, “Guilin’s scenery is the best under heaven.”

>> Check more about all things to do in Guilin.

>> 3 Days Classic Guilin Tour – Guilin Brief Vacation

>> 4 Days Li River Hiking with Yangshuo Highlights Tour

Guilin Li River

Note: the above information is for your reference only, and you could ask our professional travel expert for detailed information about transportation to the attractions and destinations.

Travel with China Discovery

Those movies are wonderful, and the filming locations are fascinating. So why not travel with China Discovery? If you are interested in planning a trip to the popular filming location, just tell us, and we could take you there with private transfer service with speed, comfort and higher safety if you need. Moreover, if you want to enjoy the place in a longer China tour covering other favored destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Hong Kong, Huangshan, Tibet, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, Huashan, etc., please feel free to contact our professional Travel Consultant who could help you plan a best and cost-efficient tour with great service.

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