Alchemist Films can help you about China shooting locations

May 11, 2020

China offers some of the world’s most stunning modern architecture, corporate and industrial locations, megacities, traditional villages, deserts and salt plains, breathtaking mountains, undiscovered forests and rivers, turquoise white sand beaches, rice paddies, impressive roads and tunnels, and a wealth of unique historic locations available for filming. China has the most extensive high speed rail network in the world. Shanghai has the world’s busiest seaport. Beijing is the second busiest airport in the world.

Films hosted in China include Ghost in the Shell, The Great Wall, The Last Emperor, Mission: Impossible III, Skyfall and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

China’s film locations can be divided into the following regions:

North China
Beijing Municipality. Beijing is the political, historic, and artistic capital of China. Unique cultural locations include the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, and the Summer Palace. The Great Wall of China is a short drive from Beijing. District 798 is an East German designed factory complex that has become home to dozens of contemporary art galleries, lofts, restaurants and creative companies. Historic hutongs are now some of the trendiest parts of the city. Beijing also has creative modern architecture such as the CCTV Headquarters building and Zoho Peaks. The 1800km long, hand-dug Grand Canal runs from Beijing to Hangzhou. 2008 Beijing Olympics venues including the Beijing National Stadium “Bird’s Nest”. Daxing International Airport is the world’s largest airport (2019).

The Forbidden City does not allow commercial shoots but it is possible to shoot small footprint handheld shoots such as documentaries. For commercials there is a life-sized Forbidden City backlot option located not far from Shanghai.

Tianjin Municipality. Tianjin is the third largest city in China. Tianjin University has a cavernous concrete gymnasium with impressive light. Tianjin Museum’s exterior is a modern structure that looks like a spaceship. Tianjin Binhai Library is an impressive film location. Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park. Florentia Village clone town is inspired by Venice, Rome and Florence.

Hebei Province. Jackson Hole clone village. Puning Temple. Old Dragon’s Head is where the Great Wall of China meets the sea. Mount Cangyan. Huangya Pass. Quirky Tianzi Hotel just outside of Beijing. Seashore Library sits on the white sands of a beach in Nandaihe.

Shanxi Province. Hanging Temple on Mount Hengshan. East Taihang Glasswalk. Hukou Waterfall is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River. Pagoda of Fogong Temple. Yungcheng City has a multicolored salt lake that changes color as water density fluctuates.

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Da Zhao Temple. Mausoleum of Genghis Khan. Erlian kissing dinosaurs. Gobi Desert.

Northeast China
Liaoning Province. Mukden Palace. Fuling Tomb. Qianshan National Park. The Red Beach is located near Panjin City. Ring of Life in Fushun. The Castle Hotel in Dalian.

Jilin Province. Changbai Mountains. Changbai Waterfall. Rime Island. The Piano House in Huainan.

Heilongjiang Province. Northern city of Harbin is known for the Saint Sophia Cathedral, Taiyang Island Xuebohui, Volga Manor, and Zhaolin Park. Outside of Harbin you can find the Yabuli Ski Resort.

Eastern China
Shanghai Municipality. Shanghai is the financial capital of China. Locations of note include The Bund, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower, Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, People’s Square, Jade Buddha Temple, Longhua Temple, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, Nanpu Bridge, Circular Pedestrian Bridge in Lujiazui, and neighborhoods such as the French Concession and Xintiandi. Thames Town is an English replica village. The Shimao Wonderland InterContinental is the world’s first “earthscraper”, a hotel built inside an abandoned quarry.

Jiangsu Province. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum. Jiming Temple. The historic city of Nanjing. The Lotus Building in Wujin. Zhouzhuang Water Town. Yangzhou water forest.

Zhejiang Province. Wuzhen ancient Chinese water town. Tianducheng is a housing estate in the suburbs of Hangzhou known for its Parisian style architecture, fountains, landscaping, and Eiffel Tower replica. The abandoned fishing village on Gouqi Island is part of the Zhoushan Archipelago. Wenling is famous for the house that stands in the middle of a motorway. Qiandao Lake and underwater city of Shicheng. Yandang Mountains. Sheraton Hotel in Huzhou. Traditional cormorant fishing can be filmed on the Nanxi River.

Anhui Province. Huangshan mountain. Mount Jiuhua. Qiyunshan Tree House.

Fujian Province. Gulangyu Island. Xichan Temple. Anping Bridge in Quanzhou. Fujian Tulou cluster of ancient micro-villages. Star Trek Enterprise Building in Fuzhou. Yongfu Town in Longyan is known for its blooming cherry trees in February surrounded by deep green tea plantations.

Jiangxi Province. Mount Lu. Mount Sanqing. Donglin Temple. Mount Longhu.

Shandong Province. Mount Tai. Thousand Buddha Mountain. Temple of Confucius. Lingyan Temple. The seaside city of Qingdao is known for its historical German colonial-era villas, and the world famous Tsingtao Beer Brewery. Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is the world’s longest bridge over water.

Central China
Henan Province. Guoliang Tunnel. Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple. Shaolin Monastery. Temple of The Flying Monks. Knot Bridge of Changsha. Longmen Grottoes. Zhengzhou’s Henan Art Center and Henan Museum. Spring Temple Buddha statue.

Hubei Province. The city of Wuhan is often called the Chicago of China with its modern skyscrapers rising above the Yangtze and Han river waterfront. Wuhan buildings of note include the Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan Center, and Yellow Crane Tower. Hubei province is also known for the Three Gorges Dam, Wudang Mountains, East Lake, Colossal Statue of Guan Yu in Jingzhou, Sidu River Bridge, and a highway over water that connects Xingshang County to the Zhaojun Bridge.

Hunan Province. Tianzi Mountains. Tianmen Shan (Heaven’s Gate Mountain). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Wulingyuan. Yueyang Tower. Phoenix Ancient City. The world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed suspension bridge over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Haohan Qiao bridge. Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie. Ancient town of Fenghuang. Wind and Rain Bridges.

South China
Guangdong Province. Shamian Island. Baiyun Mountain. Mount Danxia. Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Hallstatt is a cloned Austrian village. Shenzhen is a global tech hub. Huawei has a European-style research-and-development campus in Dongguan. Towers of Kaiping. Zhuhai Opera House. Huaao Stone Forest.

Hainan Province. Yalong Bay. Tianya Haijiao. Wuzhizhou Island. Phoenix Island.

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is know for its rivers, caves and towering karst formations of Yangshuo. Xianren Bridge, also known as Fairy Bridge, is the world’s largest natural arch. The Yulong River has an ancient stone arch bridge. Longsheng rice terraces are a spectacular location. Elephant Trunk Hill. Moon Hill. Weizhou Island. Reed Flute Cave.

Macau Special Administrative Region.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

Western China
Chongqing Municipality. Chongqing modern skyline is impressive with the Jialing River that runs through it. Guotai Arts Center in Chongqing. Three Gorges. Fengdu Ghost City. Wulong Karst.

Sichuan Province is famous for its flavourful cooking. Jiuzhai Valley National Park. Yarchen Monastery in the mountains of northwestern Sichuan. Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. Huanglong travertine pools. Bifengxia Giant Panda Base. New Century Global Center in Chengdu is the world’s largest building in terms of floor area. Qushan Town 2008 earthquake ruins are visited by thousands of people every year.

Guizhou Province. Huangguoshu Waterfall. Wuling Mountains. Qingyan Ancient Town. Beipanjiang Bridge. FAST Radio Telescope is the world’s largest. Jiabang rice terraces are a spectacular film location.

Yunnan Province. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Tiger Leaping Gorge. Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. Lugu Lake. Old Town of Lijiang. Black Dragon Pool. Largest man-made waterfall in Asia in Kunming. The Red Earth Terraces of Dongchuan. Lexiaguo Terreced Fields. Rapeseed Fields in Luoping. Honghe Hani rice terraces in Southern Yunnan. Shilin Stone Forest. White Water Terraces of Shangri-la.

Shaanxi Province. Xi’an was the starting point for the Silk Road. It an ancient city known for its city walls, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum. Nearby you can find the Terracotta Warriors, Huashan (scary hike up and the Huashan Teahouse), and Mount Taibai. The Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple has a 1,400-year-old ginkgo tree who’s leaves turn bright gold in the fall.

Gansu Province. The Rainbow Mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park are a spectacular location. Crescent Lake oasis in Dunhuang. Mogao Caves. Bingling Temple. Labrang Monastery. Jiayuguan. Maijishan Grottoes. Thousand Buddha Caves. Qilian Mountains.

Qinghai Province. The Himalayan range goes through Qinghai. Chaka Salt Lake. Qinghai Lake. Kumbum Monastery. Rongwo Monastery. Tanggula Mountains. Kanbula National Forest Park. Xining Dongguan Grand Mosque. Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world.

Tibet Autonomous Region.

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Western Xia tombs. Drum tower. Shapotou. Suyukou National Forest Park. One Hundred and Eight Stupas. Pagoda of Chengtian Temple.

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Heavenly Lake of Tianshan. Kanas Lake. Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. Bogda Peak. Pamir Mountains. Id Kah Mosque. Tarim Desert Highway across the Taklamakan desert. Huyang trees grow in the desert, and each autumn, their leaves turn gold, making for some spectacular nature photography.