Chinese Destinations That Inspired the World of Kung Fu Panda

As Kung Fu Panda 4 hits our screens, the renowned film series takes viewers on a journey through the lives of Po, Zhen, Chameleon and Mr Ping with the historic Chinese culture at the forefront of its locations, messaging and meanings. And with many scenes replicating real life locations within China, we take you through the places across the country that inspired the filming landscapes.

The Yellow Mountains as The Valley of Peace

Serving as a main setting in the Kung Fu Panda series, The Valley of Peace is a location home to the film’s characters and the Jade Palace, a key residence for kung fu masters and students. It is seen as a large valley surrounded by a barrier of mountains to protect the land from outside invaders. However, the iconic animated location is inspired by China’s real life yellow mountains, Huangshan. Mount Huangshan is one of the most visited scenic destinations in China, praised as the ‘loveliest mountain’ in the country. Filled with odd-shaped pines, spectacular rocky peaks, a sea of clouds and partial to spring and winter snow, the scenic landscape amazes visitors each year with its outstanding sunrise and sunset views.

Across the front of the mountains, visitors will be greeted with the Greeted Guest Pine tree, Jade Screen Peak, Celestial Capital Peak and Lotus Peak. The centre and back of the mountains are famous for its hiking potential and being host to some of the mountain’s highest peaks.

Huangshan (Yellow Mountains)

The Emperor’s Palace inspired by China’s Forbidden City

Home to the Imperial family in the films, The Emperor’s Palace highlights key resemblances with the Forbidden City landmark in China. Located in Beijing, the palace complex is the largest in the world, covering more than 7.75 million square feet. The complex is host to an array of palaces, gardens, courtyards and living quarters and served as the symbolic and political centre of imperial China from 1420-1912.

Being known for its Imperial Garden, the well-kept green space was originally designed for the leisure and relaxation of the emperors and their wives, however now, is a place where visitors can admire the area which accounts for 1.5% of the total land of the palace.                          

Forbidden City

Wudang Mountains as Jade Palace

Throughout the Kung Fu Panda series, the Jade Palace is represented as a place of justice, honour and courage. Home to owner Shifu, Po the Dragon Warrior the Furious Five, the palace was inspired by China’s very own Wudang Mountains. The landscape has been a long sacred mountain in China being the no.1 Taoist mountain in the country – demonstrating a strong communication between heaven and earth though the harmony created.

It is a key tourist attraction, showcasing complete wisdom and beauty with its complex architecture appealing to thousands throughout the year. The mountains accommodate to tourism with a choice of restaurants demonstrating the best flavoured Taoist vegetarian dishes and offer various hotels and inns for its visitors.

Wudang Mountains

Li River Valley as a Kung Fu Panda view

The beauty of the water surrounded by peaks of mountains is an iconic view in the movie series, which was inspired by China’s Li River Valley. Located in Guangxi Province in Southern China, the river is named one of the most spectacular destinations in the country as visitors can experience cruises to take in the breath-taking views that accompany the river.

Surrounded not only by beautiful mountain peaks, Li River Valley looks beyond large stone cliffs including the Mural Hill. As visitors sail down the river, the Yellow Cloth Shoal is well known for the way the seven peaks on either side of the shoal case reflects on the water – a great benefit of taking in the sights at water speed.

Li River Valley
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Charlotte Ashley
April 7, 2024
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