Danxia Trip Posts:
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geopark – incredible “rainbow” colored mountains in China.
Travel to Gansu province – travel notes of the entire trip.
Mati Si Temple in the Cliffs – must see showplace in Gansu Province.
- Scenic Spot: Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park 丹霞 .
- Nearest town: Zhangye 张掖, Gansu province 甘肃, China
- Coordinates: 38 ° 29’11.0 “N 100 ° 25’03.1” E
- Opening hours: 5:30am–8:30pm in a summer time, 8am–6pm in a winter time.
- Ticket price: 60¥ (10$)
- Time for observing: 2-4 hours
- Visitors: a few
This place is completely different than Linze Scenic Area in terms of an atmosphere. No vivid colors, all attention focused on shapes. Black volcanic earth resembles a post-apocalyptic landscape. The lack of crowds reinforces this feeling. This part of the geopark is not really popular because it is designed as a self-study area. Most of the time we spent hiking along the crests of hills and peering into the intricate outlines of the mountains. Just two of us in sight.
Sightseeing cars will take you from the entrance to several stops inside the park. Then you can walk along the sidewalks that are routed to all main sites. Most famous of rock formations are shaped like a camel, a palace and a shrine and look amazing.
But the main pleasure is hiking outside the comfort zone. This gives you the opportunity to experience all the uniqueness of this place to the fullest. You feel like you are walking on another planet.
Beware! Soil crumbles. You better walk along the cliffs and ridges very carefully. I was really scared during hiking on one of slopes. I almost fell into the cliff, scratched my hands, soiled clothes and barely saved the camera.
Hats, scarves or masks would be useful to protect you against sun and dust in the air. Also please don’t forget a bottle of water.
Food and Facilities
Food and beverages are not available in the park. It’s better to take them with you. There are Chinese cafes near by the entrance, so you can eat there when you finish your tour. As for restrooms, it’s not problem. A few modern buildings are located near by bus stops. Restrooms are free.
How to get to Danxia Geopark?
Sunan Danxia Scenic Area (肃南丹霞景区) lies in Sunan Uygur Autonomous County, 50 kilometers away from Zhangye City.
Detailed trip to Gansu province is described here. You can take a taxi in Zhangye. We stayed in Huachen International Hotel and staff called a taxi with English-speaking driver for us. It will cost you about 300¥ ($50) per car for the whole day. A taxi driver will wait you near by the entrance. A distance of about 40 km and it takes an hour and a half.
Also you can take a bus from Zhangye City Western Bus Station to Sunan County Town 肃南, and take a local taxi to the park entrance then. It will cost you about 10¥ ($2) for the bus and about 40¥ ($8) for a taxi.
There are several Travel agencies in Zhangye (there is one in Huachen International Hotel) that offer a day tour for 150-200¥ ($25-35) per person. English speaking guide and meals are included.