Zhangye Danxia Geopark
ZHANGYE DANXIA TRAVEL INFORMATION, SILK ROAD, CHINA
Especially for photographers the visit of the "rainbow mountains" near Zhangye is a very rewarding experience. The "Rainbow Mountains" are part of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark in the Gansu province in western China, which has been under UNESCO protection since 2010.
The Zhangye Geopark is located 30km west of Zhangye and is one of the most impressive Danxia sandstone formations in China. China Danxia is the name for red sandstone formations that have been formed by both endogenous forces and erosion. The Zhangye Geopark is famous for its fascinating, constantly changing play of colours in the early morning or late afternoon sun.
The Zhangye Geopark stretches over 322 km2 and has several parts. The most beautiful places are to be found near the main entrance as well as near the Binggou entrance, about 30km north-west of the main entrance.
For a trip to Zhangye Danxia Geopark, the nearby city of Zhangye is the ideal starting point. The town of Zhangye in Gansu Province lies on the Silk Road in the Hexi Corridor and was once an important trading post for goods on the Silk Road. The town of Zhangye dates from the 2nd century and was once a garrison town for guarding and maintaining the Great Wall of China.
From the park entrance it is best to take the park bus to the first viewing platform. From here you can reach the other viewpoints on foot. If you don't like to walk, you can also reach the various viepoints with the regular Park Bus. The colours of the Zhangye Danxia Geopark are most beautiful in the morning or evening.
If you haven't seen enough rock formations yet, you can continue to the entrance of the Binggou Park ("Ice Valley") 30 km away. While the Zhangye Geopark is famous for its bright colours, the Bingou part is better known for its striking rock formations.
Zhangye is connected to the Chinese high-speed train network. From Xining you reach the city of Zhangye in 2 hours, to Urumqi the train takes about 8 hours. There are several ways to get from Zhangye to the park entrance. From the West Bus Station there are regular buses to the main entrance of the park. Another inexpensive option are the shared taxis, which are offered by most hotels or guesthouses. The most comfortable way is to rent a taxi.