UNESCO World Heritage site
Zhangye Dania is famous for its rainbow-colored mountains located in Zhangye, Gansu China. Zangye was an important city on the ancient Silk Road and one of four counties in Hexi Corridor.
This unique geological formation has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010. We traveled 40 km away from Zhangye City early morning to reach the best spot to see the rainbow mountains. We arrived in the late morning, about 10 am and the crowd was still manageable.
Before approaching the visitor center for the ticket, there are plenty of stalls selling scarfs, hats and other souvenirs. We don’t have enough time to shop at the stalls here as we are rushing in to get the tickets and trying to avoid more crowds coming in later. Things sold here aren’t that expensive, so if you need a hat or a scarf, you can get it here.
Visitor Center for Tickets
Use the clean toilets at the visitor center before exploring Danxia is the right move.
- Location: Nantaizi Village, Nijiaying County, Zhangye Prefecture
- Opening hours: 5:30am–8:30pm in summer time, 8am–6pm in winter time.
- Ticket price: 60¥ (SGD 12)
Danxia Internal Bus
Once you gotten your ticket, the Danxia bus will bring you in to the scenic points. No private vehicle can drive in this area. There are in total 4 viewing points.
Total 4 Scenic Point
- The first scenic point is the nearest and best viewing platform, just 10 minutes’ walk from the entrance. Don’t walk, use the bus. You cannot walk on the street for buses, only designated wooden path by pedestrian. You get “scream” from the security guard if you walk at the wrong path. You will get a shock from their scream I can assure you that 🙂
- The second scenic point takes a lot of effort to get to the top. It has the highest viewing platform, with 666 steps, a minimum of 30 mins of climbing to check out the panorama view of the multicoloured danxia.
- The third scenic point allow a view of the famous “seven color fan”.
- The fourth scenic point is the largest viewing point. It is also the prefect place for catching pictures of sunrise or sunset. You will see the ‘Seven-Color Mountain’ here.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Zhangye Danxia is sunrise or sunset, that way the multi-colored can be seen even better.
Best Month To Visit
The best month to visit is from June to September when the weather is not as harsh compared to winter. The rest of the timing is very dry & cold and not suitable for visit. The bright sunshine will bring out the multi-color of the mountains so if it is cloudy or raining day, you won’t be able to see the colors.
Plenty of walking & Climbing
Be prepared to walk and climb the stairs. It took us about 2 hours to finish all the climbing. A pair of good comfy shoes is vital.
When you are at the top, you can feel the strong wind and hear the strong breeze. I stay a little at the top to enjoy the panorama view of Danxia and see the multi-color mountains and listen to the breeze. It is the good opportunities to notice differences in environments and climates. Also one of the reason why we travel.
What to Wear to Danxi Zhangye
Even in summer, the wind can be very strong when you climb to the top. Bring along a scarf or a jacket. Apply sunscreen, wear a sunglasses and a hat.
Some other formation
A Turtle Look Up The Sky
There are sheltered in each scenic point. People who are not able to make it to the top or can’t walk that well, stay at the shelter to enjoy Danxia.
Good Luck Charm
Good luck charm were seen hanging at the sheltered. It can be purchased at the nearby stall. Inside Danxia Geopark, there are not many stalls selling souvenirs for the tourists.
The stones here look more like pork belly to me, rather than Danxia Geopark.
Final thoughts :
The several hundred meters tall Danxi in Zhangye are the result of deposits of sandstone and other minerals that occurred over many thousand years ago. The wind, rain and time has sculpted these incredible shape, pillars and ravines with different colors, pattern and sizes. The sand and silt was deposited with iron and trace minerals that provided it with the key ingredient to form the colors we see today.
I am glad to have make it up to the top of the viewing point as the view at the top is totally different. You get a better view and able to see the mountain ranges with multi-colored. A good 2 hours is enough to see this amazing landscape.