Blogs from Zhangye, Gansu, China, Asia


Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye March 17th 2018

Left the hotel to discover that the frantic pavement-destruction frenzy had reached our own front door. We had decided to take a local bus about 60 km to the south, to visit a much-bruited “Geological Park” on the road to Sunan. Seemingly the rocks are of interesting eroded formations, and being layered sedimentary rocks topped with conglomerate are amazing after rain, which highlights the contrasting colours. We, of course, have not seen a drop of rain in 22 days so were not too hopeful. The bus journey was quite good fun (although the wc facility in the rather smart bus station was utterly wodious). We were eventually dropped off at what seemed to be the entrance to WallyWorld, with an enormous carpark (8 cars including staff) and a giant plastic Fred Flintstone-style imitation rockface. In for ... read more
The Pavement Up-tearing
Another stone
And two more!

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye March 16th 2018

Well, that did not go as planned. We arrived to the station in good time, no problems at all and it was 28 minutes before departure when we suddenly realised it was the wrong station. Unfortunately, the correct station, the new one, is five miles from the one we had expected to use; the upshot was that we had to run up two flights of stairs, pass through both sets of baggage security, pass through ticket barrier, run through a tunnel, then run up three flights of stairs and then run the full length of the platform. Kevin in particular has had a cold for a few days, and his lung capacity was further affected by the altitude; he was still coughing and breathless 30 minutes into the journey. On a brighter note, it was a ... read more
A modern Chinese train
Pagoda in Zhangye
Home of the Reclining Budha, Zhangye

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye July 28th 2016

Hi All, With some time to kill before catching our train to Lanzhou we went to Dafo Si, Giant Buddha Temple, which has the largest wooden reclining Buddha in Asia. The temple itself is very big and was originally built in the 11th century. The Buddha itself is a sight to behold, although no photos were allowed, but it was the temple buildings themselves which steal the show. The intricate eaves and roofs are really wonderful and I almost fell down some stairs whilst looking up.. Our desert adventures are over. It has been great to travel down the old silk road and visit the oasis cities along the way . Highlights were the stunning artwork of the Mogao caves, The Ming dynasty Great Wall and the stunningly beautiful mountains of Danxia. A really beautiful part ... read more
Giant Buddha Hall

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye July 26th 2016

Hi All, We didn't stay in Zhangye bit decided to go up into the mountains to Sunan, at about 3000 metres above sea level, for some fresh air and its much cooler than down in the desert. Sunan is also home to a small community of Yugu, a Chinese ethnic minority. Quite a rare one of only about 10,000 people and most of the Yugu live in and around Sunan. You wouldn't really know it as no one wears the ethnic costume. There is a pretty little park in the centre of town with lights and buildings sporting the traditional married woman's pointed hat. There is also a traditional costume shop in the town where we popped our heads around the door. Anyway, back to Danxia. It probably would be easier, and quicker staying in Zhangye ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye July 21st 2015

Since leaving Hong Kong we've felt a bit rushed for quite a lot of the time. Booking trains and hotels in the high season takes more advanced planning than we're used to, especially in and between Shanghai, Beijing and Xi'an. We then had a couple of one night stays after longish journeys. So we're now going to have at least a couple of stops that are a day or two longer than they need to be for the things we're going to see. The first of these is Zhangye. We were happy to see the back of Lanzhou and leaving from the massive, new, almost empty West Station (more platforms (25) than daily departures (13)) was a pleasure. We had no idea that the journey over and through the Qilian Mountains was going to be so ... read more
Danxia Geo Park
Danxia Geo Park
Danxia Geo Park

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 18th 2014

Zhanghe After a few desert days we got to ride in cold and rain to Zhanghe. It was probably the coldest day of the entire trip. (The next day was noticeably colder, but dry). There is a nicely restored fort and the western end of the Great Wall. The western end is small and unimpressive compared to the wall further east.... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 12th 2014

GREAT WALL CAMP: Distance: 131 Kms SubT. 2706 Kms Bal 9,775 Kms Road Condition: terrible Weather: atrocious Time in Saddle: 8 hrs Av Speed: av. 20 kph. Av Cadence. Rpm Elevation: 1550 m : Decent 500 m Calories burned : ? Today was the worst day. Started out in sunshine, which shortly afterwards turned overcast, then fierce headwinds 40kph min. Evidence of how windy the area was, is by the hundreds of wind turbines. The road was a constant uphill gradient, so by lunch my energy was zapped, but still had 60 Kms to ride. Two hours later stopped in a remote shop, picture the pub in Werewolves of London and you are close. The scenery was bleak at best all day, again the Moors and Oz outback combined. Then the rain started making the road ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 26th 2013

Here are a few pictures of a very quiet national park near Dan Xia, Zhangye. It’s called Bing Gou. I woke up early and rode the 15km before it started raining. This place would be even more amazing with blue sky but the sky had decided differently and I got stuck with clouds and rain. Bing Gou Park is pretty cool though. You will see some kind of stone needles pointing at the sky and other cool rock formations. Very few people know about this place so I had the entire park to myself. I only ran into 2 other tourists and one other car. They thought I was crazy to ride my bike up the steep path in the mountains especially as it was raining. I followed the canyon and when I couldn’t ride anymore, ... read more
happy face
early morning at Bing Gou
tired eyes for an early rise

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 19th 2013

Last year I spent a week in the Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia, China, and I met quite a few Chinese tourists who showed me pictures of a place in Gansu Province where mountains were a palette of warm colors. This place was Danxia, 45 km from Zhangye and I knew it would be on my bike route for 2013. So here is Dan Xia Geopark. It is a unique place and I spent the whole day with my mouth wide open, dazzled by this unique scenery of red sandstone. The colors of the mountains look fake, as if a child had used gigantic color pencils on them. Erosion and wind have shaped marvelous looking cliffs with different shades of red, yellow and brown strips of sedimentary rock. Pictures are worth a thousand words so I’ll ... read more
I thought I would only spend a couple of hours there
dazzling unbelievable colors
what a view!

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 19th 2013

I liked Zhangye. It’s a charming little city with many pedestrian streets lined up with colorful old-looking buildings. It combines modern shopping malls and ancient temples. People there were very welcoming and helpful and the fact that Zhangye is so close to Ma Ti Si and Dan Xia Landform (photos to come) tells me I will definitely be back here. Unfortunately on my first night in Zhangye I must have eaten something bad because I was sick all night and spent the following day wandering the city like a zombie… I had no energy, no strength. I was empty. Too much cycling the previous days? Exhausted? Or simply bad food?... The weather also turned grey and rainy so I took an extra day off to rest before heading to Dan Xia Landform, 45km out.... read more
Visiting Zhangye and DaFo Si
walking around Zhangye
The city was formerly known as Ganzhou (甘州), a name retained both in the municipal region seat Ganzhou District and the Gan of the province of Gansu. In The Travels of Marco Polo, Marco Polo describes spending a year in a city called Campichu,

Tot: 0.475s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 8; qc: 83; dbt: 0.0371s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb