For our Zhangye long distance trip we did two days of hiking in the Danxia Landform areas, and made visits to nearby temples, caves and grottoes, and the Han Dynasty Great Wall in Jiayuguan.
On the first day, after a long journey by plane, we arrived in Jiayuguan, the west gate of China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Even though the fortress at Jiayuguan is undergoing some renovation, the tall walls and the spectacular views of the 5,000m high Qilian Snow Mountains in the distance are still an amazing sight.
For the renovations, specialist labourers have been invited from Shanxi province, where they’ve developed expertise in repairing and preserving ancient architecture. They were still busy working on the 600-year old fortress walls as the sun was going down.
The next day, we spent about six hours at the Danxia Landform, a national park that offers a fantastic hiking experience through the valleys and hills in this special area.
The third day we visited a another landform zone that’s in the same area, but is comprised of very different scenery: weirdly weathered hills, valleys, and cliffs.
We also visited some Silk Road sites nearby Zhangye city: the ancient pagoda, the Reclining Buddha Temple, and the Matisi Temple and Grottoes – there was certainly plenty to experience on this trip!
Our camera developed problems before departure, so Huijie had to use her phone to try and capture the feeling of the trip – her photos below!