Zhangye Danxia Landforms Geology Park (张掖丹霞地貌)

Zhangye Danxia Landforms Geology Park

Gansu province near Zhangye


Lunar Landscape at Danxia Landforms (张掖丹霞地貌)

For more on Zhangye and around click here: Zhangye / Mati Si

On our last day (in Zhangye), we decided to visit this newly developed geo-park, a scenic area of multi-coloured rocks, which has been put on the map by Zhang Yimou 张艺谋 who shot (part of) his film San Qiang Pai An Jing Qi 三枪拍案惊奇 here. This film, which is known by the titles A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop 三枪拍案惊奇, as well as A Simple Noodle Story, is Zhang’s personal take on the Coen brothers debut film Blood Simple.

Danxia Coloured Rocks

The geology park is about 40 kms, or an hour’s drive from Zhangye, in the opposite direction from Mati Si.

Zhang Yimou and Cast

We are told to get on a bus, and after a short drive we are let off at a viewing platform, from where we gaze at the amazing scenery.

Lunar Landscape

The landscape is positively lunar, or something out of a sci-fi pic: we are surrounded by row after row of reddish rock formations, streaked with pink, white, yellow, grey and green.

Amazing Rock Colours (张掖丹霞地貌)

Some of these patterns are so regular, with lines running along the mountain sides for hundreds of metres, that we jokingly suggest they must have been painted on.

Teahouse Film Set

After this first stop, we are picked up by another bus and then another, making our way around the park. Highlights include views of the grey-stone tea-house, imported brick by brick for Zhang Yimou’s film, or the lone tree with its splendid, autumnal leaves that stands out amid all this barrenness. Unfortunately, the tree, like the tea-house, is a fake; a plastic remnant of an advertising photo shoot…

The Only Tree in the Park (is it Real?)

Danxia Practicalities:

Teahouse Film Set

Tickets to the park cost 60 Yuan, including the bus fee.

At the time of our visit, the park was nowhere near finished; many roads, viewpoints and a kind of hanging bridge were still under construction. However, the park authorities were clearly doing their best to allow visitors to visit as many areas as possible.

Haven't Finished Yet / Still Building

Getting there and away:

Coloured Rocks

Apparently there are buses from Zhangye’s West bus station. Alternatively, you could hire a taxi for half a day, for about 150 Yuan.

Danxia Scenery

Author: Adam

My name is Adam. I have a degree in Chinese History from SOAS and a masters in International Politics focused on China from the same university. I have travelled around China 9 times and since 2000 I have travelled every year for two months. I guess I kind of like the place!

5 thoughts on “Zhangye Danxia Landforms Geology Park (张掖丹霞地貌)”

  1. Thank you so much for this website. The information is wonderful. I lived in Shijiazhuang last year and now am back as a solo traveler and in Zhangye today. I can’t wait to read your newest posts.

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