Mati Si 马蹄寺 (The Horse Hoof Monastery) Gansu Province 甘肃省

Mati Si: a day trip from Zhangye

Mati Si 马蹄寺

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Once we’ve passed Zhangye’s outskirts, where a whole forest of gleaming highrises is springing up, and have negotiated the chaos of smallish lorries, pick-ups, tractors and loaded carts that convert the narrow, two-lane road out of town into such a nightmare, we can begin to enjoy the scenery.

Scenery just outside Zhangye

An initial rural stretch of fields, haystacks and little mud-brick farms descends into a dry, dusty bowl, after which the ground starts rising again and the land becomes fertile once more. A huge mountain range comes into view on our right and, to our amazement, we see that some of the peaks are covered in snow!

Qianlian mountains 前连山

This is, of course, the Qian lian range in the foothills of which the temples of Mati Si can be found, and the people of the Yugur (Yugu) minority. Continue reading “Mati Si 马蹄寺 (The Horse Hoof Monastery) Gansu Province 甘肃省”