Every traveler needs to put this on their “must see in China” bucket list. Source: Shutterstock.
LOCATED in Sunan and Linze counties, along the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains, the Zhangye National Geopark is known its unusual colors.
Said to be one of the most colorful natural wonders of the world, it boasts smooth and sharp rocks which tower at several hundred meters tall.
Often referred to as China’s “Rainbow Mountains,” the mountains are the result of compression of sandstone and other minerals, and tectonic collision that occurred over 24 million years.
This resulted in a striking layer cake-like effect, with towers, pillars, and ravines in varying kaleidoscopic colors, patterns, and sizes.
Zhangye National Geopark, which attracts thousands of tourists each year, has been voted by Chinese media outlets as one of the most beautiful landforms in China.
It is particularly breathtaking at sunrise and sunset, as well as after a rainfall, when the endless hills look like a sea of fire with rolling waves – truly a treat for the eyes.
For the best view of the beautiful striped hills, visitors can simply hop on a sightseeing bus to get to one of the four viewing platforms.
In 2009, Chinese National Geography magazine chose the Zhangye National Geopark as one of the “six most beautiful landforms” in China.
Getting there: The Zhangye National Geopark is about 30 minutes west by car, in the northwestern portion of Gansu Province. Alternatively, you can also ride the bus from the prefecture-level city of Zhangye to the park.