Holidays to Zhangye, China

In the Gansu Province of north-central China, Zhangye has long been a popular location for people travelling across the country. In the days of the ancient Silk Road, it was a well-established stopping off point. Famed Venetian explorer Marco Polo lived in Zhangye for a year and Silk Road tourists have long since followed in his footsteps to marvel at the hypnotic landscape of this otherworldly place.

The Zhangye Danxia National Geopark is an absolute must visit attraction for anyone coming to Gansu. You’ll find miles of striking red cliffs, precipitous peaks, raking valleys, dramatic caves, waterfalls, and towers aplenty. However, the main attraction is undoubtedly the Rainbow Mountains.

To give it its proper name, the Zhangye Danxia is a series of red sandstone hills that by a phenomenon of nature, have multi-coloured stratified layers running through them, like an intricate layer cake. At any time of the day, it’s a sight to be seen but visit when the sun is setting you’re rewarded with a dazzling and unforgettable view.

Before you return to the Silk Road, some of Zhangye’s temples are worthy of exploration. The Giant Buddha Temple is home to an impressive 35-metre-long reclining Buddha statue. Meanwhile, the Wooden Pagoda Temple sits right at the heart of the city centre. Incredibly, the pagoda has stood for more than 1,400 years.


  • See the mesmerising Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia National Geopark

  • Explore an important commercial port on the Ancient Silk Road

  • Home to historical temples including the Giant Buddha and Wooden Pagoda

Senior China Travel Designer
Let's talk
I became fluent in Mandarin during my time living, studying and working in China. From there I travelled to every corner of China and explored Japan and Taiwan. Beijing is my favourite city, I love finding amazing places to eat and trying new dishes.

Zhangye trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Zhangye. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Map of Zhangye