China Offers Amazing and Unique Destinations [Video]


In the vast country of China there are many open spaces where the country offers some truly amazing and unique scenery and destinations. Outside of the major cities, with their crowds and smog, wonders exist that are found literally nowhere else on earth.

One such example is the Danxia Landform, an incredibly colorful, natural set of landscapes located in the northwest, southeast and southwest of China. This amazing landscape was formed by a type of petrographic geomorphology which is completely unique to China.

The area in which the Danxia Landform appears is relatively empty, with little population, but the portion mentioned here is reasonably close to the Zhangye City in China’s Gansu Province. It is a geological park which quite literally needs to be seen to be believed. The rainbow hues in the rocks and hillsides are beautiful and when seen merely in a photo, one thinks instantly of Adobe Photoshop, but those colors are entirely real.

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

According to the experts, the Danxia Landform has taken six million years to form and it covers almost 400-square-kilometers (154 square miles) in total.

The forms, colors and shapes were reportedly caused by a long period of wind and water erosion, and as the landforms are made of red sandstone, instead of the usual limestone karst, this gives the crimson coloration within the palette of the rocks. This offers the landform as one of the most amazing and unique destinations in all of China.

Experts say they were formed due to the movement of the earth’s crust, which caused the various layers of the rock to take on varied textures, colors, patterns and shapes. All these variations in erosion and density formed the amazing caves, stone halls and peaks that can be viewed in the Danxia Landform.

Zhangye Danxia Landform China

The area has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to the unusual and profound aesthetic value of the formations.

Actually visiting these unique landforms gives the feeling of walking through a painting.

The site is relatively easy to access for tourists, with sightseeing buses running to most areas within the landform. Wherever it is difficult for buses to run, sightseeing cars have been laid on. The amazing sights can be seen from four separate viewing platforms, which are around eight kilometers (or five miles) apart. Tour operators say that with the sightseeing cars as a mode of transport it is possible to visit the entire main viewing area in just one hour. Seeing the beauty of the area in the video below makes one think it might be nice to stay a lot longer, staring in wonder.

While accommodation options close by are a little rustic and it can be expensive just getting there, this is a sight that is incredibly worth visiting. As at today’s date, relatively few people have actually experienced the Danxia Landform and everything is still entirely in a natural state.

It is difficult to really explain in words the amazing textures, colors, and shapes of this natural landscape but the video below shows the varied textures and colors beautifully.  Seeing just this one natural wonder shows that China offers amazing and unique destinations for visitors and locals alike.

By Anne Sewell


Atlas Obscura

Beijing Hikers

China Highlights

3 Responses to "China Offers Amazing and Unique Destinations [Video]"

  1. Steve Larson   August 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Yes, there are danxia landforms that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage but Zhangye is not part of it. There are only five mountains collectively known as China Danxia and Zhangye is far away from them (the five that are listed are closer to the shore)

  2. Steve Larson   August 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I love the article, there is just a very small misunderstanding.
    For example it is written that One such example is the Zhangye Danxia Landform. That is technically incorrect because Zhangye is the town next to which a danxia can be found.

    The site is relatively easy to access for tourists, with sightseeing buses running to most areas within the landform – there are 6000 places in China only where this landform can be found. Which of these is easy to access?

    Also, Zhangye Danxia is not a UNESCO World Heritage site. Please document more on It is upsetting to have this much confusion in an article. I would really love you to correct the article because right now it just confuses people who might want to visit it.

    • Anne Sewell   August 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Apologies for any confusion, but the article is referring to the part of the Danxia Landform that is close to Zhangye – and the various viewing platforms located in that area. The article you link to even mentions this area, i.e.:

      “The danxia landforms are captivating anywhere and it is not easy to recommend particular areas. Some of the most spectacular and colourful rocks can be found in in an area known as the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in the northern province of Gansu.”

      Also here is an article on the UNESCO website about Danxia Landforms:


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