Zhangye Attractions - Things to Do

 Bell and Drum Tower
 Danxia National Geological Park
 Giant Buddha Temple
 Wooden Pagoda Temple

Located in the northwest of Gansu province, Zhangye was an important commercial port on the ancient Silk Road and once had the status of present Shanghai. With the Heihe River flows through and sheltered by the Mt. Qilian and Mt. Longshou, the city is an oasis in the desert. All of these dowered Zhangye with rich historic sites and amazing natural sceneries; thus, visitors have many things to do in and around the city.

The most important place to see is the Giant Buddha Temple, where the largest nirvana Buddha in China is well preserved. Simply a finger of the Buddha can provide one a sound sleep on it and his ear is big enough for eight people to sit side by side.

The Bell and Drum Tower in Zhangye was built in imitation of Xi'an's Bell Tower and is the biggest drum tower in the Hexi Corridor. Also called Zhenyuan Tower, this three-storey building is a traditional Chinese architecture with splendid cornice and fine carving.
Giant Buddha Temple
Giant Buddha Temple
Bell and Drum Tower
Bell and Drum Tower

Regarded as the symbol of Zhangye, the Wooden Pagoda Temple is one of 'Five Elements' (Metal, Wooden, Water, Fire and Earth) pagodas in Zhangye. The nine-storey structure was first built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557 - 581) and rebuilt in the later dynasties. In the construction of this pavilion-style pagoda, neither nail nor rivet was used.

Lying 12.5 kilometers (7.77 miles) northwest of Zhangye City, the Relics of Heishui Kingdom belongs to the Neolithic Age. There was Han Tombs in this area, covering an area of four square kilometers (988.4 acres). Unfortunately, most of the tombs were buried by sand.

Besides the magnificent human landscape, you can also experience the beauty of the natural scenery in Danxia National Geological Park. It is the largest Danxia landform in arid area. The red rolling mountains make this place look like an endless sea of fire. The colorful rock strips of the hills resemble ribbons floating in the desert.

Wooden Pagoda Temple
Wooden Pagoda Temple

Mati Temple in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County is another highlight of Zhangye. In this scenic area, visitors can see more than 500 unwonted grottos in the Thousand-Buddha Caves. If they wish, they can also live in the local Yugur people's tent, experiencing the life style on the grassland.

Tourists coming to Zhangye will find it provides more than they can image. In the northwest of the downtown area, Ganquan Park leads people to believe they are in the classical gardens of Suzhou. Wandering in the Zhangye Forest Park, one sees boundless mountains and successive dunes in the distance and enjoys the sunshine on the beach. The largest horse farm in Asia, Shandan Horse Farm is situated in the majestic Mt. Qilian. In summer, Hongyashan Reservoir is an ideal place to escape the heat. All of these make a trip to Zhangye unforgettable.

- Last updated on Apr. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Zhangye Attractions
Asked by Anna from RUSSIA | Mar. 29, 2019 03:12Reply
Are there any public buses going from Zhangye to Mati Temple in the morning and back at afternoon?
What the schedule of this bus? How long does it go? what is the price?
How much can be the price of the car for round trip from ZY to Mati Temple?

How much can be the price of the car for the trip from ZY to Pinsgan Grand Canyon then to Rainbow Mountains and then ZY?
Answers (2)
Answered by Nancy from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 09, 2019 20:43

There are tourist buses departing from South Bus Station. It costs about CNY20 for a round trip and takes about 40 minutes for a single trip. I'm not very clear about the schedule, maybe you can ask the staff in the bus station.
Answered by Shannon | Oct. 03, 2020 01:39

One bus per day at 9 am from the South Bus Station
Asked by Marek from CZECH | Jul. 22, 2018 00:27Reply
if there are any public buses going from Zhangye to Pinsgan Grand Canyon in the morning
And then coming back late afternoon?

Thank you very much

Answers (1)
Answered by Luna from NEW ZEALAND | Jul. 23, 2018 00:04

You can take a bus to Ayouqi and take off at the canyon, which departs at 9:00. However, the time of bus back to ZY is uncertain. So you’d better hire a car or find a local agency, which will be more convenient.
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