Zhangye is is a prefecture-level city in central Gansu Province and borders Inner Mongolia on the north and Qinghai on the south. In ancient China, it was one of the most important outposts for international trade on the silk road. Due to its location, it is not very popular with tourists yet but it does have very beautiful natural sites like the Binggou Danxia Geopark.
Binggou Danxia Scenic Park covers an area of 300 square kilometres and its elevation ranges from 1,500 to 2,500 meters above sea level. It is the 2nd most visited park in Zhangye for its natural and beautiful rock formations. Entrance fee cost CNY¥80 per person
After the ticket check, you will see the bus waiting area where you can take the bus to the main viewing area. The bus is included in the entry tickets so no additional cost is needed. The bus ride to the main area is approximately 10 mins.
The bus will alight all visitors in this area which is the entry point to see the scenic park. There is no areas in Binggou Danxia park to see, this is the entry to the first area.
The pathway is all concrete and is very easy to walk on. The first part of the walkway is quite flat as it slowly elevates into a gentle slope.
As you walk on the pathway, you will see many interesting rock formations around
This is one of the rock formations where you can find a sign explaining the shape of the rock which resembles a camel
From the camel rock, you will climb up a flight of steps to continue walking on this gentle concrete slope.
This is the entire view of the first viewing area and to get an aerial view of the hills and rock formations, you can also climb up 100 over steps to the top of rocks on the left. The climb itself is not very tough but as it is a steep climb, those who do not exercise might find it tiring and straining. After visiting the first area, you can return to the bus area to take a smaller buggy to visit the 2nd viewing area
The moment you alight the buggy, you will climb a flight of over 60 steep steps to a platform area where you will get this sight. You can continue down the path on to the top of the middle hill. I stopped at the platform as the view kind of looked the same to me
For me, the visit to Binggou Danxia is not exactly impressive but it was a nice break from the city to see natural rock formations. It takes some creative imagination to see what each rock formation looks like according to the explanation boards and it is also a good morning workout as you climb the steps and walk up the pathway. However, if you have limited time in Zhangye, I would recommend skipping this park since the main Zhangye Geopark ( Qixia Danxia ) is more worth your time.
You can get to the park by taking the number 4 bus from Zhangye Bus Station for CNY¥ 15 and the journey takes 1 hour or a taxi from Zhangye city for CNY¥100 to CNY¥200. A quick visit to the park will take only an hour but if you prefer to stroll and take pictures or sit around the park and take in the sights slowly you can factor 2 hours for the visit.
Some tips: If you are visiting during summertime, sunscreen, sunblock and caps or sunhats are definitely necessary as there is no shade in the whole park and it is extremely hot and burning on the skin. Hydration is also important as you climb in the hot sun
Address: Zhangye Sunan Yugu Autonomous County Kangle Township
Operating hours: 8 am to 6 pm