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Colored Mountains of China

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Stunning views of the colorful hills

Gansu Province (Gansu) located in the north-west of China has a place of amazing beauty and geological features. Colored mountain hills, located near the small town of Zhangye (Zhangye). The mountains with a height of 400 m, having multi-colored ground of inexpressible beauty, create landscapes that cannot be found anywhere in the world. Vibrant reds, pinks, chocolate and orange intertwine here to create colorful panoramas. This landscape of red gravel, sandstone and mudstones has been named Danxia Landform, which means pink cloud.

The main reason for the emergence of such graceful, luscious landscapes – sediments of a heterogeneous type with the presence of centuries-old soil erosion. In addition, this area has a large accumulation of red sandstone. Over the centuries, the soil has been layered and the result is magnificent patterns on the hills, reminiscent of the waves of the sea.


At the junction between regular and colored hills

Taking a look at the mountains once, it becomes immediately clear why millions of tourists come to the small Chinese town of Zhangye every year, which lacks remarkable architecture. famous temples or entertainment night complexes. Stunning multi-colored mountains, taking them into the distance of dreams and dreams - that's what really interests them. Terracotta, lemon, turquoise, sand, emerald and dark blue shades can be discerned in the landscape of the mountains. Such a lively palette, created only by weathering and oxidation, inspires many artists, poets and writers who come here every year from all over the world.

However, it was not always so - the beautiful Denxia was re-popularized only at the end of the last century. Earlier, the city of Zhangye was one of the most prosperous places in China, the famous Silk Road passed through it. At that time the city flourished and was famous as the richest place. Then, the city became less populated and over time the amazing colored mountains were forgotten.

The second revival of the mountains was presented by a Chinese director who shot mesmerizing landscapes in one scene of his film. The mountains were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

Colored soil near

According to scientists, this mountain landscape was formed in the Mesozoic era and therefore harbors many fossils of that period - dinosaurs, plants. This version has been repeatedly confirmed by numerous archaeological excavations in this area.

According to the data obtained, it was found out that 100 million years ago there was a large internal basin in this area. Removing silt from the surrounding area, water accumulated and as a result, the dry pool, together with all its contents, began to oxidize, taking on multi-colored shades of red. 30 million years after that, the reddish layer of oxidized sediment became 4 thousand meters thick.At the top of the dried basin, a solid layer of soil 1.5 thousand meters thick appeared.It was this layer, which arose in the Cretaceous period, that formed many red peaks with a height of 200 to 1000 m.

Then, over a period of 30 million years, the landscape of this territory changed many times. Water currents that flowed through cracks in sedimentary rocks skillfully carved the slopes, changing the reddish hue to a more muted one.


Close-up of most of the geological park

Scientists also noted that the formation of the Danxia Mountains is not yet complete. They vary both in color ratio and in height. Every 10 thousand years, the mountains increase by 0.9 m, and their color becomes more vivid.

Of course, a similar landscape exists in Australia, Europe, America, but with the Chinese Danxia, in terms of color saturation - they are not comparable.

Anyone can visit the colored mountains. It should only be noted that Danxia Landform is subdivided into three main parts:

1.   National Geological Park located in a picturesque area Linze Danxia. Park Zhangye Danxia Landform and pay a symbolic entry fee of 40 yuan. It is here that 4 hiking trails with observation platforms for tourists who decided to visit this place are laid:


Among the shades there are also green and brown

& middot;   the first trail (main) is located just 1 km (10 minutes walk) from the entrance to the park;

& middot;   second – is located a little further, 660 steps away. Average ascent time – 30 min .;

& middot;   the third path leads to the mountain rainbow. It is here that the 7 basic colors of mountain peaks are clearly visible;

& middot;   fourth – the longest in relation to the distance, allows you to capture amazingly beautiful sunsets, sunrises.

The total distance between 4 sites – 8 kilometers. On average, viewing the territory takes no more than an hour if you use a sightseeing car. It is also possible to fly on a hang-glider over colorful mountain ranges. The cost of such an excursion, depending on the flight time, varies between 300-500 yuan. And a leisurely stroll in the park can be replaced with a mini-bass tour, which costs 20 yuan. Having paid once, you can move around the entire territory of the park an unlimited number of times, thereby being able to view these mountains from all angles. The only thing to consider is – the fact that the last bus (in summer) leaves at 20:30 from the 4th observation deck. The park is open 7 days a week, in the summer from 05:30 to 20:30, in the winter from 08:00 to 14:00.


Not all places in the park can be reached on foot

2.   The Sunan Danxia area has no excursion paths, but the landscapes are still fascinating. Entrance fee: 40 yuan.

3.   Binggou Danxia has an unusual geological content. In addition to the colorful mountains, there is an ancient palace and a temple.

Hurry up to choose a tour and go to a beautiful and mesmerizing corner of our vast planet.

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Topic: Colored Mountains of China.Colored Mountains of China

Author: Kelly Costine