Put on China’s tourism map due to its close proximity to the Colourful Hill or Rainbow Mountains, they really are one of natures masterpieces and like nothing we have ever seen before, the bright colours and dramatic cliffs could have easily been the set of any sci-fi movie.
The city itself is small and doesn’t have a massive amount of things to do, there is a bell tower at the end of the main shopping street and there’s a good selection of local restaurants on Oushi Street.
The Mountains (General Info):
I don’t like reading too much information about attractions before I visit because it spoils the fun of learning about it when I get there, so here’s a few things you should know before you go, I’ll keep the geeky bits as a surprise.
Tickets cost ¥75 per person and you can use two days running if you register at one of the booths dotted around the park.
Tickets include free bus rides around the park, sadly walking isn’t an option, the security guards will yell at you if you stray off the tourist trail or try to walk along the road.
There are 5 main viewpoints around the park and they all have completely different views. Try to do all 5 if you have time, I couldn’t pick a favourite if I tried.
There are no places to buy food and only a few places to buy drinks within the park, if you haven’t brought a packed lunch with you then you will need to leave the park for lunch, there are lots of places close to the main entrance.
It gets really hot, you in the desert with almost no shade, pack plenty of water and make sure you were sunscreen, we both had red noses by the time we got back to our hotel.
Getting There (Mountains):
From Zhangye western passenger station you can catch a regular shuttle bus to the parks entrance. Tickets cost ¥15 each way and take about an hour. To get back to the city the bus will leave from where it dropped you off.
Getting There (City):
It took 1 hour 20 minutes to get from Jiayuguan to Zhangye high speed train station, from there a taxi cost ¥10.
A taxi to the main train station cost us ¥20 and from there we took a 15 hour sleeper train to Xi’an.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the 7 Days Inn hotel for just ¥121 per night booked through booking.com, it was directly opposite the bus station that will take you to the colourful mountains. Rooms were clean and spacious, it’s a chain with a few hotels within Zhangye so make sure you chose the one next to the western passenger terminal.