Zhangye On a Budget
Zhangye is privy to beautiful summer weather, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's Fahrenheit. The best times to visit are between July and September, when temperatures and sunshine are at their highest. Autumn, Winter, and Spring tend to be a little chillier and rainier.
SightsOne of the most popular sights in Zhangye is the Da Fo Si, a Buddhist temple that is known for having the largest wooden indoor reclining Buddha in China. The temple is also thought to be the birthplace of Mongo emperor Kublai Khan.
Go for a stroll through the Blackwater National Site, an archeological site dating back to the Neolithic period. Here, you'll find ancient cultural relics and tombs from the Han Dynasty, although many of the tombs have been buried in sand.
Enjoy the beautiful views of the Zhangye Danxia Lanscape, a small set of parks that are famed for the multicolored rocks on the mountains. The parks are called Danxia and Binggou, with Binggou being the newest of the two. You'll find some of the best examples of the multicolored rocks in Danxia park. If you're using public transport, be mindful of timing as buses stop at 6pm.
NeighborhoodsThe city center is home to the majority of tourist destinations, with other areas of the city being residential and industrial. When in the city center, head to Jinmai, a pedestrian street with up scale clothing shops and restaurants. Fang Gun Jie, also in the city center, is the main pedestrian street where you'll find more shopping and restaurants.
Get outside of the city and head to Ping Shan Hu Grand Canyon about 30 miles outside of the city center. Also known as the Hirayama Lake Grand Canyon, this stunning natural wonder offers viewing platforms and countless hiking trails.
ActivitiesZhangye is the ideal place to take in the natural beauty of China, and what better way to start than with a horseback ride? Take a hike up to the Mati Si Temple then take a horseback ride around the mountain. Along the way, you'll find caves carved into rock and countless other naturally beautiful sights.
If you prefer something even more adventurous, head to Desert Park Sha Mo Gong Yuan. Here, you'll find shifting dunes to climb and beautiful landscapes to view. Just make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and water with you! After a hot day in the desert, take a cool swim in the Hei River.
Food and DiningZhangye has a fair selection of restaurants, with a wide range of price options. Many of the great food options are located on the main food and shopping streets. One of which is Ming Qing Jie, a food alley where you'll find countless options, including their famous aubergine and pulled noodles. During the day, head to Qing Ming Street, a main pedestrian street which offers a variety of restaurants and shops. Then at night, go to Xiaochichang, a beautiful outdoor area with food stalls and an adjacent indoor food court.
During the summer, the Fan Gun Jie area offers an outdoor beer garden with food stalls. Other nightlife includes a few nightclubs and pubs where you'll find a welcoming atmosphere and a lot of fun.
TransportationFor shorter routes to and from Zhangye, it is recommended to book ahead. The best prices for buses and trains in China can be found on 12Go. They let you search across all bus, train, and airline routes throughout Asia.
Zhangye has a domestic airport, a train station, and three bus stations around the city. There are shuttle buses to take you from the bus terminals and train station to the city center.
Getting around the city is fairly easy; walking is a popular option as many attractions are within walking distance of each other. Buses are a good option for getting to areas further away from the city center, although be careful with timing as buses tend to stop running around 8pm. A great option is to rent a private car to take you to the most popular sights outside of the city center. You can book one through a local travel agency or a hotel.
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