The Spectacular Beauty and Unusual Geology of The Danxia Landscapes in China

Barsbold Baatarsuren
Barsbold Baatarsuren News Apr 22 min read
Danxia Landscapes in China (1)

China's vast landmass endows the country with a plethora of magnificent landforms that date back millions of years. These natural wonders could serve as photographic inspiration or simply as a visual feast for your eyes.

The Chinese refer to their country's sandstone and conglomerate rock formations as "Danxia landforms." Several parks in China's southeast, south, and northwest protect these eroded sandstone formations.

The rock formations are similar to those found in national parks in the southwest United States, such as Red Rock Canyon, Zion Canyon, and Bryce Canyon, as well as Australia's Purnululu National Park. Other parklands have verdant vegetation, waterfalls, rivers, and old Buddhist caves. Some Chinese sandstone areas are unusually colorful, but others have verdant foliage, waterfalls, rivers, and old Buddhist caves.

The Danxia landforms are a natural wonder. The vibrant mountain ridges resemble an upside-down palette from heaven.

China Danxia is a UNSECO World Heritage Site that refers to landscapes that have formed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds and have been affected by both endogenous (such as uplift) and exogenous (such as erosion) (including weathering and erosion). Six areas in the sub-tropical region of south-west China are included in the inscribed site.

They're known for their dramatic red cliffs and a variety of erosional landforms including natural walls, towers, ravines, rivers, and waterfalls. These rugged habitats have aided in the conservation of subtropical broad-leaved evergreen forests and are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, with around 400 species classified as rare or endangered.

Zhangye Danxia Landscape Features — Red Rocks and Rainbow Ridges

The Danxia landscape of Zhangye features numerous precipitous red cliffs, the majority of which are several hundred meters high, as well as multicolored ridges of weathered strata that extend to the horizon. These formations, which are sometimes smooth and sometimes rough, stand out against the plains' greens and grays, appearing grand and majestic, vigorous and virile.

Zhangye Danxia Landscape Features Red Rocks and Rainbow Ridges

A kaleidoscope of numerous red rocky outcrops dot the danxia landscape region, resembling strange and wonderful shapes such as castles, cones, and towers, as well as humans, insects, birds, and beasts. Their heights, which peep through the mist and clouds, create a mirage-like landscape of fantastic mountains and pavilions.

The Chinese Red Wave

Around 450 kilometers north of Xi'an, China has its own version of "the Wave of Arizona." Like China's flag, the Wave of China is predominantly red. Its sandstone has unusual swirls and resembles a three-dimensional "magic eye." Facilities and utilities are outdated, and the area is undeveloped for tourism. It will be a long journey for you to get there.

Longzhou Rural District is located 20 kilometers southwest of Jingbian Township in NW Shaanxi Province, 150 kilometers north of Yan'an.

Watery Taining Danxia Park and Mt. Wuyi in Fujian

Tourists flock to Taining for its boat cruises, which allow them to see the lush scenery that contrasts sharply with the desert scenery of Zhangye. This park features eroded cliffs and spires that are often covered in vegetation. The park is located near Xiamen and features a hanging Buddhist temple as well as numerous caves to explore.

Taining is about two and a half hours away from Mt. Wuyi. Tourists enjoy rafting and hiking among waterfalls and streams, making it more popular than Taining.

Kanbula National Forest Park's Lake and Cliffs

Kanbula is known for its jagged cliffs and reservoir lake in Qinghai Province.

Kanbula National Forest Parks Lake and Cliffs

This park, unlike the others, is located at a high elevation. It reaches a height of over 2,100 meters (6,600 feet). The red rock isn't as colorful as Zhangye's, but the sheer cliffs with bushes on top are something unique. You can see the sights by taking a boat ride.

Kanbula is located in the Yellow River's upper reaches.

Rocky Spires of Mt. Lang and Mt. Wanfo in Hunan

Both Langshan and Mount Wanfo are designated as World Heritage Sites.

Mount Lang has sharp, high peaks that resemble those of Hunan's far more well-known Zhangjiajie/Wulingyuan. Wulingyuan is a kind of quartzite rock that is more durable than Danxia sandstone.

Instead of spires, Wanfo has mesas. International tourists seldom visit these two danxia regions.

With one of our Zhangjiajie tours, you might take a detour to see Hunan's Danxia.

Mount Danxia's Jagged Hiking Hills in Guangdong

Mount Danxia Jagged Hiking Hills in Guangdong

Mount Danxia, the name given to all Danxia landscapes, is best known for hiking among the pillars, mesas, and sandstone rock formations. There is also the choice of river boating. There aren't many tourists in the city. It's a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Guangzhou. People stay in nearby Chinese hotels because of the area's relative isolation, which makes it ideal for nature appreciation and hikes.

The Hills at 'Octagon Village' Near Guilin

The sandstone in Bajiaozhai Geology Park is whitish-red in color and capped with vegetation. They have a similar appearance to the limestone karst hills in Guilin.

Guilin is 66 miles or 107 kilometers away. Although the area does not see many visitors, we can arrange a visit as part of a Guilin trip.

The Bottom Line:

The property is owned by the state, and its protected status varies depending on which of the six component sections you visit: much of it is a national park, but land designations include national nature reserve, national forest, and geopark. Each of the six components is safeguarded by relevant laws and regulations at the national, regional, and local levels, ensuring sufficient long-term statutory, regulatory, institutional, and conventional preservation of the outstanding universal values.

The odd colors of the rocks are the product of 24 million years of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down. The tectonic plates responsible for sections of the Himalayan mountains buckled the resulting "sheet cake." Wind and rain completed the task by sculpting strange and wonderful forms such as natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys, and waterfalls – all of which vary in color, texture, form, scale, and pattern.

This is what makes the Danxia landscapes of China all the more interesting and spectacular.

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