Zhangye rest on Qilian Mountain in the south, near to Heli Mountain and Longshou Mountain in the north, and Heihe River runs throughout the whole city, forming a unique desert oasis scene. Within the territory, Zhangye has flat terrain, fertile land, rich forest and food, and fragrant melon and fruit. Snow-capped mountains, grasslands, blue water, and dessert contract finely with each other, the desert has both austral charm, but also has fortress special feelings, so there is sentence "without looking at the Qilian Mountain snow, people will wrongly recognize Ganzhou (former name of Zhangye used in the ancient time) as regions south of the Yangtze River".
In 121BC, Emperor Wu set up Zhangye County. In West Wei od the Northern Dynasty, it was renamed Gan Zhou (Zhou means a autonomous prefecture). From then on, until the late Qing Dynasty, it was all name Ganzhou. In 1927, it was renamed Zhangye County again and became Zhangye City in 1985.
Zhangye is one of the Hexi Four Counties with Dunhuang, Jiuquan and Wuwei. It had been the political, economic, cultural and diplomatic activities center at northwest China for each dynasty. Zhangye used to be the capital of North Liang Kingdom, the provincial capital of Gansu. In the city, there are many historical sites such as Ming Great Wall, grottoes and ancient city.
Zhangqian, Banchao, Faxian Master all had passed Zhangye to the Western Regions. Emperor Yangdi of Sui Dynasty was held “the Western Regions” in Zhangye with 27 kings of the Western Regions in 609. Xuanzang passed Zhangye to go to India to obtain buddhist scriptures. Marco Polo lived in zhangye for a year.
Zhangye belongs to continental climate, featured by dry climate. The annual average temperature is 6℃. It is coldest in Jan., and hottest in September. The best time to visit Zhangye is from June to September.
Best Time to Visit
♦ Spring (March to May): Spring in Zhangye is cool, the average temperature is -5 ~ 11℃. During the daytime, the temperature is generally 11 degree, but at night, the temperature might drop to -5 degree.
♦ Summer (June to August): Each year July and August is the best time to travel to Zhangye. Zhangye is a continental climate, dry and rainless, annual average temperature of 6 ℃, the coldest month is January, the hottest is July. Travel to Zhangye in summer, indisputably visiting two big attractions of Mati Temple and Shandan Military Horse Ranch first, whether riding to stroll Mati Hill (horseshoe hill), or riding swiftly in the grassland, take a broad view of Zhangye, you can see green grassland and the beauty of the golden flower everywhere.
♦ Autumn (September to October): Going to Zhangye in autumn, the best choice is to visit Danxia landform located in Linze and Sunan County. This palatial danxia landform ranked first in the country and its colored hills are the most beautiful in the country.
♦ Winter (November to next February): Zhangye has continental climate, dry and rainless, annual average temperature of 6 ℃, the coldest month is in January, the hottest is in July. Zhangye is located in the middle of Hexi corridor. In winter the wind is quite strong, and it is cold and dry in winter so do not recommended traveling Zhangye in winter.
♦ Spring (March to May): March and April alternate clod and heat is quickly, when it is cold the temperature might be 5 degree below zero and when it is hot the temperature might be 20 degree. And it is windy during March and April, suggest wearing light sweater with coat.
♦ Summer (June -August): Zhangye located in the hinterland of China mainland, it has long sunshine time, and day and night temperature difference is bigger, so travek Zhangye in summer, besides short sleeve and shorts, you also need to prepare a light coat and pullover, etc. Of course there is also very strong ultraviolet ray, so sunglasses, hat and scarf is also necessary.
♦ Autumn (September to October): If you choose to go to Zhangye after National Day (October 1st to October 7th), you need to wear long sleeve with a heavy coat. After entering in October the weather become cool so people need to wear long sleeve and coat, also have better to prepare a sweater for a rainy day.
♦ Winter (November to February): Due to it is located in the deep mainland hinterland, Zhangye is a typical temperate continental arid climate, sunshine time is long, and solar-thermal resource is abundant. Its winter is cold and summer is heat, the four seasons is distinct, and rainfall is concentrated. Recommended to wear thick cotton-padded jacket, winter coat, leather jacket, coat, hat, glove, and down jacket, such as thick warm clothes.
Zhangye is in the middle section of the Hexi corridor in Gansu province, and it was one of the four county Hexi counties in the ancient times. Zhangye is nourished by the China's second largest continental river of Heihe River, and it gave birth to the vast oasis, and therefore gave birth to the culture of the Hexi corridor. With its unique natural landscape, there is a beautiful ecological city wetland, majestic colorful Danxia landform, the most beautiful rape flowers in the northwest China, Yugur unique minority feelings, Qilian mountain desert scenery, the Gobi desert, and mountain glaciers. Zhangye has numerous scenic spots and historical sites, rich in tourism resources, the humanities landscape, and different shapes of ancient buildings which are exquisite and colorful.
Best Places to Visit
♦ Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park
–Zhangye Danxia is located in the northern foot of Qilian Mountains in Linze and Sunan County. Its distribution area of about 510 square kilometers, and it is provincial geological parks and provincial scenic area, 30 kilometers east from Zhangye city, 20 kilometers north from Linze County. It is domestic the only recombination region of Danxia landform and colorful hilly landscape. In November 2005 with the national geographic magazine in China and 34 large media jointly organized a poll of "the most beautiful place in China", Zhangye Danxia landform was voted as one of the seven major "China's most beautiful Danxia"; In 2009 it was awarded the "natural picturesque beauty interpretation of China's most beautiful 6 singular landscape" by the authority and guidance of the China National Geographic
magazine editorial committee, and in 2011 it was praised as "ten big magic geographic wonders of the world" by the United States National Geographic
♦ Mati Temple– Mati Temple is the national AAAA level traveling scenic area, the provincial scenic area, national cultural relic’s protection units, and Chinese Tibetan Buddhist resort. 62 kilometers away from Zhangye, Mati Temple is located in the northwest valley of the Mati River. Mati Temple grottoes group digged in the period of the Sixteen Kingdoms Northeern Liang Period, about 1600 years of history. "33 days" it was built in 7 floors 21 caves with a pagoda shaped cut in the cliffs which is spectacular and amazing.
♦ Wenshu Monastery– Wenshu Monastery, located in Qilian Mountain, at the foot of the main peak Suzhulian Wenshu mountain scenic area, is a national key cultural relic’s protection unit, the national AAA level scenic spots. Founded in Northern Liang Period of the Sixteen Kingdoms, grottoes carved in the front and back Wenshu Mountain cliff. Mati Temple was built in the Tang dynasty prosperous time with a history of more than 1500 years ago.
Zhangye has rich products, and it has Wujiang River rice which had been for the royal tribute, exquisite sweet Linze jujube, apple pears, they are representatives of Zhangye specialties, enjoys a good reputation both at home and abroad. In Zhangye, woman at an early age to learn paper cutting, embroidery and other craft production, exquisite paper-cut, chic pillow, chinese-style chest covering, embroidering shoe, sheets in the hands of the ingenuity of the woman presents all kinds of things, is popular with tourists from everywhere.
Zhangye area shopping place more focus on people's south road, near people's road west, zhang ye stores, hexi shopping malls and other large shopping malls, goods variety, good quality, good service, is an ideal place for leisure and shopping.
Zhangye Ganzhou Airport
♦ Address: Shigangdun, Ganzhou District, 24 km away from Zhangye downtown
♦ Official website:
♦ Tel: 0936-8889778
♦ How to get to Zhangye Airport: due to there is less flights to Zhangye, so basically every flights has airport shuttle bus to Zhangye downtown.
Zhangye Airport is located in central Hansu province Zhangye city, which is a military and civilian combined airport. It is 4C level airport, runway models can bear the type of Airbus 320 and Boeing 737-800 and the types smaller than these. Zhangye airport navigation cities are Lanzhou, Xi'an, and Chongqing. Zhangye airport launched its maiden flight on November 1, 2011. And on May 4, 2012, Zhangye - Lanzhou - Chongqing flights officially opened.
Lanxin (Lanzhou-Xinjiang) Railway pass through Zhangye, east from Dongle Town Shandan County, west to Shahe Town Linze County, every day there is train pass Zhangye to Beijing, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Shanghai, Xian and Jinan.
Zhangye Railway Station
♦ Address: Dongyuan Zhenxi Road, Ganzhou District, Zhangye city, Gansu province
♦ Tel: 0936-8431804
♦ How to get to Zhangye Railway Station: people can take bus No.1 to Zhangye Railway Station or taking taxi from downtown for 15 RMB.
Zhangye Railway Station built in 1955, was formally opened in 1956, and Lanxin (Lanzhou-Xinjiang) railway pass through the whole city, and converted into double track railway in 1994. And there were built 9 railways private sidings; making Zhangye railway transportation is extremely convenient. There are trains from Zhangye to Dunhuang, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc.
Due to the key position of Zhangye along Hexi Corridor, there are several highways pass through Zhangye. Ganxi highway, Ganqing Highway, 312 National Highway, 227 National Highway are criss-cross inside Zhangye, which make up a convenient highway network. There are two big bus stations, Zhangye Bus Station and Zhangye East Bus Station.
Zhangye Bus Station
♦ Address: No.128 West Ring Road
♦ Tel: 0936-8215022
♦ How to get to Zhangye Bus Station: it is 1.7 km to downtown, take a taxi to downtown costs 5 RMB.
The buses in this station mainly going to inside and outside the province (including Yinchuan, Xining, Urumqi), and nearly there are 300-shift buses.
Zhangye East Bus Station
♦ Address: 50 meters eastward from Qingnian East Street and East Ring Road
♦ Tel: 0936-8214073
♦ How to get to Zhangye East Bus Station: taking public bus No.12 at East Bus Station back door to downtown or taking taxi to downtown takes about 3.2 km and 6 RMB.
Zhangye South Bus Station
♦ Address: South Ring Road
♦ Tel: 0936-8240019
♦ How to get to Zhangye East Bus Station: taking public bus No.13, 12, 9, 4, 3, 1, and 6 to Zhangye South Bus Station, or taking taxi to downtown takes 1 km and 4 RMB.
The buses in this station mainly going to southern counties and cities of Zhangye. Every year from May 1st holiday to October 1st holiday, there are buses to Mati Temple, 3 buses every day and it takes about 1 hour.