A Month in China (Part 10): Zhangye and Xining


We got on a bus to leave Rebkong and insodoing left the last small town on our journey through the Amdo region (don't worry, not the last stop on this trip). Our destination was Xining (she-ning) [MAP] the capital of Qinghai province. We didn't stick around in Xining for too long this time because our next destination was the town of Zhangye (jang-yuh). Why Zhangye, you ask? Because just outside of this town is something called the rainbow mountains (google it, or better yet, keep reading and check out MY photos (shameless plug for blog post you are literally already reading [winky face])).

Anyways, it went a little something like this. We arrived in Xining, spent the night, got on a bus the next morning and arrived in Zhangye sometime in the evening. We settled in at our hostel, met a new friend and then went to sleep. Pretty exciting right? The next day we decided to make a stop first at a buddhist temple called Da Fo Si, home to a giant, wood-carved reclining buddha (that photographed very poorly) and is supposed to the birthplace of Kublai Khan.

After the temple, we went back to our hostel and met up with our friend before grabbing a cab out to the Zhangye Danxia Landscape (a.k.a. rainbow mountains). Unfortunately it was a little rainy when we got there but that doesn't change the fact that these are some of the craziest natural landscapes I have ever seen. Also, fun fact, apparently these things were "discovered" by an American backpacker about 20 years ago. He was wandering through the countryside of China, as random American backpackers are wont to do, stumbled upon them, told some people, and now the place is a national park.