About This Trip
- 1Zhangye - Badain Jaran DesertArrival
- 2Badain Jaran DesertYindeltu Lake, Temple Lake, Bilutu Peak
- 3ZhangyeGiant Buddha Temple
- 4ZhangyeMatisi Grottos, Danxia Landform
Day 1: Zhangye - Badain Jaran Desert
About three hours from Zhangye for the northwest we will arrive at the entrance of Badain Jaran Desert located in Alxa Right Banner of Inner Mongolia. Then, get on an off-road vehicle to deep into the desert and settle down at your lodge.
With the average annual rainfall less than 40mm, Badain Jaran boasts more than 140 lakes in the desert. Soaring sand dunes, colorful lakes, and mysterious temples, all have made the unique charm of Badain Jaran.
- Badain Jaran
Day 2: Badain Jaran Desert, full day sightseeing in the desert
The Singing Sand Mountain of Baori Tolgoi is as high as 200 meters high. A kind of roar, similar to that of an airplane or thunder, will be caused when there is anyone sliding off its sharp ridges. At the foot of the dune is a clear lake with fishes in it. Here, you can try various sand sports or just sit quietly to enjoy the tranquility. In the salt lake of Yindeltu, there is a three-square-meter isolated reef with 108 caves gushing out clear and sweet waters. The locals believe that the spring water has magic power on people's health, so named it Divine Fountain (Shen Quan in Chinese).
The Temple Lake has gotten the name from the temple that stands on the lake bank and looks at its beautiful image in the lake. Built-in 1755AD, the Badain Jaran Temple is a Tibetan Buddhist temple enjoying the reputation of "the Desert Palace".
The Bilutu Peak at an altitude of 1,617 meters is considered the highest sandy peak in the world. At the sunset, you can climb up it and enjoy the incredible light and shadow art in the desert.
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- Badain Jaran
Day 3: Badain Jaran Desert - Zhangye, Giant Buddha Temple
Enjoy sunrise and leisure breakfast this morning before taking the off-road vehicle and car back to Zhangye. Arrive at noon, have lunch and then take refreshment at your hotel.
In the afternoon, follow your guide to visit the Giant Buddha Temple that houses the gigantic reclining Buddha statue made in the Western Xia, a Tanggut-ruled empire that ruled northwestern China between 1038 and 1227. In the temple, you will see some murals, sculptures, calligraphy, and historical relics with great significance for studying the cultural exchanges between China and the Western Regions.
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Day 4: Zhangye, Matisi Grottos & Danxia landform
South of Zhangye about 60km is the Matisi Scenic Area for you to marvel at Mati Temple, glance at Tibetan life, and enjoy the scenic views of the Qilian Mountains. Quite different from a temple in the traditional sense, Mati Temple is more like a whole mountain has been carved into a temple consisting of thousands of caves. In these caves, you will see a large collection of Buddha statues, murals, and some other Buddhist relics.
Spend the morning at the Matisi area and the afternoon at Zhangye National Geopark to enjoy the colorful Danxia landscape. It is said that afternoon is better to spot its dazzling colors.
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Day 5: Zhangye - Departure
Depart from Zhangye and continue your journey to other cities. It is quite easy to travel from Zhangye to Dunhuang or Xi'an.
At the appointed time, the guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport or railway station.
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