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4 Days Maijishan Grottoes & Zhangye Danxia Tour $618

Gansu Buddhist Grottoes Travel


Tianshui is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, most famous for the Maijishan Grottoes with thousands of Buddhist sculptures and numerous frescoes. This tour take you to discover the ancient Buddhist art and Eight Diagrams culture in Tianshui, witness grand Yellow River culture in Lanzhou and appreciate rainbow-like mountains in Zhangye. What a fascinating Buddhist cultural and nature trip!

Highlights of this tour

  • Savor brilliant Buddhist art in one of the "Four Greatest Grottoes in China" - Maijishan Grottoes;
  • Place yourself in an amazing endless “Rainbow Mountains” in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park;
  • Visit the best Lanzhou City landscape along the Yellow River;
  • Enjoy fast and convenient China high speed train journey in Northwest China.

Basic Trip Information

from $618
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Tianshui - Lanzhou - Zhangye
Travel Length:
4 Days and 3 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Tianshui Arrival - Maijishan Grottoes

Welcome to Tianshui, one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization in southeast of Lanzhou, Gansu. Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport/train station in Tianshui and escort you to your hotel.

And then, transfer to visit the famous Buddhist cave - Maijishan Grottoes, which is well known as “An Oriental Sculpture Gallery” and one of the major UNESCO World Cultural Herigate on “Ancient Silk Road”. It, together with Luoyang Longmen Grottoes, Datong Yungang Grottoes and Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, are recognized as "the Four Greatest Grottoes in China." Maijiashan Grottoes is named for its location on a wheat rick-like hill. Remaining relics include 221 caves, 3,938 statues, (10,632 figures) and nearly 980 square meters murals. The construction dates back to Late Qin, and extended total 12 ancient dynasties of expansion and restoration. Here you can see Buddhist sculptures in different size, colors and materials mostly excavated on 20 m to 80 mhigh cliffs that reflects the development of China clay art and aesthetics of different dynasties. The standing Dongyan Giant Buddha in Cave 13 is the highest statue with a height of 15.7 m and two Bodhisattva statues on both side are both 13 m tall. Smallest Visit major classic caves to see more fantastic Buddhist artworks.

Leave Maijishan Grottoes for the holy Fuxi Temple which was built in Ming Dynasty (1483-1484) to worship the ancient legendary hero "Emperor Fuxi". In Chinese mythology, Fuxi was the creation god, founder of the Eight Diagram who taught early human beings many survival skills like cooking, fishing and hunting and made a great progress in Chinese civilization. The temple is China’s largest sacrificial architecture complex for “Emperor Fuxi”, where keeps lots of traditional Chinese style buildings, such as theater, archway, gate, halls, drum tower, bell tower, etc.

Stay Overnight in Tianshui.

Tips: 1.) Please watch your step and hold the handrail tightly while climbing up the narrow uphill trails with12 stories. 2.) Tianshui South Railway Station is the high speed bullet train station in Tianshui, which can be reached from Lanzhou (about 1.5 hours), Xian (about 2 hours), Luoyang (3.5 hours), Zhengzhou, Shanghai and more other Chinese cities.

Maijishan Grottoes Maijishan Grottoes Buddha Carvings Tianshui Fuxi Temple
Day 2 Tianshui - High Speed Train to Lanzhou & Lanzhou Tour ( B, L )

After breakfast, you will drive to Tianshui South Railway Station in Tianshui to take a high speed bullet train to Lanzhou. The train ride is only 1.5 hours short. Once arrival, your tour guide will pick you up at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou and escort you to your hotel.

After lunch, take a half day tour to explore the Yellow River Culture of Lanzhou. You will take a short leisure walk to see the Statue of Mother Yellow River first. A lovely baby nestles against chest of his loving mother. It is a work from a Gansu’s female artist, praising Mother River who created Chinese civilization and nourished Chinese people. Next, visit the First Bridge on Yellow River. Named as Zhongshan Bridge to memorize Sun Yat-sen, this iron bridge was the first sample built by foreign technology in Northwestern China, already standing over 100 years. Keep moving to enjoy an interesting visit in Lanzhou Waterwheels Park (Lanzhou Shuiche Park). There you can view large area of green plants, and the conspicuous waterwheels in different styles and structures going round and round as well as many bronze sculptures vividly showing daily life scenes of the locals. Modern buildings towering astride the Yellow River tell you that Lanzhou is speeding up to father future as the flowing yellow water.

Stay overnight in Lanzhou.

Yellow River Mother Statue in Lanzhou The Iron Bridge of Yellow River
Day 3 Lanzhou - Zhangye Danxie Tour ( B )

After breakfast, you will take a morning train to Zhangye city from Lanzhou (about 5 hrs). Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the road. After arriving at Zhangye West Railway Station, you will be met by a local tour guide. Let's get ready for the trip!

In the afternoon, drive about an hour to visit the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park. The Danxia landform is a spectacular petrographic geomorphology landscape which is formed from red-coloured sandstones and conglomerates. The one in Zhangye was formed in the pre-Jurassic Age. Thousands of mountains and stiffs stretch like the colorful sunset glow. The barren mountains are covered by a red grit rock stratum. At the same time, some surfaces of mountains appear in other colors, such as white, yellow, etc, and form many irregular lines and blocks looking like some abstract oil paintings. There are four viewing decks for you to watch and shoot. You will visit one by one, and will be transferred by park buses from one deck to another.

You won't miss the precious opportunity to enjoy the amazing sunset. Viewing Deck No. 4 is the best location to take the sunset of the Danxia Landform. It's better to get there earlier to occupy a good location. After sunset, drive back to Zhangye downtown for accommodation.


1. Pack with sunblocks, sunglasses, protective clothing and hat to protect from strong sunlight in summer; 2. Sunset is the best time for taking photos, which happens around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.

Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
Day 4 Zhangye Tour & Departure ( B )

After breakfast, you will go to visit the famous Giant Buddha Temple which is famous for having the largest indoor sleeping Buddha in Asia. This temple is a large complex with regal arrangements built in Western Xia Dynasty (1098), and keeps many precious Buddhist scriptures and wall paintings. Its famous treasure is the Sleeping Buddha which is the centrally seated, symmetric buildings situate along the sides. The Buddha statue was carved by woods with a length of 34.5 meters, telling the story of Buddha’s Nirvana. His ears are as big as the space in which 4 adults can sit side by side.

After sightseeing, drive back to Zhangye City to catch your flight/train to next destination.

Giant Buddha Temple

Recommended Add-on Options

+2 more days to explore cultural and natural miracles in Dunhuang

Located in the northwest of Gansu and the westernmost of Hexi Corridor, Dunhuang is the most brilliant pearl along the ancient Silk Road. The city has sealed huge art treasury and created oasis in the desert. You can closely see the fantastic Buddhist sculptures, murals in World Cultural Heritage - Mogao Caves, visit Crescent Lake surrounded by Mingsha Mountain, view unique Yardang landform, ancient passes and more impressive scenery here.

You can take a 2-day brief trip to Dunhuang covering top highlights. On the day 1, you can go to Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent LakeE together, witness the wonder of nature, try some exciting activities, like desert camel riding, sand sliding, motorcycling, etc., later return to Dunhuang city to hunt for local flavors at Shazhou Night Market. Day 2 is fully for your Mogao Caves tour. First watch introduction movies about the caves in the Digital Exhibition Center, and then visit specific caves in Mogao Grottoes one by one, learning Buddhist story, Chinese culture and history, which you can’t help admiring this precious land of art.

the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang

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Mogao Grottoes
7 Days Ancient Silk Road Treasure Tour from Tianshui

Tianshui - Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

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