23 November 2014


The Giant Buddha Temple itself was built in 1098 and is remarkably well preserve. The Giant Buddha Temple (Dafo Temple) in Zhangye city, about 600 kilometers west of Gansu's provincial capital Lanzhou, is named after a statue worshiped inside. The temple, also known as "Wofo Temple" (Sleeping Buddha Temple), is very famous because it contains the biggest indoor sleeping Buddha in all of China.  The gold-plated and painted Giant Buddha is made out of clay and lies in the Nirvana position. The Giant Buddha of Zhangye is 34 metres long, 7.5 metres shoulder to shoulder and has feet that are about 4 metres long and the ears are 2 metres long.

Photography is not allowed inside the temple.  As the Buddha is painted the room is dim in order to preserve it.  In addition to the building with the Buddha, there are several other buildings worth visiting that contain Buddhist artifacts, sutras, old Buddha images, and beautiful paintings.

Nice and quiet place.  Not much crowds in the morning

The temple itself and the beautiful gateway arch are quite nice for photography.

22 November 2014


The roads were rough and bumpy as we drove along.  There was no traffic to speak of once we got on the road up to the pass and for a little while, we had the whole place to ourselves.

We stopped at the top of Shala Pass that is directly south of the lake.  From this pass (3,500m) one can get a bird's eye view of the lake and the surrounding countryside.

The slopes are covered with a spongy grass and we could see herds of sheep in the distance.  Streams with clear water make up the scenic view

Stunning view of snow-capped mountains and sun ray. 

16 November 2014


We had a very long drive after visiting the Qinghai Lake to reach Zhangye(张掖).  As we left Xining scenery of low mountains rose and snow-covered peaks came into view.  As we drove towards West gaining altitude and pass wheat and barley fields; grasslands with flocks of grazing sheep and yaks.

Many tents set up by the government in the mountains but are left empty as they are not utilized by the normads.

Along the highway the scenery is breathtaking.  Along the slopes Tibetan nomads have their herds of sheep and yaks grazing

The wheat fields had been harvested and the golden sheaves were stacked in the fields. Trees bordering the fields turning golden in the autumn sun.

The brilliant blue lake to the north

The views of the lake and the mountains from the pass were beautiful. The slopes are covered with a spongy grass and we could see herds of sheep in the distance and several towns in valleys below.