The Danxia Mountain The Danxia Mountain is situated 45 kilometers to the northeast of Shaoguan City. Geological studies show that, twenty five million year ago, this place was a vast expanse of a low-lying lake. Later, movements of the earth’s crust made it rise above the ground and the water receded away, thus turning it into a mountain and the former sediment at the bottom of the lake gradually oxidized and became red rocks. Theses red rocks and red precipices, being relieved against the green woods and the blue sky, looking just like rosy clouds, hence the name “Danxia” meaning “red cloud” in English. In 1930s, Professor Chen Guoda of the Sun Yat-sen University made an intensive investigation and study of the geomorphic features of the Danxia Mountain and other red-rock mountains in China. He denominated this kind of red-rock land configuration the “Danxia Landform”, which was soon approved and universally adopted by the academic circles, thus making the mountain named Danxia a nomenclature of geology. Places featuring Danxia Landform can be found in all continents of the world except Antarctica, such as the Great Canyon of the United States and some areas in Saxony of Germany. But, the Danxia Mountain is the largest and the most beautiful and typical of this kind. The Danxia Mountain covers an area of 319 square kilometers, in which over 600 red-rock peaks stand out well against the wood of green, a sight that reminds one of a large garden with many ruby sculptures; therefore, it also named China Ruby Park or literally China Red Stone Park. In 1995, the Chinese State Council approved of its being a geological nature reserve and, in 2000, it was rated by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as the world’s geological park.
1. The entrance to the mountain The gate structure here is constructed of red sand rocks. These Chinese characters are the name of the park, meaning China Ruby Park. The three big Chinese characters up on the horizontal beam “Dan Xia Shan”, meaning Danxia Mountain, are written by Guan Shanyue, who was a famous painter in China. When we follow mountain road to climb the Zhanglao Peak, we can reach the main peak of Danxia Mountain, 408 meters above sea level.
2. The Elephant Crossing the River and the Beautiful Girl Blocking the River The Danxia Mountain is rated first among the four famous mountains in Guangdong Province and its unique natural scenery gives free play to one’s fancy. If you look at the hills in the distance beyond the Jingjiang River, you can find that some rocks appear to be a herd of elephants wading across the river and coming up to us. Their trunks, tusks, ears and eyes are all lifelike. So this sight is named “the Elephants Crossing the River” When you are on the Yangyuan Bridge, please look to your right at the hill in the distance. It looks as if a young girl is lying down to sleep: from right to left, the outline of her head, her neck, her chest and her belly are all clearly discernible. So this sight is called “The Sleeping Belle” or “ the beautiful Girl Blocking the River”.