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Zanda Clay Forest

Zanda County, boasting the Ruins of Guge Kingdom and the Tholing Monastery, would never be missed in an Ngari travel. Traveling by car south from the town of Shiquanhe, it takes approximately 12 hours to reach the Xiangquanhe Valley, where the county lies. There the spectacle along the banks of the Xiangquanhe River strikes you immediately. Boundless clay forests wind along the river, some like pilgrims resting on the hillside, some shaped as running horses, while some resembling grand palaces and castles. Amazingly breathtaking, this is the well-known Zanda Clay Forest.
Protected because of its geological uniqueness, the Zanda Clay Forest covers a total area of 56 hectares (138 acres) and is widely scattered over Zanda County, along the Xiangquanhe River. Legend has it that the clay forest arose from the sea that had formerly covered this area. Coincidentally, scientific research shows that over one million years ago there was a broad lake covering an area of 500 sq km (193 sq miles), extending from Zanda County to Purang County. The clay forest resulted from geological movements of the Himalayas, perennial water erosion, as well as air slaking.

Driving in the clay forest is like an exciting journey among the giants' feet. Viewing these remarkable masterpieces, who could suspect they resulted from the great creativity of Nature?
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