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Introducing Zhāngyè

Most people use this mid-size Silk Road town as a jumping-off base for the unique cliff temples at nearby Mǎtí Sì. But budget at least the afternoon here. There’s a colossal Buddha ensconced inside one of China’s best preserved wooden temples that deserves an extended visit.

The main road through town (as far as the traveller is concerned) is divided into Xi (West) Dajie and Dong (East) Dajie, depending which direction it radiates from the drum tower. Jianfu Jie intersects with Xi Dajie a few blocks from the drum tower and heading north takes you to a pleasant eating street while south leads to the Great Buddha Temple and Wooden Pagoda.