China Danxia, or Danxia landform, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in August 2010, is the name of a unique type of landscapes. Danxia landform was discovered and named by famous Chinese geographer Feng Jinglan in 1929. The word "Danxia", referring "丹（vermilion）霞（sunglow）" in Chinese, is originated from a poem of Caopi (187-226), Emperor Wen of the Cao Wei Dynasty (220-265), who was also a famous poet in Chinese history. Danxia landform is formed from red sandstone (red bed) influenced by uplift, weathering and erosion, with the alternating colors of the stratified layers clearly visible on exposed cliff faces, reflecting varying degrees of oxidization. As an ancient Chinese saying describing it goes "Bright as vermilion and dramatic as sunglow", Danxia landform features red cliffs, towering peaks, deep valleys, decent forest covered peak groups, dramatic caves and diverse natural pillars, towers and waterfalls.
The inscribed site consists of six Danxia landform areas,Mount Chishui in Guizhou Province, Taining in Fujian Province, Mount Lang in Hunan Province, Mount Danxia in Guangdong Province, Mount Longhu (Dragon and Tiger Mountain) in Jiangxi Province and Mount Jianglang in Zhejiang Province. They are geographically and geologically related—all located in the subtropical zone of southwest China and representing Danxia landscapes in their early-young stage (Mount Chishui), young stage (Taining), early-mature stage (Mount Langshan), mature stage (Mount Danxia), early-old stage (Mount Longhu), and old stage (Mount Jianglang) respectively. Large-scale subtropical broad-leaved evergreen forests and more than 400 species of rare flora and fauna are well preserved in these landscapes due to the humid climate and rugged and diverse landform. On a good-weather day with blue skies sprinkled with puffy white clouds, the juxtaposition of huge red sandstone surfaces, the colors of the sky, the jade green surface of rivers and the bright green color of the foliage suggests a representational canvas painted by Mother Nature herself. A visit to China Danxia can be an impressive and interesting experience.