Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel through Philately - China Dan Xia 中国丹霞 (Hong Kong Post)

The long hiatus from my last philately post left me with considerable time to arrange and catalogue my collection. From within the collection I found another of Hong Kong Post's Mainland Scenery Sites series - this is the third of the collection, focusing on the colorful landscape of China Danxia (丹霞). And it is by preparing this post that I learned a crucial misunderstanding which I had held for quite some time.

Also known as Danxia Landform of China, this is the general name of the unique landscapes, Danxia Landform (丹霞地貌), which formed from red sandstone and characterised by steep cliffs. The landform was inscribed into UNESCO's list of World Heritage in 2010, upon which a status upgrade was granted a year later from the Chinese government into national geopark.

The combined tectonic and environmental forces created the characteristic red cliffs in the 6 areas - Chishui, Taining, Langshan, Danxiashan, Longhushan, and Jianglangshan, all located in the subtropics of southeast China, spanning an approximate 1700 km of crescent shaped area.

China Danxia (image taken from UNESCO).

Danxia landforms in China are not isolated to the south, and surprisingly, neither are they the most famous. Zhangye Danxia Landform (张掖丹霞地貌) to the north, situated in Gansu province, earned itself the reputation of one of the most beautiful landforms in China with its candy cane colors. Although the rainbow shades of red and yellow attracted tourists, they are not inscribed into the World Heritage List - only the southern cousins are.

Shades of red and yellow in Zhangye Danxia (image taken from When On Earth).

Colorful Zhangye Danxia Landform (image taken from Telegraph).

Date of Issue:         4 December 2014
Denominations:      HK$10
Stamp Size:            37.5mm x 51mm
Minisheet Size:      140mm x 90mm
Perforation:            13.25 (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Paper:                     Paper with security fibres
Printing Process:    Lithography and Silk screen printing
Printer:                   Joh. Enshedé B.V., The Netherlands
Designer:                Gideon Lai

  1. UNESCO World Heritage List
  2. Wikipedia - Danxia Landform
  3. Wikipedia - China Danxia
  4. Wikipedia - Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park
  5. Telegraph UK - Colourful rock formations in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park

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