Formerly known as Kuyu City, Suoyang City is a National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit and was listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in June 2014. Located on the Gobi Beach, about 70 kilometers southeast of Guazhou County Gansu Province, it was originally built in the Han Dynasty and gained great reputation in the Tang Dynasty.
The city still preserves the typical style of the ancient Tang Dynasty although it went though many reconstruction and renovation in different dynasties. A large monastery built in Yuan Dynasty stands in the northeast of the city. Its big tower is 14.5 meters high with thousands of small towers standing in a line.
Suoyang City was once the official prefecture in the Han and Tang Dynasty. After the war in Ming Dynasty, it was abandoned then. Because there are many delicious and sweet Suoyang (a kind of plant, which could be used as Chinese medicine) growing around the city, the locals started to call it as Suoyang City since Qing Dynasty.
Suoyang City was an important ancient large city on the Silk Road. It played a vital role in the political, economic, cultural and military aspects of ancient Hexi Corridor. The large open oasis near the ancient Suoyang City was the boundary between Jiuquan County and the Western Regions. Suoyang City is divided into two cities: the inner city and the outer city. The total area of the outer city is 800,000 square meters and the inner city reaches 280,000 square meters. The northwest corner pier is 18 meters high where ancient military facilities such as watching towers were set.
Suoyang City has the best-preserved ancient military defense system and ancient farmland irrigation system in China. At the same time, it is also a typical specimen of the evolution of desertification in ancient China. It is a perfect tourist spot combining ancient cultural relics and unique natural landscapes in western China.
About 1 kilometer east of Suoyang City, there is a soil pagoda forest, which is called Ta'er Temple by the locals.
According to historical records, Ta’er Temple used to be a worship venue for local officials and common people in Guanzhou County during the Tang, Five Dynasties, Song and Yuan Dynasties. It can be seen that during the Han and Tang Dynasties, it was very busy and crowded. Only eleven large and small towers are preserved now in the temple. A drum tower and a bell tower were built on the sides of the temple. In the north, there is a large majestic tower with a height of 14.5 meter. The top of the tower is a bowl-shaped structure.