Lanzhou Travel Guide

Lanzhou Overview

Lanzhou is Also called “Jincheng” which means golden City. It is the capital City of Gansu Province and transportation hub as well as one of the seven largest Military area of China. It uccupies an area of 13085 square KMS with a population of about 3,300,000.

Lanzhou is located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River. The famous Yellow River cross the city in the middle which gives a special Basin characteristics for Lanzhou. Climate of Lanzhou belongs to continental climate zone. Annual Rain fall is 360mm, Average temperature is 9.3℃,Annual sunshine hours average 2446 hours,Frost-free period more than 180 days.

Average height of the city is 1520 meters above sea level.

Early in the Neo-Stone Age, 5,000 years ago, human beings were already dwelling here. In ancient times, Lanzhou was a major thoroughfare to Central Asia, Africa and Europe, which helped promote the progress and friendship between Chinese people and the people in the west. It was one of the three major ferries along the Yellow River for people going from Chang’an to the western Xinjiang and Tibet regions. As a great hub on the ancient Silk Road, Xuanzang, an eminent Buddhist monk of the Tang Dynasty, also passed through this place on his pilgrimage to India. In addition, when Marco Polo, the great explorer, was traveling throughout the world on adventure, and Genghis Khan, the universal ruler of the Mongols, was embarking on a series of military campaigns from the north to the south to unify Mongol tribes, the way through Lanzhou was the one which they had to take. According to recent archeological discoveries, the Majiayao Culture, Banshan Culture, Machang Culture and Qijia Culture flourished here successively, which suggested early splendid human civilizations.

Tourist Features
With various nationalities dwelling here, such as Hui (Muslims), Han, Tibetan, Dongxiang, Yugur, and so on, Lanzhou boasts plenty of historical relics and rich natural sights which pleasantly surprise visitors. There are over 500 cultural sites, among which 16 are under national protection. The cave art of Bingling Monastery is just a few hours outside the town. The Yellow River runs through the city proper. Along the river is extensive greenery, nicknamed “Green Corridor”. At the southern bank of the river, visitors may enjoy a series of scenic spots such as the Waterwheel Garden and the Statue of Mother Yellow River. Within the city, visitors may have a good time visiting the White Pagoda Park, the Zhongshan Iron Bridge, the Provincial Museum and the Five- Spring Park. Other sights outside of the town may merit a visit include the Xinglong Mountain, the Yamun of Tusi Lu’s and the Tulugou Valley. Besides the above-mentioned attractions, the hospitable locals, diverse restaurants, cheap yet delicious snacks, and convenient transportation system will all ensure that you get a memorable trip in this tolerant and placid city.

Lanzhou Bingling Temple

bingling temple
Bingling Temple is an ancient stone cave temple located about 80 kilometers from Lanzhou City and is one of the Lanzhou attractions off the Silk Road in the Gansu province. The Temple features a hundred small and large grottoes with stone Buddhas that are actually carved into the cave. The Temple was nicknamed the Bingling Temple, which in the Tibetan language means A Thousand Buddhas. The Bingling Temple’s construction has been ongoing for more than a millennium. It is one of the three major temples of the Gansu area, along with the Mogao Grottoes and the Maijishan Grottoes.

Five Springs Mountain Park

five spring mountain

Five Springs Mountain Park is well-known for its tranquility and beauty. Lush forests, gurgling springs, and many ancient temples can all be found here. It is located within the Five Springs Mountain at the foot of the Guanglan Mountain. It got its name from the five springs that comprise it, called Ganlu, Juyue, Mozi, Hui, Meng. Over 2,000 years ago, this area was something of ancient resort for the rich. The Park has an area of 10,500 square meters and houses more than 10 groups of ancient architecture. Inside the Congqing Temple hangs a ten-ton iron bell which dates back 900 years.

The park is a sacred place for the locals. Followers of Buddhism come here to worship on April 8 and to enjoy the many Buddhist activities.

Zhongshan Iron Bridge


Zhongshan Bridge lies at the foot of White Pagoda Hill and in front of the Jincheng Pass in Lanzhou city also is the symbol of Lanzhou City for its majestic looks and uniqueness.It is a historic bridge erected 1907, known as the first bridge built on the Yellow River among those in the whole drainage area of the river in China. Built during the late Qing Dynasty, all of the materials used in its construction were imported from Germany. After two years’ construction, the bridge was fully operational. The bridge is 250 meters long and 8 meters wide and is the first bridge over the Yellow. It got its current name in 1942, to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Sun Yat-sen.