Lanzhou - The Center of China

Lanzhou is the capital city of Gansu Province, lying on the upper reaches of the Yellow River (Huang He). Lanzhou used to be an oasis and a stopping place on the old Silk Road. Nowadays, Lanzhou's developed into a major transport and industrial center.

Perhaps a paragraph from Peter Fleming's News From Tartary, 1936 will present you a side of old Lanzhou: "The streets of Lanchow are romantic¡­The faces of the Muslims - very influential, here as in sian, thought they form only ten percent of the population - are swarthy and fierce and almost hawk-like; most of them wear white caps or turbans. Occasionally you see a Turki from Sinkiang, a bearded, booted figure in a long chaperon, with features so Aryan and UN-Mongoloid that he might almost have from the Caucasus."
Lanzhou City Ratings
** The following ratings are based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.
History(8)        Art(4)  Local Culture/Unique Tour(6)
Nature/Scenic(4)   Food/Shopping(3)  Night Life(3)
Religion(5)    Adventure/Sports(7)  Reasonable Cost(9)
Recommended Days of Stay: 1.5 Lanzhou City Map

Quick Facts
Population - 1.4 million
People - Han, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Mongolian, Kazak
When to go
Tourist Season - April through November;
Coldest Months - January with temperature as low as - 10C;
Hottest Months - July and August, with temperature as high as 35C;
Annual Precipitation - 30-800 millimeters (mainly in May through September)
Sandstorm - April and May
Getting In and Out
By Air - Lanzhou can be reached by air from HK and 25 Chinese cities including Beijing and Xi'an;
By Train - Lanzhou is 36 hours away from Urumqi, 15 hours away from Xi'an and 15 hours away from Jiayuguan.

History


Lanzhou is almost in the center of China. Founded 2200 years ago, Lanzhou was called the "Gold City" after gold was discovered here.

It is another city which owes its historical significance to its geographical location. Its strategic location at the foot of the corridor, and on a crossing point for the Yellow River, meant that traffic along the Silk Road naturally passed through here.

Lanzhou was developed into the seat of power for the surrounding area during Han dynasty. During 1666, Gansu was made a separate province and Lanzhou was made its capital.

During the Sino-Japan war, Lanzhou was used as the distribution center for all ammunition and supplies shipped in to China from Soviet Union. It was severely punished by Japanese bombing because of it.

After communists took over the country, Lanzhou was developed into a major industrial city. The discovery of oil in the nearby desert gave Lanzhou a major role in China's petrochemical industry.


Gansu Provincial Museum * * *
This museum's major collection includes a tremendous display of the Yangshao or red pottery of the late neolithic, of which many sites have been excavated in Gansu. The museum contains the finest group of these late neolithic pots in China. The oldest one is estimated to be 8,120 years old.

Other important exhibitions include a famous 1,800-year-old Galloping Horse of Gansu that toured US and Canada. There is also a major display of Silk Road artifacts including the 2,000-year-old wood slips used for documentation and records by the soldiers of the Han garrisons and beacons along the Silk Road before paper was invented.

Art
Gansu Provincial Museum * * *
This museum's major collection include a tremendous display of the Yangshao or red pottery of the late neolithic of which many sites have been excavated in Gansu. The museum contains the finest group of these late neolithic pots in China. The oldest one is estimated to be 8,120 years old.

Other important exhibitions include a famous 1,800-year-old Galloping Horse of Gansu that toured US and Canada. There is also a major display of Silk Road artifacts including the 2,000-year-old wood slips used for documentation and records by the soldiers of the Han garrisons and beacons along the Silk Road before paper was invented.

Nature/Scenic
LiuJiaXia Dam * *
The Liujiaxia Dam is one of five planned with the help of Soviet advisors in the 1950s. It is one of the biggest hydroelectric power stations in China and was completed in 1974.

Food/ Shopping
Gansu Cultural Relics Shop and Provincial Arts and Crafts Shop * * *
Here you can buy carved ink slabs, luminous jade cups, and bottle gourds. There are also Middle Eastern styled carpets, lanterns and reproductions of ancient paintings based on the Silkroad murals. The most beautiful of them are the replicas of Buddha's heads using the original molds from Bingling Si.

Huangmaio Market * * *
It is a local market selling curios, stamps, coins and some reproductions. Usually, it's much better on weekends.

Huang Tudi Restaurant(Yellow Earth) * *
Huang Tudi means Yellow Earth in Chinese. It usually implies originality and down-to-earth. Restaurants with such names usually specialize in Local cuisine. This particular one is famous for Lanzhou beef noodles. They are quite tasty although oily and rich.

Adventure/Sports
Baita Shan (White Pagoda Mountain) * *
Laid out across a steep hillside, White Pagoda Mountain Park is small and fairly attractive but tends to get crowded and noisy at weekends.

The White Pagoda was first built in Yuan and rebuilt during subsequent dynasties.

From the top of the mountain, there is a great view of Lanzhou.


Wuquan Shan * * *
This park integrated rather imaginative use of concrete in both traditional and modernistic garden forms. Decorative gates, a major design feature of traditional gardens, are made in brick and concrete, some pure moon gates, others more fanciful.

 

 

 
back to home


About Us Contact Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2013, ChinaOnYourMind.com, LLP. All Rights Reserved.