Top destinations of the moment in Asia
  • Tour Ideas
Trip Types
  • Travel Style
  • Interests and Activities
  • Tour Ideas by Month
  • Continents and Regions
An update from Evaneos

Gansu: the province where the Great Wall comes to an end

In Gansu, you can enjoy the beauty of the nature and the architecture. You will also discover a melting pot of several ethnic minorities that reflects the wealth of culture here.

A long history

This narrow province of China, which is squeezed between the Mongolian Plateau in the north and Tibet in the south, is sure to delight you. in its extreme west, it offers one of the most important entry points to the Silk Road. It is also where the Great Wall comes to an end.

Lanzhou, the provincial capital, is an excellent starting point.

You must start by seeing Lanzhou, the provincial capital, first. While it is certainly an industrial, polluted city, you won't be staying there very long. It is however a good starting point for staying in Tibet, or in Sichuan or Xinjiang. You can also admire some pretty sights such as the Yellow River, which runs past the eastern part of the city, and the surrounding mountains.

Let's not overlook Tianshui and Dunhuang either, which are the other main cities in the province. You can find many Buddhist caves there. I loved lingering there, if only for the way they looked. Hollowed out from a circular hillside, they contain a number of bronze statutes and murals.

Finally, there is no way that you can visit this province without enjoying the local culinary specialities. The beef noodles are absolutely delicious! They are so popular that they are nicknamed the McDonald's of Lanzhou.

White Pagoda Hill in Lanzhou @flickr cc Richard Weil

Breathtaking sights

Lanzhou is the city that I know best out of all those in the Gansu region. In my view, the temples and the parks are worthy of a visit. These are some very pretty places, and characteristic of an era where people spent years building tomorrow's heritage.

By far my favorite was the: poetically beautiful White Cloud Temple,, which overlooks the Yellow River. It should be said that this ancient operatic set from the Qing Dynasty has been very sympathetically restored. Fans of meditation will be well served and can easily spend hours here.

I recommend that you spend a few days in the city. If you want to experience a bird's eye view of the city, head north to White Pagoda Hill. It's a little gem and the perfect place to admire the city of Lanzhou. The bridge that spans it has even become the city's symbol. The different buildings in the surrounding area bear witness to the region's cultural diversity and the panoramic view really is spectacular. This seven-story pagoda is seventeen meters high and stands out from other temples because it is so white and so pretty.

Lovers of green spaces, on the other hand, can make their way to Lanshan Park. It is ideally located to continue admiring the view over the city and the ancient temples from its heights.

Emilie Joulia
25 contributions