A hot spot on the ancient Silk Road, Lanzhou is the only provincial capital city with the Yellow River flowing through. Lanzhou is abundant with tourist attractions. On the bank of the Yellow River extends the longest riverside road in China, where you can admire the grand River, the First Bridge over the Yellow River, the Watermill Park and the sculpture of the Yellow River Mother, the White Pagoda Park, and the Five-Spring Mountain park. At dusk, standing on the top of Lanshan Mountain, you can have a magnificent view of the Yellow River surrounding the city. The Liujiaxia Hydropower Station and the Bingling Temple in Yongjing County are further away, but the distance will certainly be compensated by the attractions.
|First Bridge over the Yellow River|
Along the Yellow River, there are two scenes you should not miss. The first is the sculpture of The Mother Yellow River. This is the best sculpture of its kind in China. A baby lies on the bosom of his mother with a naive smile while the mother (unlike most of the mothers in Chinese arts who are old, weather-beaten, kindly but with a touch of sorrow) looks happy and affectionate. The second one is the Waterwheel Garden, where you can get an idea of the old irrigation tool. The waterwheel was introduced from southern Yunnan Province to Lanzhou by a local who had been an official in Yunnan. The first waterwheel was made successfully in 1556 on the north bank of the Yellow River. Up to 1952 there were altogether 252 waterwheels lining both banks of the River. Today this replica has become an attraction with a park founded around it.
|Cross the Yellow River on a sheepskin raft|
A few steps' further, you will come to the cable car, which connects the south bank to the White Pagoda Hill on the north bank of the Yellow River. The White Pagoda Hill got its name from a white pagoda set up in 1405. Besides the halls and pavilions, there are two museums: the Strange Stone Museum and the Minor Guard Carving Museum. Do not miss a cup of eight-auspicious tea (san pao tai) in either summer or winter! Facing water and lying against the mountain, White Pagoda Hill is cool in summer and sunny in winter. Here you can visit the White Pagoda Park, which is a picturesque place for you to enjoy the wonderful view of White Pagoda Hill and the Zhongshan Bridge at its foot. It will leave you an unforgettable memory!
Five Springs Mountain Park is located in Gaolan Hill in the south of the city. It is a tourist attraction with a history of more than 2,000 years. The five springs are Ganlu, Juyue, Mozi, Hui and Meng. The park also boasts ancient Buddhist architecture. With a long history and elegant surroundings, the park holds an important place in this city, especially on the 8th of the fourth Moon, when the Temple Fair is held.
|Sculpture of the Mother Yellow River|
For nature-lovers, Yan Tan Park in the east of Lanzhou would be an optimum choice. Yan Tan, literally, goose beach, was made up of 18 sand islands in the Yellow River. Now a road of 10 km (6.2 miles) connects Yan Tan to the city. The lush trees and the pavilions and the Yellow River bring out the best of each and make a splendid view.
The Shifogou National Forest Park cannot be missed. Sixteen kilometers (9.94miles) from downtown, the park covers an area of 6, 376 hectares (16, 645 acres). Besides the beautiful natural surroundings, the highlight of this park lies in its folk art shows. On the 8th of the fourth Moon the Temple Fair is held. The 6th of the sixth Moon sees Hua'er Show, a folk art loved by both Han and Hui people.
Attractions Around Lanzhou
|Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves|
Located in Xiahe County 280 km (174 miles) from downtown, Labrang Monastery is one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Sect of the Lamaism. It is not only a religious center but also an institution of higher education and museum of ancient books.
Ten kilometers (6.2miles) from the Labrang Monastery lies Sangke Prairie. Surrounded by mountains with the Daxia River flowing from south to north, Sangke Prairie is an ideal natural rangeland. Every summer the whole prairie turns green, dotted with colorful flowers, providing a most ideal place to experience a nomadic life.
Situated about 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) southeast of Tianshui City, there is Mt. Maiji. The renowned Maiji Caves, featuring the art of clay sculpture, is excavated on the cliffs of the mountain. Excavated in the late Qin Dynasty (221BC - 206BC), the existing 200 caves are respectively kept in Wei, Zhou, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing styles. Maiji Caves are renowned as one of the most beautiful of their kind in China and are definitely worth a visit.