Gansu Province

Gansu Travel Guide

Gansu Map

Gansu Facts

Chinese Name: 甘肃 (gān sù)
Abbreviation: Gan/Long
Population: 26,372,600
Area: 425,900 square kilometers (164,441 square miles)
Location: in the northwestern China
Administrative Division: 12 cities (Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Jinchang, Baiyin, Tianshui, Wuwei, Zhangye, Pingliang, Jiuquan, Qingyang, Dingxi, Longnan); 2 autonomous prefectures (Linxia, Gannan); 17 districts; 5 county-level cities; 57 counties; 7 autonomous counties
GDP (2018): CNY 824.61 billion (USD 124.62 billion)
Nationalities: Han, Kazak, Mongolian, Tibetan, Hui, Dongxiang, Tu, Manchu

Located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, northwest China, Gansu is one of the cradles of Chinese cultures. Neighboring provinces are Shaanxi to the east, Sichuan to the south, Qinghai and Xinjiang to the west and Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to the north. Surrounded by mountains, Gansu is mostly in the 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) above sea level and has varied and complicated topography ranging from snow mountains to the vast stretches of grasslands, broad and desolate deserts, lush forests and mysterious lakes. As a multiple ethnic settlement, Gansu has cultivated unique customs and culture. Known as the key place and golden section of the Silk Road, Gansu is full of cultural and historical relics including the Mogao Caves, Jiayuguan Pass, Labrang Monastery and Bingling Temple.

Cities in Gansu


What to See

With a long history and brilliant cultures, Gansu is abundantly endowed with cultural relics and natural scenery. Vast and graceful natural scenery like endless desert and pure glacial landscape presents an impressive and breath-taking picture before your eyes. Take for example the world-famous Mogao Caves. It is the largest and most well-preserved Buddhist art palace and also a post along the ancient Silk Road; the grand Jiayuguan Pass, an important outpost in ancient China, is the western end of the Great Wall; the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe is one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist resorts in China while the Bingling Temple in Lanzhou is a treasure trove of Han Buddhism. All of these are commendatory points of interest for your tour.

Mogao Caves, Dunhuang
Mogao Caves, Dunhuang
Labrang Monastery, Xiahe
Labrang Monastery, Xiahe

When to Go

It is important for tourists to be familiar with the local weather. The annual average temperature is about 0C to 15C. The lowest temperature occurs in January and is approximately -14C to 3C and the highest temperature is in July between 22C and 25C. Average annual rainfall is between 30 to 860 millimeters (1.18 to 33.86 inches). With plenty of rain, you would be well-advised to take an umbrella along with you for the tour. However, despite the changeful weather, your sightseeing visit from May to October would be uninterrupted.

The local traditional handicrafts are archaized carpets (using patterns from ancient carpets), luminous cups and the duplicates of sculptures and murals of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.

Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves, Lanzhou
Bingling Temple, Lanzhou
Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu
Jiayuguan Pass

 Recommended Gansu Tours:
Silk Road Dunhuang Trip: 4 days to Mogao Grottoes, Echoing-Sand Dune, Crescent Lake, Yumen Pass...
Lanzhou to Xiahe Labrang Monastery: 5 days travel of Lanzhou and Xiahe with cheap price
More China Tour Packages

- Last updated on Apr. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Gansu Travel
Asked by Kate M from UNITED STATES | Dec. 28, 2019 12:29Reply
In Feb., we will travel by train from Dunhuang to Lanzhou, with several stops including Zhangye.
Does anyone have information on skiing somewhere on that route? I am most interested in Biandukou but can find no information online.
Answers (1)
Answered by Phil from USA | Dec. 30, 2019 17:06

Biandukou skiing resort is located at Minle county, Zhangye city and it operates from 9:00 to 17:30.
Asked by Jackie from MALAYSIA | May. 08, 2019 03:54Reply
Why most if the tourist choose train to Dunhuan instead of flight.
As compare the flight ticket( domestic )
Is about same price to train ticket
But if take train ...the journey take 12 to 13 hours
But if take flight..the journey only take 2 .30 hours
Answers (1)
Answered by Henry from NEW ZEALAND | May. 09, 2019 00:35

Because they can drop by other attractions along the way. In fact, it is more appropriate for the tourists who have enough time.
Asked by Emin from TURKEY | Jun. 17, 2017 00:19Reply
I'll move from Dunhuang at 7am and will be at Jiayuguan around 12.
After I arrive is a half day enough to see all Jiayuguan Pass, Overhanging Great Wall, First Fire Tower of the Great Wall? And please make a transportation recommendations for this route
Answers (2)
Answered by Ella from RUSSIA | Jun. 23, 2017 02:23

As I know, the half day is enough for you to cover these attractions. Generally, people will charter a car to visit them. The fare is around CNY200-300.
Answered by Emin from TURKEY | Jun. 23, 2017 06:39

Is it possible to rent a electric motorcycle
Asked by JoChan from MALAYSIA | May. 24, 2017 05:59Reply
Need suggestion on Lanzhou-Zhangye-Qilian-Qinghai
Hope someone can help to check whether my suggested travel route of Lanzhou-->Zhange -->Qilian --> Qinghai is feasible or not. I'm making Lanzhou as my base, I have approximately 7 days to spare, doing solo travel.

Need also info on cheap but good accommodation there. Oh... will be traveling in mid-June. How's the weather during that time?

Thank you very much in advance.
Answers (2)
Answered by Nida from GERMANY | May. 30, 2017 20:38

Well, in my opinion, your travel route is feasible.
There are many convenient and economic hotels in these cities, and I will list some for you.
Super 8 Hotel (Lanzhou Railway Station Branch): no.218 East Minzhu Road CNY150-200/night for a double room
Jinjiang Inn (Lanzhou Railway Station Branch): no.182, South Tianshui Road CNY200-300/night for a standard room
Home Inn (Zhangye Nandajie Branch): no.238, Nandajie, Ganzhou District CNY120-200/night for a standard room
Hanting Hotel (Zhangye Municipal Government Branch): no.3, Zhangye Xihuan Road CNY140-200/night for a standard room
You may find a hotel near the scenic spot. Qilian Shanye Muge Resort located at the crossing of ZHuo’ershan Scenic Spot will be a nice choice. It charges CNY400-500/night for a standard room.
Hanting Hotel (Xining Railway Station Branch): no.144, West Huzhu Road, Chengdong District CNY140-200/night for a standard room
Jinjiang Inn (Xining dashizi Branch): no.37-9, Yinma Street, Chengzhong District CNY200-300/night for a standard room
According to the history data, it will be cloudy and rainy in Lanzhou at that time. The temperature will be 55F to 80F.
Answered by JoChan from MALAYSIA | May. 31, 2017 06:57

Thanks, Nida!
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