Linxia Travel Guide

Linxia Map

Linxia Facts

Chinese Name: 临夏回族自治州 (lín xià huí zú zì zhì zhōu)
Population: 2,058,800
Area: 8,169 square kilometers (3,154 square miles)
Location: in the southwest of Gansu Province, northwestern China
Administrative Division: 5 counties (Linxia, Kangle, Yongjing, Guanghe, Hezheng); 2 autonomous counties (Dongxiang Autonomous County, Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County); 1 county-level city (Linxia)
Area Code: 0930
Zip Code: 731100
GDP (2018): CNY 25.53 billion (USD 3.86 billion)

Hometown of Chinese Painted Pottery

Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture is seated in southwest-central Gansu on the upper reaches of the Yellow River. It borders Dingxi on the east, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on the south and the capital city of Gansu, Lanzhou, on the north. With the Anemaqen Mountains forming a natural boundary, it is also bordered to the west with Qinghai Province. Linxia is one of the important origins of Chinese civilization and boasts the hometown of Chinese painted pottery. It is one of the areas with the most Neolithic culture and archaeological excavation in China. The King of Painted Pottery with unique style and patterns displayed at the China’s National Museum was unearthed in Linxia. The world’s intangible cultural heritage - western China folk song Hua’er also originated here.

Linxia Attractions - Things to Do

Liujiaxia Reservoir: is a smooth lake in the high gorges, being the largest inland reservoir in Northwest China. After admiring the reservoir on the way westward, visitors can see the ancient grottoes situated high on the cliffs. They were first excavated in 420AD. Nowadays, the Grottoes at Bingling Temple has become a hot attraction along the ancient Silk Road.

Nanguan Mosque: one of the famous Islamic shrines in China's northwest region first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

Bafang Shisanxiang: It is the exhibition park of northwest ethnic architecture, which integrates the brick carving, wood carving and color painting. 

Other Scenic Spots: Songmingyan National Forest Park, Lianhua Mountain Nature Reserve

How to get to Linxia

Linxia does not have an airport. Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport is the nearest airport to this prefecture. The city is about two hours from Lanzhou and the airport is a further 80 kilometers (50 miles) from downtown Lanzhou. There is also no railway and visitors should travel to Lanzhou and change buses to get to. The south bus station is seated in Jiefang Lu and the west bus station is just outside the West Gate.



Most regions of Linxia Prefecture lay in a temperate climate zone with four distinct seasons, moderate temperature, and refreshing weather. There is no excessive summer heat and the annual average temperature only falls to around 6.3C (43.3F).

 When to Go: Summer and autumn are the harvest seasons for fruits and melon, and due to the high altitude, summer is comfortable and refreshing. Therefore, June to August are recommended as the best times to visit there.

Linxia Travel Tips

 History: It was formerly known as Han, and was later changed to Daohe and then Hezhou. Since the founding of administrative divisions during the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), it has always been a link between western and central China. Linxia was a vital passage in the ancient Silk Road, Tang-Tibet and Gansu-Sichuan ancient roads, and was praised as the 'dock on land in West China'. The city was established in 1956, being one of the only two autonomous prefectures of Hui ethnic minority.

 Physical Features: Situated in the transition zone between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Loess Plateau, the land is higher in the southwest and lower in the northeast. It is basically made up of river valley area and a dry loess region with alpine areas.

 Special Local Products: horsebean, hemp, apricot, beet, herbs.

 Local Highlights:
Nationalities and religions: There are in total twenty-two ethnic groups living in there, including Han, Hui, Dongxiang, Bonan, Salar, Tibetan and Tu, among which the Bonan and Dongxiang are unique to the prefecture. The people of Hui, Dongxiang, Bonan and Salar descent are Islamic, comprising more than fifty-six percent of total local population. Although Tu, Tibetan and some of the Han people believe in Buddhism and Catholicism, it is one of the cradles of Hui ethnic minority with a population of over six hundred thousand.

Three wonders: painted pottery, gourd carving, brick carving.

Folk-Customs: Hua'er, otherwise known as 'Flower', is a type of folk song popular amongst the ethnic minorities in Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang. According to different areas, the flower song has two types: Hezhou Hua'er and Gaoqiang Hua'er with Linxia renowned as a hometown of Hezhou Hua'er.

 Related Hiking Tour Itinerary Information:
Linxia Exploration: 4 Days Tour of Linxia and Xiahe

- Last updated on May. 24, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Linxia Travel
Asked by Emma from DENMARK | Aug. 23, 2019 06:20Reply
Bus from Xiahe to Xining/Tongren
I was wondering whether it is possible to take a bus from Xiahe to Xining? Or take the bus from Xiahe to Tongren?
Answers (2)
Answered by Tandy from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 26, 2019 23:40

From Xiahe to Xining, there is only one bus you can take. It departs at 6:10 in Xiahe Coach Station with CNY79 every day.
Answered by Ebba Emilie Mathiesen from DENMARK | Sep. 04, 2019 20:16

But is it possible to take the bus directly from Xiahe to Tongren?
Asked by Laura from ENGLAND | Aug. 14, 2019 07:07Reply
I would really like to know if it is possible to go from Linxia to Zhangye by public transportation?
Its really hard to find information online.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jackson from CANADA | Aug. 15, 2019 19:14

I only find one bus from Linxia Coach Station to Zhangye and it departs at 11:00.
Asked by Ebba from DENMARK | Aug. 14, 2019 06:52Reply
My friend and I would like to get from Tianshui to Xiahe with public transportation
Is that possible?
Answers (1)
Answered by Randel from USA | Aug. 15, 2019 18:45

Well, you can take high speed train from Tianshui South Railway Station to Lanzhou West Railway Station, then take taxi to South Lanzhou Coach Station and take direct bus from there to Xiahe.
Asked by TOMMASO57 | Mar. 31, 2018 15:37Reply
guide to Linxia
I've just bought a flight ticket to Yunnan, Dongchuan, and then I'm going to Zhangye to take photos to coloured mountains with a stop to Xi'an.
And in Gansu I would like to take photos to islamic community.
Please where can I find a guide to introduce me in the community?
Thanck you
Answers (3)
Answered by Junior from USA | Apr. 02, 2018 04:32

You are suggested to go to the local travel agency to find a guide! Enjoy your trip.
Answered by TOMMASO57 | Apr. 02, 2018 05:16

Thank you for your replay.
Could you please suggest me some of them so I can cotact them before leaving?
Thank you again
Answered by Junior from USA | Apr. 02, 2018 20:44

Sorry I didn’t remember the exact name or address of the agency. Oh, you may try to ask for help from the community of this website, there are more answers!
Asked by TE from POLAND | Jul. 24, 2017 09:23Reply
A trip to Taizi Shan
I would like to climb to Taizi Shan. I found some gps tracks for hiking there, but I don't know how it will be possible to get to the base of the mountain and back from Linxia or Hezuo. Is it a popular destination and is such a trip possible to organize with local people? If yes, I assume that I can hire a driver, but how much it may cost?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nigel from USA | Jul. 26, 2017 02:49

As I know, Taizishan is a popular place for hiking, and you can charter a local car from the downtown or bus station and it is best to have a guide accompany you. I am sorry I have no idea about the fare.
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