Tianshui Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 天水市 (tiān shuǐ shì)
Area: 14,300 square kilometers (5,521 square miles)
Location: in the southeast of Gansu Province, northwestern China
Administrative Division: 2 Districts (Qinzhou, Maiji); 1 Autonomous County (Zhangjiachuan Hui Autonomous County); 4 Counties (Qingshui, Qin'an, Gangu, Wushan)
Area Code: 0938
Zip Code: 741000
GDP (2018): CNY 65.2 billion (USD 9.9 billion)
Known for Maijishan Grottoes & Fuxi’s Birthplace
Tianshui was once the first stop that the Silk Road made upon entering the Gansu Province. Situated in the southeastern region of Gansu, it lies halfway between Lanzhou and Xi'an, and along the upper branch of the Weihe River, where Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan converge. Tianshui embodies brilliant Maiji Grottoes Culture and Fuxi Culture. The Maijishan Grottoes, one of China’s Four Greatest Grottoes, are hundreds of caves built along the cliff with thousands of exquisite Buddha statues from the late Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 - 589). Fuxi was one of the Chinese earliest ancestors in legend and the first person who had a surname in Chinese history. And since Fuxi, all the Chinese people have their own surnames. In addition, after Fuxi taking the dragon totem as the family crest, the dragon spirit to maintain the unity of the Chinese nation has been inherited. Besides, Tianshui is one of the old industrial bases and important equipment manufacturing bases.
Tianshui Attractions - Things to Do
Maijishan Grottoes: 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Tainshui City, the Maiji Caves features one of the four famous grottoes of China, which were built between 348 AD and 417 AD. Today thousands of statues and frescoes remain in the grotto.
Fuxi Temple: This temple was built during the Ming Dynasty, as a means of appeasing Fuxi in hopes that local prayers for happiness and safety would be granted. Today, the Tianshui Fuxi Culture and Tourism Festival is held here each year.
Fu Xi Temple Video
Water Curtain Cave: This cave is in the Zhonglou Mountain, 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of Wushan County. In addition to beauty of the surrounding valley scenery, the Water Curtain Cave Grottoes and cliff-side inscriptions are also unforgettable sights.
Dadiwan Site: This is an ancient village site from the Neolithic Era, which gives a glimpse into the daily life of those who lived 4,800-7,800 years ago. Excavations in the site best show the Yangshao Culture of ancient China.
How to get to/around Tianshui
2. Tianshui is a five hour drive from Lanzhou. From downtown area, visitors can take city buses to the foot of Maiji Mountain (a 40 minute trip; busses are located opposite the train station), and it is still 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Maiji Caves.
3. The Fuxi Temple is easily accessible once you are in the downtown area of Tianshui - simply walk down the street south of Central Square. Temple admission is free from the first day to the seventh day of the first lunar month.
4. There are two railway stations in Tianshui: Tianshui Railway Stations and Tianshui South Railway Station. Trains are available from Tianshui to Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai, Lanzhou...
See detailed Xi'an - Tianshui Train, Lanzhou - Tianshui Train
When to Go: September, October, and November are the best months to visit there.
Tianshui Travel Tips
History: Tianshui is said to have been the hometown of Fuxi, one of ancient China's three wise kings. As such, the city is praised as the root of ancient Chinese culture. In 688 BC historical records referenced the city (though it was then called Qinting). The name 'Tianshui' appeared during the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC) when it was given the name Tianshui Shire.
Physical Features: The southern and eastern parts of the city are mountainous, while the north is a loess hilly area (with soil comprised mainly of wind-blown sediment). A fraction of the central area lies in the river valley. As a whole, the City's terrain slopes downward, from northwest to southeast.
Local Highlights: Tianshui Fuxi Culture and Tourism Festival (June)
Special Local Products: Sea Backthern from Qingshui County, carved lacquer products, silk carpets, Wushan jade cavings
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