Tianshui Travel Guide

Tianshui Travel Guide

Tianshui Map

Tianshui Facts

Chinese Name: 天水市 (tiān shuǐ shì)
Population: 3,500,000
Area: 14,392 square kilometers (5,557 square miles)
Nationalities: Han

Location: Tianshui City 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 Xian, and along the upper branch of the Weihe River, where Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces converge.

Administrative Division: 2 Districts (Qinzhou, Maiji); 1 Autonomous County (Zhangjiachuan Hui Autonomous County); 4 Counties (Qingshui, Qin'an, Gangu, Wushan)

Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tourist Complaints: 0938-6811870
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China: 0938-8213515

Tianshui Attractions - Things to Do

Maiji Caves: 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

Tianshui Fu Xi Temple
Fu Xi Temple
Tianshui Maiji Caves
Maiji Caves

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

1.  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.
2. 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.


Enjoying a temperate continental climate, Tianshui has distinct seasons, with extreme heat appearing in July, fading into an overcast and rainy autumn. The yearly temperature is around 11C (52F).

 When to Go: September, October, and November are the best months to visit there.

Tianshui Travel Tips

Tianshui Yuquan Temple
Yuquan Temple

 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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