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Lanzhou lies on the Yellow River and was known as the Golden City back when it was a major stop on the Silk Road. Today, it's an exciting vacation destination with unique attractions and great outdoor spaces.
Learn all about the city's role in the silk trade at this popular museum. Exhibits include relics from the Silk Road and from the Great Wall of China.
See ancient Buddhist architecture or look for the five springs - Ganlu, Juyue, Mozi, Hui, and Meng - in this scenic mountain park.
If you plan to explore the countryside, Lanzhou is a great base. You'll be within easy reach of lots of exciting places, including Tulugou National Forest Park in Yongdeng County and Labrang Monastery in Xiahe.
See Zhongshan Bridge, the first bridge to span the Yellow River, or visit the Waterwheel Garden and the famous Yellow River Mother sculpture. Alternatively, take a trip across the river on a traditional sheepskin raft.
Discover the unique pleasure of shopping after dark at Hezheng Lu Night Market from mid-afternoon till late.
Summer is hot and humid while winters can be cold. Visit in spring from March to May, or plan a fall getaway from September to October.
Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport (LHW) is 43.5 miles from the city. Take the airport shuttle bus to your hotel for ¥30 or get a taxi for ¥140.
Take the train from major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing to Lanzhou Railway Station. The station is just south of the downtown district and taxis and buses are readily available.
Several major highways converge on the city. However, you'll need a current Chinese license if you wish to drive to Lanzhou.
Lanzhou is a transportation hub for Gansu Province and buses from over 450 destinations arrive and depart daily. The two main stations are East Bus Station and West Bus Station and both are well served by local buses.
Mid-range hotels like the Crowne Plaza Lanzhou, the Grand Soluxe Hotel Gansu, and the Lanzhou Legend Hotel are ideal for couples or families. Inexpensive alternatives include Home Inn and Hotel Ibis Lanzhou.
Chengguan District - the downtown district and the city's commercial hub, it's noted for its good hotels and restaurants and Lanzhou Railway Station.
Anning District - this northwestern neighborhood has a high student population and is home to Lanzhou Jiaotong University and Northwest Normal University.
Qilihe District - lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River. Attractions include Xihu Park and the Yellow River Mother statue, which is the symbol of Lanzhou.
Buses are frequent and convenient with over 110 routes covering the city. The standard fare is ¥2.
Over 8,000 taxis operate in the city and they charge a starting rate of ¥10 plus ¥1.40 for each additional 1.9 miles up to 10 miles. After 10 miles the rate is ¥2.10 per 1.9 miles.
Rent a car with a Chinese driver and explore the region at your leisure. Rates are from ¥200-400 per day, depending on the destination.
Buy local arts and crafts like engraved pebbles, carved gourds, Tao River inkstone, or traditional clay terrines at Haifu Market or Hezheng Lu Night Market. Visit the Dongfang Underground Shopping Mall or Lanzhou Xidan Mall for clothes and accessories.
Try Beijing Hualian Supermarket or Dongfanghong Square Supermarket for food and basics. You'll pay ¥13 for a quart of milk or ¥50 for 16oz of local cheese.
Noodle dishes are a local staple and you can try some of the best at Mo GouYan LaoZiHao Beef Noddle or JinQiang Beef Noddle. An inexpensive meal costs ¥52 and dinner for two at an upscale restaurant is ¥343.