Gansu Travel Guide, How to Plan a trip

Morgen Mo
1347 Words/6 Minutes, By Morgen Mo, Updated March 03, 2023

Gansu Province is located in the northwest of China and covers an area of 454,000 square kilometers. It has a population of approximately 26 million people. The province has a diverse landscape, including deserts, grasslands, mountains, and plateaus. Gansu is home to many ethnic minority groups, including the Hui, Tibetan, Dongxiang, and Mongolian people.

Adjacent areas to Gansu include Xinjiang to the northwest, Inner Mongolia to the north, Ningxia to the northeast, Shaanxi(Xian) to the east, Sichuan(Chengdu) to the south, and Qinghai to the west.

History Brief

Ancient times: Gansu has a long and rich history dating back to the Neolithic period, and it was an important region during the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties (2100-256 BCE). In the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), Gansu became a vital hub on the ancient Silk Road, which connected China with Central Asia and Europe.

Hexi Corridor: The Hexi Corridor, also known as the Gansu Corridor, is a narrow strip of land that stretches from western Gansu to the Tibetan Plateau. It played a critical role in Chinese history as it served as a vital link between China and Central Asia, with numerous forts, trading posts, and Buddhist temples built along the route.

Silk Road: Gansu was one of the most important regions on the ancient Silk Road, with major trade routes passing through the province. The Silk Road brought not only goods but also ideas, religions, and cultural exchange to Gansu and the rest of China.

Medieval period: During the Tang dynasty (618-907), Gansu flourished as a center of Buddhism, with many famous temples and grottoes constructed along the Hexi Corridor, including the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, which are known for their exquisite Buddhist art.

Today, Gansu is a major tourist destination, with many historic sites and natural attractions, including the Mogao Caves, the Jiayuguan Fortress, and the Zhangye Danxia Landform. The province is also an important center for agriculture and industry, with a growing economy and increasing investment in infrastructure.

Top attractions, what to see

Gansu, a province located in northwestern China, is home to a plethora of attractions that showcase the region's rich history and natural beauty, including the ancient Silk Road city of Dunhuang with its famous Mogao Caves, the breathtaking Jiayuguan Pass of the Great Wall, the stunning rainbow-colored mountains of Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, and the serene Tibetan-style Labrang Monastery in Xiahe.

Attractions in Gansu >>

Best hotels, where to stay

Gansu is a province in northwest China known for its natural beauty and rich history. Some popular tourist destinations in Gansu include the Maijishan Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring Buddhist rock carvings, and the Silk Road Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, another UNESCO site with ancient Buddhist art and manuscripts. The province is also home to the Jiayuguan Fort, a Ming dynasty fortress and the western end of the Great Wall of China. Other popular activities in Gansu include hiking and exploring the Gobi Desert. The province is home to several popular tourist destinations, including Lanzhou, Zhangye, and Dunhuang.

Lanzhou is the capital city of Gansu and is situated on the banks of the Yellow River. It is known for its historical and cultural significance, as well as its beautiful scenery. Visitors can explore the city's Old Town, which is home to many ancient temples and traditional architecture, or visit the White Pagoda Hill, which offers panoramic views of the city.

Zhangye is a city located in the middle of Gansu province and is famous for its Danxia Landform and colorful rock formations. The Rainbow Mountains, also known as the Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, is a must-see for nature lovers. The park is home to a range of colorful rock formations, created by millions of years of erosion and mineral deposits.

Dunhuang is an ancient city that is located on the Silk Road, the ancient trade route that linked China to the Mediterranean. The city is known for its ancient Buddhist cave temples, such as the Mogao Caves, which are home to thousands of Buddhist statues and frescoes. Visitors can also explore the Dunhuang Museum, which houses many of the artifacts and treasures discovered in the caves.

The Silk Road in Gansu was a trade route that was central to the cultural, economic and religious exchange between China and the rest of the world. The Silk Road in Gansu is also well known for its history and cultural significance. Along the way, visitors can see the ancient city of Dunhuang, the Echoing-Sand Mountain, and Crescent Lake.

Overall Gansu province is a great place to visit for those who are interested in history, culture, and natural beauty.

Gannan is a region located in the southern part of Gansu province in China, known for its natural beauty, ethnic minority culture, and religious significance. The region is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Tibetans, Hui, and Salar people.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Gannan is the Labrang Monastery, located in Xiahe County. The Monastery is one of the six main monasteries of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism, and is a significant religious and cultural center for Tibetan Buddhism. Visitors can explore the complex, which includes several temples and shrines, and see the daily life of the monks.

Another popular destination in Gannan is the Langmu Temple, which is located in the Langmu Monastery. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its well-preserved frescoes, statues and murals.

Gannan is also known for its natural beauty, with many scenic spots to visit such as the Hongyuan Grassland, known for its picturesque grasslands, and the Gahai Lake, a high altitude lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Visitors can also see the beautiful landscapes of the Gannan valley and the Gannan Tibetan area.

Activities, what to experience in Gansu

Some top cultural and outdoor activities to do in Gansu include visiting the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important Buddhist cave temple sites in China. The Dunhuang Museum, which features artifacts and information about the history and culture of the region. Hiking the Yadan National Geopark, known for its unique rock formations and desert landscapes. Visiting the Labrang Monastery, one of the six great monasteries of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. And finally, visiting the Jiayuguan Fort, a well-preserved Ming dynasty fortress that was once the westernmost point of China's Great Wall.

Weather, the best time to visit Gansu

The best time to visit Gansu province in China would be during the months of May to October, when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its best. The summer months of June, July, and August can be quite hot and dry, but also the best time to see the famous Mogao Grottoes, which are UNESCO World Heritage Site. The autumn months of September and October are also a good time to visit as the weather is cooler and the leaves on the trees change color.

Overall, Gannan is a great destination for those interested in Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the region's monasteries, temples, and scenic spots, as well as learn about the local ethnic minority culture and customs.

Morgen Mo

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