Dunhuang is some 385 Kilometers away from JiaYuGuan, by Bus a journey of some 5 - 6 hours on the recently completed modern Lanzhou-Xinjiang Highway. The Train does the same distance in roughly 5 and a halve hours.
JIAYUGUAN BY AIR : The Airport of JiaYuGuan is a relatively small Field and located 12 kilometers outside and North-East of the Centre of Town beyond the extensive JiuQuan Steel Works Factory grounds.
SPECIAL ROAD TRAVEL WARNING FOR THE HEXI CORRIDOR: JiaYuGuan is located in the Gobi desert, at the middle of Hexi Corridor. The Hexi Corridor at JiaYuGuan and other sites mainly consists of a flat but angled surface of hard gravel. Thus, rapid floods can occur at anytime.
When Storm clouds arrive in the south to dump snow on the Qilian Shan, or when there are heavy rains in the foothills danger may arise on the road ! Local Rainfalls and Snow can easily result in torrents of muddy water racing down the many washes in the desert. Where dry riverbeds intersect with the Road, even the Highway, water may splash up onto the Road. Although the recently completed Lanzhou-Xinjiang Highway (Lanxin) has reduced risks considerably, travel off main roads must always be under caution of weather.
BICYCLING IN JIAYUGUAN : For some Reason bicycling has grown especially popular among Tourists visiting JiaYuGuan. Bicycles are for Rent at several points in JiaYuGuan City, at Hotels and near Tourist Hotspots. It is fairly easy to travel in town by hiring a bike for about Y2~3/hour, so long as you do not mind braving the occasional gusts of sandy and dirty wind. Hotels with bike hire include the Jiayuguan Hotel, the Changcheng (Great Wall) Hotel and the Youth Hotels.
However, due to the large Volume of Industrial Traffic on main roads in the City as well as the roads immediatly outside of center bicycling around may be dangerous. Think it over before you head onto the bumpy road, amongst trucks with badly balanced loads of agricultural produce, or worse coal chunks or stones.
Heavy Trucks on the Road to The Overhanging Great Wall of China location.
For tourists there is a convenient train service between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. The tour train leaves one city in the morning and arrives at the other in the evening. The Travel Time by Train to Lanzhou is about 12 to 14 hours and the distance to Lanzhou some 600 Kilometers.
A taxi ride to the Railway Station from anywhere in the City is around Y10, the minimum fee. The Other option is the minibus No.1 from Xinhua Nanlu, which costs Y1 only.
The new Windmill Park at Anxi, as seen from the Train Station. Although merely an experimental set-up the Province of Gansu and Inner-Mongolia and Xinjiang-Yugur Autonomous Regions Governments are investing heavily in clean alternative energy resources to boost their Economies. Many More wind turbine parks are planned for the near Future, solar and hydro-power are also in wide-use in the Western Regions.
The path to Dunhuang by Train or Bus is not as spectacular as one may have hoped for. Although the 5 kilometers high Qilian Mountain Range looms impressively on the South side of the Valley, all sections of the Train Track as well as the new Highway run along the flat gravel valley floor. No spectacular tunnels or sand dune crossings lie on this section of road. The only sights are the mountains in the South and North, and the endless wastelands of Gobi Gravel extending to the East and West. Every now and then the emptyness is interrupted by a small agricultural village, a Pagoda or a gritty Cement Facility. Main thrills on the journey pathway are the the Railroad Crossing of the Great Wall of China just West of JiaYuGuan, the Qiaowan Fortress Ruins (best seen from the Road) just West of Yumen, the Windmill Park at Anxi (and other places along the Hexi Corridor) and last, the Fire Beacons of the Great Wall seen Eastward out of Dunhuang.
The view of JiaYuGuan upon entering on the Highway from Dunhuang. Industrial Pollutants from the City trouble the view of beautiful Qilian Shan.
JIAYUGUAN BY BUS :
The long-distance bus station of JiaYuGuan lies on the main highway of the city proper, about 1km southwest of the central roundabout or XiongGuan Plaza, just beyond the Train Station.
Going Westward there are 5 daily buses between Dunhuang and Jiayuguan, which take a traveling Time of around 6 hours to connect. Eastwards to Lanzhou one may take the daily sleeper coach, at a cost of around Y160 /16 hours.
Other buses travel from JiaYuGuan to Zhangye a 5 hour Ride. In this and any other case, be careful of travel times the indirect buses, which may increase dramatically with stop overs.