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The Lanzhou Report
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Lanzhou Landmarks & Monuments
Lanzhou Dongfanghong Plaza
Explore the Main Commercial Square
All information on the Busiest square o/t City ...
Lanzhou Cathedral
Follow the Road North into JiaYuGuan
Visit the Main Church of Lanzhou
The ....
Lanzhou Waterwheel park
See the Waterwheels and Park on the South River Bank ...
The Historic Waterwheel Park on the Yellow River Banks?
Modernity .. !
A described in the main introduction to Lanzhou City, there are probably more things to see, experience and do in a wide ring around the City, then within it. To keep matters clear this introduction first deals with the landmarks, monuments and hotspots of the City first, the second half of this introduction is entirely dedicated to the Sights to See and Visit outside of the City of Lanzhou. There are many such excursions.

The Main sites of interest in Lanzhou are mainly found in the Chengguan District, which constitutes the original or 'Old City' of Lanzhou. Today there is nothing much Old about it, as most of the historic city was bombed away during incessant Japanese Air-raids during world war 2, or later offered up to the Progress of the City at some later time.
Today , Lanzhou is a fairly modern looking City, a city of skyscrapers built within a narrow strip of land along the Yellow River Banks. The Yellow River, also known as 'The Mother River' throughout China, cuts right through the city and even spawned the very itself, some 2000 years ago.
Until around 1950 AD, the Chengguan District constituted the City of Lanzhou and was its only urban district. Around lay only small villages and the odd mansion, temple or dagoba. Hence, a tour of the City of Lanzhou starts on the Chengguan District.

To make navigation somewhat easier, the Chengguan District extends roughly from West to East with the River running almost straight through it. Only in the very East the Yellow River makes a slight curve northward allowing for some additional urban space.  In addition, Chengguan includes a part of the Northern Bank of the River, namely the Five Spring Mountain also known as the White Dagoba Hill (Baita Shan). This is the Hill that can be clearly seen on the North Bank, with a Temple Dagoba on Top, overlooking the City and River.

The Oldest Structures of the City of Lanzhou can be found (roughly) in the West, near or along the river banks, and in the center of the south banks' urban sprawl. Possibly however, they are NOT the oldest parts of Town as it is said that  there are trees in the City that are older than any of the structures today. These are the scholar trees of Lanzhou, One of the Great Symbols for the City, of which it is said there are still 3400 standing in- and around the City today. The oldest tree in Lanzhou supposedly dates from the Tang Dynasty Era (618 AD - 907 AD) and is designated as the 'Tang Scholar Tree'.
Blooming in April and May, and providing easy shade in Summer, the trees can be found throughout the City. The scholar trees are well adapted to growth in arid regions with large temperature differences as are the 'Ming Elm' and the 'Zuguong Willow' which are the other types of old trees found around the City and its Parks.

Apart from the 1000 year old trees and their twisted trunks, the next ancient element in the City, again may not be a building or object, but a technology and a tradition. Today, nearly out of use within the urban realms of the City, the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 221 A.D.) invention of the Waterwheel provided for the basic conditions necessary for the agricultural development and then succesful colonization of these regions. Later, it was equally useful in the taming, damming and controlling of the Yellow River. To get taste of this ancient technology and see it all in practice, simply head down to the South river bank and follow it downstream to the Lanzhou Waterwheel Park.

Next in ancienity are the very people within the City of Lanzhou. With their bloodlines running back countless of generations (some) of the Hui Minority who are abundant in Lanzhou, actually belong to and adhere to a culture founded upon the traditions of Persian and Arabic Silk Road traders, the ones who entered China during the prosperous Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD) and the later blossoming of the Silk Road during the Sui and Tang Dynasties (581 AD - 907 AD).
Although the Hui are the leading Minority of the City and the most visible in the Streets, other inhabitants stand at the end of equally impressiveblood-lines, derived from the Tibetan High Plateaux and or Mongolia. Among them are the Tu, Salar, The Yugur, and the Bao'An and Dongxiang, two groups which are exclsuively found in Gansu Province. Although the main population centers of these 'Tribes are scattered around Lanzhou some of them have moved to the City as well. If you are lucky, you may run into them.

The Hui are represented in many ways.
Start your tour of the City in the extreme West near the border with the Qilihe District upstream where appropriately tucked away in the West corner nearest to Mecca, stands the Cities' largest Mosque, the Xiguan Mosque, in Chinese Lánzhōu Xīguān Qīngzhēn Dà Sì (兰州西关清真大寺).  This is a very good place to start getting acquainted with the Islamic Culture of the City.
A majestic and grandiose mosque in the Islamic style, it was originally founded in the Ming Dynasty Era (1368 AD - 1644 AD) as the Central Mosque in the 'Western Town', which was the home of the lesser citizens of the City including the Islamic Hui.
This was the normal arrangement for this Time. Similar arrangements were made in the Imperial Capital Beijing, where the Ox Street Mosque was equally located in the West and outside the City Walls, and in Jiuquan, administrative bordertown of the Great Wall of China in the West, where foreign Traders and Emissaries were lodged in the (western) Islamic Quarter, outside the walled city with the Han inhabitants.
Thus, at least since the Ming Dynasty Era the western section of the City (Chengguan District) was the Home of the Hui. Xiguan Mosque was their Central Mosque.
Foreign Language Bookstore
The Store ...
Pass the Scary Hanging Bridge and see all of the TaoLai Gorge ?!
Find the Only Foreign Language Bookstore in the City !!
Lanzhou University
Browse around the Campus of Lanzhou University ?
The Only University in the City !!
Modernity .. !
Dunhuang Art Gallery
Head downstream to Dunhuang Art Gallery !
Visit the Gallery near Waterwheel Park
Modernity .. !
Lanzhou Shui Temple Museum
Follow the Road North into JiaYuGuan
Daoba Temple of  Lanzhou
Very well hidden away and noted by few guide-books is one of the Old charms of the City of Lanzhou ....
Gannan Lu - Main Boulevard
Explore the Main Commercial Square
All information on the Busiest square o/t City ...
One of the Main City Boulevards ....
Yellow River - South Bank
Explore the South Bank of the Great River in Central Lanzhou
Stand at the Waters of the Great Yellow River !
The Great Yellow River flows right through the City of Lanzhou. In fact, Lanzhou as a City emerged from a settlement on a Crossing Point on the Yellow River that would become a vital passage during a dangerous journey on the Silk Road. One past the Yellow River ....
Islamic Street - Muslim Quarter
Search btween Highrise Buildings for the Muslim Quarter & Street !
Visit the Islamic Quarter and the Hui of Lanzhou !!
The Islamic faith is well represented in Lanzhou. But then, this City on the Yellow River Banks was historically vital and important on the Ancient Silk Road. For centuries the Hui Ethnic group have been the main representatives of Islamic Culture in the City.  In the past most of them were located in the Xiguan, west city of the South Bank of the River. Walk down to the traditional Main Street of the 'Islamic Quarter' which today is only a narrow lane with an usual Mosque.
Hui Temple Market
The Store ...
Head down to the Temple Market in Old Lanzhou !
Do your Shopping Traditional Style ?
Everything about the Imperial Palace & the Last Two Dynasties !
Yellow River - Fuci Street Bridge
Have a View of the River & City Skyline ..
Take a Last Walk on a now Demolished Yellow River Bridge !
The ..
Click Map to go to FULL Version !!
Map Great Wall China - Layers of Dynasties and Era's
A Schematic Map of China and East-Asia, with a super-imposed schematic of the various layers of the Great Wall of China.
Features Pre-Qin Dynasty Wall, Qin Dynasty Wall, Western Han Great Wall of China, the (Northern) Jin Dynasty Great Wall and finally the Ming Dynasty Great Wall as mainly remains today.
Main Features are Names and locations location of Passes on the Great Wall of China, outer layer and inner layer. Includes Shanhai Pass, Huangya Guan (Yellow Cliff) Pass, JiYunGuan Pass, Ningwu Guan Pass, Pingxin Guan, YaMen Guan Pass, Pian Guan Pass, JiaYuGuan pass, YuMen Guan Pass (Jade Gate) and Yang Guan Pass.
Further included for reference are City names, geographical features of landscape and main mountain ranges. Updates occur several times a year adding new pass locations and photo-virtual tours of Passes throughout China.
Yellow River - Zhongshan Bridge
Explore the South Bank of the Great River in Central Lanzhou
Explore the Old No.1 Yellow River Bridge !
The Great Yellow River ..
the Zhongshan Bridge is also known as Sun Yat-Sen Bridge.
Lanzhou Old City Center
Follow the Road North into JiaYuGuan
Browse around the South Bank Old Commercial Center
The ....
One of a Kind DVD Production on the destruction and changes in Beijing !!!!
The Concrete Revolution - critical chinese made documentary film on the destruction of Hutong of Beijing and the creation of the Olympic City of 2008. Buy it ! - Click Here
Yellow River - Zhongli Bridge
Take a Last Walk on a redundant bridge in Lanzhou (now demolished)
Take a Last Walk on a now Demolished Yellow River Bridge !
The Great Yellow River flows right through the City of Lanzhou. In fact, Lanzhou as a City emerged from a settlement on a Crossing Point on the Yellow River that would become a vital passage during a dangerous journey on the Silk Road. One past the Yellow River ....
Yongding Town center lies on the North-East point of the Liujiaxia Yellow River Gorge in Linxia Hui Autonomous County. In history, long before the rising of the LiuJiaXia hydro-electric Dam of the Yellow River and with its the waters of a Lake Reservoir, the Ancient Town of Yongjing (and Luijiaxiaxiang) was famous for its scenery. Here was a spectacular corner in the river which more upstream seasonally turned into a mud-brown devil-spurred torrent that thundered down through the bends of the Luijiaxia (Gorge). At the time it was a spectacular, even frightening thing to see, hence the reputation of this remote gorge throughout the nationspread by poets and other speakers.
It was significant in a military sense as well...

Today the main reason to travel to Yongjing Town is clearly that it serves as the Gateway Town for the famous Bingling Si Buddhist Caves. The caves themselves lie in a small side-valley located all the way on the upper end of the lake reservoir.  Head out to the town by Bus, Car or Train and rent a boat or boat-ride to travel for over 1 and a half hours across the reservoir and reach the Bingling Buddhist Complex.
more traditional markets and temples,
Running around the South of the City are the yellow river gorge cliffs of the Loess Plateaux. On top of the Plateaux sits a collection of Hills known as the Gaolan Mountain Range, of which the highest top is know as Lanshan Mountain.
Spaced between the City and Lanshan Mountain are no less than two parks, the lower of which is Wuquan Mountain Park and the highest of which is Lanshan Park.
Wuquanshan Park.--->>
There is a cable car ride available that reaches the top of Lanshan Peak.
The Lanshan Park is known to Lanzhou's citizens as the first artificial park in the City. It was established only after the 1949 establishment of The peoples Republic, and is one of the prides of the City Government. Reaching an elevation of almost 500 meters above sea level, the park contains pavilions, halls and a profusion of trees.

To find your way upthere, follow Jinchang Nanlu to its very southern end and go across the railroads.   From there turn left (and East) up a street known as Hepinglu.  It is about 500 meters walking to the entrance to Wuquan park where one can buy entrance tickets. Once inside, take the first small road leading to the right (South) and uphill to climb your way to the peak or get aboard for the cable-cart ride to the Top. The cable ride takes about 20 minutes to travel along the cliffs to the Top terminal, quite an interesting ride.
In the end one is rewarded with great views of the city as well as some cooling winds, which can be very welcome after a lenghty climb in summer. It is said that the temperature inside the park is -on average- around 5 degrees Celcius lower than in the city below it, hence its poplarity with the inhabitants of the Chengguan District. Dwell around the landscaped garden and pavilions enjoying the scenes and the views of the City below. On average days, the usual smogs takes away much of the horizon but its still worth your while to spend your day reaching the top. Especially the Stele Garden and Temple atop Lanshan Hill are among the hidden treasures of the City. From down below on the valley floor it can hardly be recognized as a site of major importance. Only the pointy roof is visible.

The Parks are open from 8:00 AM to 20:00 PM from May through October. Bus Line 31 and Line 34 have stops near the the Railroad crossing and Jinchang Nanlu.

also known locally as the Five Springs Mountain due to the fact that -at one time- no less than five springs sprouted from it to deliver clear and refreshing water. In this arid and dust-ridden landscape such a thing must mean that the Hill was and is blessed, hence the gradual construction of a whole set of religious buildings and pavilions along the way to its top. surprising and magnificent Lanzhou Steles Forest (兰州碑林 Lánzhōu Bēilín)


Gansu Provincial Museum.
Stele Fortress.
Temple of Literature.
Wuji Mountain Tourist Scenic Zone.
Lianhuachi Mosque.
Gonglin Road Mosque.
Lanzhou Martyrs Museum.
Gansu Western Railroad Station.
West Lake Park.
Shitouping Forest Park.

Qiaomen Mosque, Sand-gravel land form at Tianfusha Palace.

Lanzhou earthquake museum in Anning District.
Lanzhou Botanical Gardens.
Bao 'An Temple.
Longwang Temple adjacent Zhongli Bridge.

Shifogou National Forest Park.
Xinlongshan National reserve.

Liujiaxia Hydro-Electric Dam.

Bingling Caves.

Xiahe' and Labrang Monastery.

Great Wall of China. Hard to locate.
Yongdeng county, some 4 kilometers of the most ancient Great Wall dating from the Han Dynasty.
Click Map to go to Full Version !
Zhongcuan Village
Overview Map of Lanzhou City Prefecture, showing the locations of main towns mentioned, the districts and counties of the City of Lanzhou, Zhongcuan Airport and various sites of interest.
Zhongcuan Airport
Baiyin (City Prefecture)
<- To Wuwei
Qinghai Province
Bingling Buddhist Caves
Yongjing Bend of LuiJia Gorge - Yellow River Dam
Tianzu Tibetan Autonomous Township

View - Mastermap of Asia (entire). in a larger map
A Full Google Earth Supported Map of Lanzhou by
Click to go to Full Version !!
Map Tibet Historical Borders
A Schematic Map of Historical Tibet, today Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and a part of Sichuan province.
Included for reference are current Internationa Borders, provincial borders, locations and names of main cities and towns, main rivers, mountains and other places of significance.
Further Reports link to More Photos and History & Backgrounds of each City, Town or Ethnic Community of Yugur, Dongxiang Tibetan, Lhoba, KazakhMongol or others where available.
Today Tibet only exists as Tibet Autonomous Region of China !
Click & Go to Gansu Province Map 2
Dawukou or Juicai Gou Great Wall of China Site
Kangning Village, Xiaoman Township Great Wall of China - Gansu-Inner Mongolia Border (Outer Layer)
Jiuquan, Gansu Province
Guyuan Great Wall Site - Ch'In Dynasty Era Great Wall
Jingbian Great Wall Site
Xiahe'Yan Great Wall Site - Gansu/Ningxia Border (Inner Layer)
Shanhai Guan/Pass
Lop Nor
(Salt lake)
Yu Men Pass
Yinchuan, Capital of Ningxia Province
Lanzhou, Capital of Gansu Province
Beijing, Capital of China
Datong, North Shanxi province
LuoYang, Henan Province
Xi'An (Chang'An), Capital of Shaanxi province
JiaYuGuan Pass& Fortress, Gansu Province
MutianYu Great Wall Site
Ba Da Ling Village Great Wall Site
Extended Arm Great Wall at JiaYuGuan Pass
Han & Tang Dynasty Great Wall Sites
Yu Men - Jade Gate Pass - 1st Pass in the West (Han & Tang Dynasty)
Dunhuang, Western Gansu Province
A Schematic Map of the Several Layers of the Great Wall of China defenses as they existed during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) in Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei Provinces. Map includes location of + link to Great Wall Passes as reported on by Mouse over & Click Links for more Information and Photos.
Yang Guan Pass - Fortress & Beacon - Start Point South Route of Silk Road to Kashgar
Yang Guan Pass
Jia Yu Guan Pass
YanMen Guan Pass
Pian Guan Pass
Pian Guan Great Wall Site
Ya Men Guan Great Wall Site
Ordos Desert
TengGer Desert
Taklamakan Desert
Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
Ngoring Hu
Xining, Capital of Qinghai Province
TaiYuan, Capital of Shanxi province
Wei River
Yulin Great Wall Site
Dingbian Great Wall Site
Sanguankou - Helan Pass Great Wall Site
Zhongwei Great Wall Site
Yonchang Great Wall Site
Simatai Great Wall Site
Pingxing Guan Pass
Pingxing Guan Great Wall Site
Ningwu Guan Great Wall Site
Zhangjiakou (Kalgan) Great Wall Site
Longquan Guan Great Wall Site
Niangzhi Guan/Yangquan Great Wall Site
Shanhai Pass/Qinghuangdao Great Wall Site
Yanchi Great Wall Site
Damaqun Shan
HuangYaGuan - Yellow Cliff Great Wall Site
Find out about the Layers & Remnants left from subsequent Era's & Dynasties !!
Ming Dynasty Era Great Wall & Locations !!
Wuwei, Gansu Province
Wei River
Yellow River
Yellow River
Fen River
Fengzhen Pass Great Wall Site
Zhangye, Gansu Province
Shuidongkou Great Wall Site
Xiguan Huizu Si - West Gate Mosque
Although entirely modern styled and built in the 1990's, Xiguan Mosque, by its name and its history represents the Hui Minority and the cities' millenia old ties with the Silk Road. Admire the the UFO like Minarets with their bright nightly lights from afar during a trip on the yellow river, or head down for a personal visit. Once at the center of Lanzhou's lesser district, Xiguan, the Mosque is a great place to start a (hiking) tour of the historic city. Other monuments are nearby.
Click through to see the Extended Arm Great Wall praised in Poems ...
Visit the Largest & Main Mosque of Lanzhou ...
The Xiguan Mosque of today is an entirely modern structure built on the grounds of the Old Mosque in the year 1990 AD.  Not much information can be found on its history during the Dungang Revolts of the Hui during the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD) , nor its situation during ban on religious activities that was part of the slightly more recent 'Cultural Revolution'. Likely the Mosque was closed from 1962 AD to 1985 AD, after which new policies allowed for the re-opening of Temples and
The huge mosque is currently one of the largest in China (P.R.C.) and certainly in the North-West.  Although not visible from all over town due to the abundance of highrises, its brightly lit evenings lights help put a lively face on the nightime city.
Find at Eastern Jiefangmen Square some way uphill from the River Bank and +/- 300 meters west of Xiguan Crossing (西关什字 Xīguān Shízì). The mosque welcomes tourists, with the condition that only Muslim are allowed to enter the large rounded prayer hall.

All Mosques in Lanzhou:
Gonglin Road Mosque, Nanguan Mosque, Pingliang Road Mosque, Waterside Mosque, Xiyuan Mosque, Gonghe Road Mosque.
White Cloud Temple
Stroll down to the Taoist Baiyun Guan to get sense of the ancient and most traditional Lanzhou. In this fine obvioulsy Ching Dynasty Era-styled Temple, which includes a small Theater, its a colorful world of wooden architecture, delicate and lively rock carvings and ever present visitors and worshippers.
The White Cloud pagoda honors its name by continuously emanating clouds of white incense smoke and can be found on the South Bank of the River just upstream from the Zhongshan Bridge.
Visit the White Cloud Temple on the South River Bank ... !
Do your Shopping Traditional Style ?
The first Temple of Lanzhou was a Taoist Temple, no doubt. The presence of Daoism in the City goes back all the way to the founding years of the City, and even further to the years of the Zhou Dynasty.  During  the  Zhou  Dynasty (1121 BC - 256 BC) already, a nearby Mountain, Xinglong,  was revered as a Taoist  Holy Place.  At the time the three main Philosophies at the core of Chinese Civilization itself were; Confucianism, Legalism and Daoism.
The Qin Dynasty (221 and 206 BC) made a lasting impression with the cruelties of Legalism but reigned only briefly after which the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) founded the City and larger
defenses of the City of Lanzhou. Because of its frontier like reputation and its reclusive location and the peace guaranteed by Imperial Armies it soon once more became attractive to the adherents of Daoism. During the earliest centuries of the City it became a paradise for Taoist wisemen, seeking enlightenment in the confines and rawness of  this far away destination. The Taoist stayed on until this very day and the White Cloud Pagoda is their main shrine within the urban confines of the City. Several others are located outside of town however, among things at Xinglong Mountain some five kilometers south-west of the City
(See: Excursions outside of Lanzhou).

Only later the Buddhist Faith entered China through the pathways of the Silk Road. The First Buddhist Temple built in China was the Bai Ma Si - White Horse Temple near Luoyang in Henan Province, which was founded in the year 1 AD. Not very much later Lanzhou itself would become a center of the Buddhist Faith, as more and more were converted and Monks started flocking along the early trails of the Silk Road. The new 'foreign' faith would grow and grow, to have lasting influence throughout the regions and even Asia
The main Buddhist Temple and Monument of Lanzhou can be found atop White Dagoba Hill (Baita Shan), a hill on the North Bank of the River opposite of the 'Old City' and the other main historic monuments of Chengguan District.
Overlooking the River from this high vantage point stands the White Dagoba (Baita) and its Temple, a monument erected by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty after their defeat of Lanzhou on the way to conquest of China entire.
The White Dagoba itself was originally built by the Mongols in commemoration of a deceased Tibetan Lama and envoy to the Court of Genghis Khan. Its stands as a lasting Monument to the reign of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty which ruled the city for more than a 162 years as well as a reminder of the near alliance that Genghis Khan and the Tibetans forged against  the 13Th Century Han Chinese Dynasties of Song (South) and Jin (North). It is one of the 8 official Monuments of the City.
The surrounding White Dagoba Temple (Baita Si) is only small and includes the three gods hall and the Guesthouse of "Hailing the Rising Sun", a place from where poets and tourists love to see the sun go down over the city and river.
Other unexpected wonders to be found along the ridge of White Dagoba Mountain are various smaller and larger pavilions, kiosks, and even a small Zoo.  On the north side of the Hill is an additional small garden holding a Stele with mysterious origins. Especially famous inside the Baita Shan Park are the archway of "Phoenix Forrest of Incense and Fragrance" and the arhats hall and the sanguan hall on the third platform.
White Horse Hill, Temple & Dagoba
As can be seen from afar, the North Bank of the River has a large Hill from which one can overlook the City of Lanzhou and its Yellow River. This is the Baita Shan, or white dagoba hill, which has been known as such since the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty established a Buddhist Shrine at its very Top. Climb along the many structures and pavilions to top and marvel at the view and burn incense at this No.1 Buddhist hotspot in the City.
The autobiography of Last Emperor Pu Yi, and more available from our Online Store !
Source Book
"Guide to Chinese Buddhism"
( available from our Online Store )
The other authorative book on Chinese Buddhism by the Buddhist Association of China. Very in-depth introduction to the historic growth of buddhism in Asia, East-Asia and China. Long treatise on Chinese Buddhist Deities, 4 sacred mountains and more,  explaining the different styles (forms) of Chinese Buddhism.
THE book by the China Daoism Association
Source Book
"Daoism in China"
( available from our Online Store )
Click through to go Climb the Hill & overlook the River & City!
Visit the Largest & Main Mosque of Lanzhou ...
Although certainly the most popular the White Dagoba is by no means the only Buddhist Temple in Lanzhou. In fact, for those who look well enough there are several others.
Another, minor Dagoba Temple can be found located on the South Bank, some ways west of Dongfanghong Square and Jingning North Road, along the northern front of Qingyang Road. So afr we have not been able to even find its name, let alone information on its history and origins. The Temple, however contains the second standing Dagoba in the City.
Yet another budhist shrine, the smallest Temple in town known as Yufu Si, can be found just a short walk south from there, along the West front of the Jingning South Road. This temple is very small, but at least it is marked on google maps, making it easier to locate.

Other jewels of the historic city scattered around the south bank are varied and less famous. The last and main historic structure that is always every worthwhile to visit is the Chengguan Districts 'Traditional Temple Market' found near ...

From the monuments of the historic city one can move on to the great motheriver itself, the Yellow River. On the River banks are various places where one can experience different aspects of the River.
First up are the Sculptures of the Mother River, then the somewhat celebrated Yellow River 'beach'. One of the Latest additions:
Cable Ride across the River aka Yellow River Ropeway (黄河索道 Huánghé Suŏdào). Or the historic alternative, the inflated Rams'-skin rafting ride.
Zhongshan No.1 Yellow River Bridge.
Several new bridges on the Yellow River. Fuci Street Bridge. Zhongli Bridge. Yellow River Highway Bridge.

Once one is done exploring the Old Relics, or simply is in the mood for some modernity, there is ..
Modern Architecture .... xxx building.

Zhongxin Square now Dongfanghong Plaza. Modern City center with fashionable department stores and smaller shops.

Lanzhou Cathedral.
Second Church In Lanzhou, situated due south-west of Dongfanghong Square.

Art and Culture. Dunhuang Art Gallery. Gansu Provincial Museum in Lanzhou, in the extreme east part of the neighboring Qilihe District.

Lanzhou University ....
Two years later in 1909 AD Lanzhou University (兰州大学) was founded  in the last death-throws of the Ching Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD) during the Reign of China's notorious Last Emperor 'Henry' Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi.  The establishment of the Institute was one of the very few positive achievements under the shortlived Regime.

Green Corridor along Binhe Road.
Mind your step on the way up as well as down. The top of Dagoba on the Hill stands at some 1700 meters above sea level, which is 100's of meters above the yellow river. The hike up leads along several minor platforms in between of which the paths are unexpectedly steep at many points, and after rainfall or cleaning slopes are slippery and outright dangerous. Don not slip and get knocked over the edge of a cliff.

Apart from the required effort it is among the best walks to be had in the city. Climbing along the geography of the city and river below are slowly revealed. As becomes obvious the Hill is a very strategic position. In fact, in history it guarded a vital pass leading from the West around the Hill into a Pass. Only through this pass, the "piled jade pass" or "gold city pass", could one easily make ones way down to the River below and prepare cross it. Above the pass on the Hill stood a fortress, the Wangbao Fortress, however none of todays structures belong were part of it.
Reaching the upper and third platform below the top, the beforehand seemingly disorganized garden lemenst line up to create a magnificent view known in ancient literature as "distant view over the river and bridge". It was an unsurpassed achievement of garden architecture in its time.
The distant view of the river and bridge today. Clim to the Top of White Dagoba Mountain to be rewarded with the best wiew of the City. It a famous view of the Yellow river which spawned the City millenia ago.
Other Hui landmarks and locations of special interest are a little bit harder to locate. Among these, the 'traditional islamic street' or the supposed main Hui Cultural Center. Dwell around the streets of the Western Section of Chengguan District until you find signs of the now sparse remains of old style buildings. This is what used to
be the 'muslim quarter', not the best part of Town. Somewhere close is the main islamic street which holds a Colorful Gate, and an Islamic Seminary and mosque behind it halfway down the narrow street.

As for the Islamic Faith and its Culture, apart from the traditional Hui headcaps and their owners who can be seen in many places one has to go looking for additional islamic influences. One of the best places to go looking is in a restaurant.
Hui and Uyghur 'Kebab' barbeque sticks, barbequed mutton, boiled mutton, and lamb with wide vermicelli are local delicacies among the various ethnic groups. Many of the local dishes are influenced by the Hui and their specialized tastes.

As for the Islamic Culture to be experienced in Lanzhou, that is basicly all there is about. Naturally, there are many more Mosques in the City, including two that are visible along the North Bank of the River, however apart from what has become known as the 'Waterside Mosque' (水上清真寺) these are hardly worth a tourist visit. In the wider region, especially to the South and East, there are 1000's of Mosques to visit.

An even older Religion or at least a Philosophy than Islam is Taoism. The story of Taoism and Lanzhou really goes back to the founding years of the City. Taoism was there when the Han Dynasty first gained control of the strategic location on the Banks of the River. Although rebuilt at a later Time and recently completed renovated with donations from local adherents, the White Cloud Dagoba goes as the oldest and earliest Monument of the City. Today, as a lingering representative of this ancient form of mystical wisdom, the White Cloud Dagoba (BaiyunGuan) stands along the Rivers' south bank not too far upstream from the Zhongshan (or Sun Yat-Sen) Bridge. It is a fairly small but interesting place to dwell, including Impressive white clouds of Incense, many delicate stone carvings and a wooden opera theatre and stage. At most times however locals flock there to pray or meditate, have their fortunes told by one of the elderly Taoist wise-men annex Fortune-tellers, or just simple to chit-chat and see eachother. Most of the Times the Temple is fairly active and full op people.
Stone Carving at the White Cloud temple in Lanzhou (Photo: November 2007).
entire. Not only Tibet and Mongolia, but even the Chinese Nation would firmly embrace it in time.Today Tibet, a historical region which borders lie only a few tens of miles from Lanzhou, is still a devoutly Buddhist region.
Qinghai Province Schematic Overview - Map2a
Qinghai Province Map 1 - Geographic Map
A Geographic overview of Western China's Qinghai Province entire, delineating Provincial Borders and parts of neighboring Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region, Gansu Province, Sichuan Province and Tibet (Xizhang) Autonomous Region. Includes Cities and Towns (shown by size), Main Monuments & landmarks, the flow of the yellow river in Qinghai Province, surrounding Bayan Har Mountain area's (TengGer),locations of Ethnic Minority Enclaves in Qinghai Province, Main Mountains (with Height), major highways, provincial railroads and main railroad-stations and main waterways & rivers. This Map further provides links to on site photos and information on Cities, Monuments and main transportation hubs of the wider Region.
Full Schematic Map of Qinghai Province, China !
Click Image to go to FULL Map Version !!
This Schematic overview Map shows the entire "Downtown" or Old City Section of Lanzhou, officially known as the Chengguan District. The Chengguan, as the original city of Lanzhou holds most of the historic remnants and although full of modern buildings and towering highrises, today is still the main cultural center of the City.
Browse the Map to explore the city and find your way to the Main landmarks, monuments and hotspots of this part of the City. Click the locations and Link through to more Information and Photos on each location !
Map - Chengguan District of Lanzhou
This page was last updated on: July 24, 2017
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