About Us | Contact Us | Feedback
Powered by a China travel agency - Easy Tour China Tel: +86-773-3810160

Design China Tour!

Not find a wish tour? Select from A La Carte. We do the rest on your interest!


Gansu is a province located in the northwest of China. It lies between Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, and the Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia to the north and Xinjiang to the west. The Yellow River passes the southern part of the province. It has a population of nearly 31 million (2009) and has a large concentration of Hui Chinese. The capital of the province is Lanzhou, located in the southeast part of Gansu. Gansu is abbreviated Gan or Long, and is also known as Long West or Long Right, in reference to the Long Mountain east of Gansu.


Map of GansuJiayuguan Fort Gansu is a compound name first used in Song Dynasty China, of two Sui and Tang Dynasty prefectures: Gan (around Zhangye) and Su (around Jiuquan). The ruins of a Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) Chinese watchtower made of rammed earth at Dunhuang, Gansu province, the eastern edge of the Silk RoadIn prehistoric times, Gansu was host to a number of Neolithic cultures. The Dadiwan culture, from where numerous archaeologically significant artifacts have been excavated, flourished in the eastern end of Gansu from about 6000 BC to about 3000 BC. The Majiayao culture and part of the Qijia culture  also took root in Gansu from 3100 BC to 2700 BC and 2400 BC to 1900 BC respectively.

The Qin state later to become the founding state of the Chinese empire, grew out from the southeastern part of Gansu, specifically the Tianshui area. The Qin name itself is believed to have originated, in part, from the area. Qin tombs and artifacts have been excavated from Fangmatan near Tianshui, including one 2200 year old map of Guixian county.

In imperial times, Gansu was an important strategic outpost and communications link for the Chinese empire, as the Hexi corridor runs along the "neck" of the province. The Han dynasty extended the Great Wall across this corridor, also building the strategic Yumenguan (Jade Gate Pass, near Dunhuang) and Yangguan fort towns along it. Remains of the wall and the towns can be found there to this date. The Ming dynasty also built the Jiayuguan outpost in Gansu. To the west of Yumenguan and the Qilian Mountains, at the northwestern end of the province, the Yuezhi, Wusun, and other nomadic tribes dwelt (Shiji 123), occasionally figuring in regional imperial Chinese geopolitics.

After the fall of the Uyghur Empire, a Uyghur state was established in Gansu that lasted from 848 to 1036 AD. During that time, many of Gansu's residents converted to Islam. Situated along the Silk Road, Gansu was an economically important province, and a cultural transmission path as well. Temples and Buddhist grottoes such as those at Mogao Caves ('Caves of the Thousand Buddhas') and Maijishan Caves contain artistically and historically revealing murals. An early form of paper inscribed with Chinese characters and dating to about 8 BC was discovered at the site of a Western Han garrison near the Yumen pass in August 2006.

The province was also the origin of the Muslim Rebellion of 1862-77, which later spread to much of China and resulted in the deaths of upwards of twelve million Chinese Muslims[8] in addition to the decimation of Chinese Muslim culture in Yunnan province, where over one million Muslims were killed by Qing forces

Its frequent earthquakes, droughts and famines have tended to slow its economic progress, until recently when based on its abundant mineral resources it has begun developing into a vital industrial center. An earthquake in Gansu at 8.6 on the Richter scale killed around 180,000 people in 1920, and another with a magnitude of 7.6 killed 70,000 in 1932.

Geography and Climate

Gansu Province is situated at the joint of the Huangtu (Loess) Plateau, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Mongol Plateau. The provincial terrain varies in
elevation, sloping downhill from west to east and from south to north respectively. The Gansu corridor stretches at the province's northwest part. Most of
the rivers in the province belong to the Yellow River water systems.

Part of the Gobi Desert is located in Gansu, as well as small parts of the Badain Jaran Desert and Tengger Desert. The fall of the Daxia River into the Yellow River's Liujiaxia Reservoir, in Linxia Hui Autonomous PrefectureThe Yellow River gets most of its water from Gansu province. The Yellow River also flows straight through Lanzhou. Area around Wuwei is part of Shiyang River Basin.

The landscape in Gansu is very mountainous in the south and flat in the north. The mountains in the south are part of the Qilian mountain range. At 5,547 meters high, Qilian Shan Mountain is Gansu's highest elevation. It is located at latitude 39°N and longitude 99°E.

A natural land passage known as Hexi Corridor, stretching some 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from Lanzhou to the Jade Gate, is situated within Gansu province. It is bound from north by the Gobi Desert and Qilian Mountains from the south.

Semi-arid, suitable for light grazingGansu has a generally semi-arid to arid, continental climate, with warm summers and very cold winters. Most of the precipitation is concentrated in the summer months. Neighboring provinces: Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Ningxia.


Most of the inhabitants of Gansu speak dialects of Northern Mandarin Chinese. On the border areas of Gansu one might encounter Tu, Amdo Tibetan, Mongolian, and the Kazakh language. Most of the minorities also speak Chinese.


Sheep grazing beside a main road near Jiuquan. The cuisine of Gansu is based on the staple crops grown there: wheat, barley, millet, beans, and sweet potatoes. Within China, Gansu is known for its lamian (pulled noodles), and Muslim restaurants which feature authentic Gansu cuisine. Muslim restaurants are known as "qingzhen restaurants" ("pure truths restaurants"), and feature typical Chinese dishes, but without any pork products, and instead an emphasis on lamb and mutton.


Gansu boasts abundant cultural relics such as the Silk Road, with an expanse of 1,600 kilometers symbolizing the friendly communications between China and Western people for genderations. Mogao Grottos at Dunhuang, which is a world cultural heritage, Maiji Mountain Grottos famous for its fine sculptures and the
Labrang Lamasery, which is one of the six great lamaseries of the Yellow Sect of Buddhism in China. The singing (Soughing)Dunes (Mount Mingshan) and the
Cresent Spring are fanciful for their co-existence.

-The Jiayuguan Pass of the Great Wall
Jiayuguan Pass, in Jiayuguan city, is the largest and most intact pass, or entrance, of the Great Wall. Jiayuguan Pass was built in the early Ming dynasty, somewhere around the year 1372. It was built near an oasis that was then on the extreme western edge of China. Jiayuguan Pass was the first pass on the west end of the great wall so it earned the name “The First And Greatest Pass Under Heaven.”

An extra brick is said to rest on a ledge over one of the gates. One legend holds that the official in charge asked the designer to calculate how many bricks would be used. The designer gave him the number and when the project was finished, only one brick was left. It was put on the top of the pass as a symbol of commemoration. Another account holds that the building project was assigned to a military manager and an architect. The architect presented the manager with a requisition for the total number of bricks that he would need. When the manager found out that the architect had not asked for any extra bricks, he demanded that the architect make some provision for unforeseen circumstances. The architect, taking this as an insult to his planning ability, added a single extra brick to the request. When the gate was finished, the single extra brick was, in fact, extra and was left on the ledge over the gate.

-Mogao Grottoes
The Mogao Grottoes near Dunhuang represent an astonishing collection of Buddhist art and religion. Originally there were a thousand grottoes, but now only 492 cave temples remain. Each temple has a large statue of a buddha or bodhisattva and paintings of religious scenes. In 336 AD, a monk named Le Zun (Lo-tsun) came near Echoing Sand Mountain, when he had a vision of golden rays of light shining down on him like a thousand Buddhas. Le Zun started to carve the first grotto to memorize the incident. During the Five Dynasties period they ran out of room on the cliff and could not build anymore grottoes. Now they have started to find old paintings that were painted over in the Five Dynasties.

-Silk Road and Dunhuang City
A terracotta warrior from Gansu, with traces of polychrome and gold, from the Tang Dynasty (618–907)The historic Silk Road starts in Chang'an and goes to Constantinople. On the way merchants would go to Dunhuang in Gansu. In Dunhuang they would get fresh camels, food and guards for the journey around the dangerous Taklamakan Desert. Before departing Dunhuang they would pray to the Mogao Grottoes for a safe journey, if they came back alive they would thank the gods at the grottoes. Across the desert they would form a train of camels to protect themselves from thieving bandits. The next stop, Kashi (Kashgar), was a welcome sight to the merchants. At Kashi most would trade and go back and the ones who stayed would eat fruit and trade their Bactrian camels for single humped ones. After Kashi they would keep going until they reached their next destination. Located about 5 km southwest of the city, the Crescent Lake or Yueyaquan is a oasis and popular spot for tourists seeking respite from the heat of the desert. Activities includes camel and 4x4 rides.

-Bingling Temple
Bingling Temple, or Bingling Grottoes, is a Buddhist cave complex in a canyon along the Yellow River. Begun in 420 AD during the Western Jin Dynasty, the site contains dozens of caves and caverns filled with outstanding examples of carvings, sculpture, and frescoes. The great Maitreya Buddha is more than 27 meters tall and is similar in style to the great Buddhas that once lined the cliffs of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Access to the site is by boat from Yongjing in the summer or fall. There is no other access point.

-Labrang Monastery
Labrang Tashikyil Monastery is located in Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, located in the southern part of Gansu, and part of the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo. It is one of the six major monasteries of the Gelukpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet, and the most important one in Amdo. Built in 1710, it is headed by the Jamyang-zhaypa. It has 6 dratsang (colleges), and houses over sixty thousand religious texts and other works of literature as well as other cultural artifacts.

Space Launch Center

The Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is located in the Gobi desert in Gansu Province.