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G ansu Province is the provincial-level administrative region in People’s Republic of China. Located in the upstream of the Yellow River, Gansu Province borders Shaanxi to the east, Sichuan and Qinghai to the south, Xinjiang to the west and Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to the north. Gansu Province got its name because of Ganzhou (current Zhangye) and Suzhou (current Jiuquan). In addition, most parts of the province lie in the west of Long Mountain (Liupan Mountain). Read More Below.


G ansu Province is the provincial-level administrative region in People’s Republic of China. Located in the upstream of the Yellow River, Gansu Province borders Shaanxi to the east, Sichuan and Qinghai to the south, Xinjiang to the west and Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to the north. Gansu Province got its name because of Ganzhou (current Zhangye) and Suzhou (current Jiuquan). In addition, most parts of the province lie in the west of Long Mountain (Liupan Mountain).

L ongyou Road was once set up here in Tang Dynasty. Thus, the province was also named Gan or Long. Governing 12 prefecture-level cities and 2 autonomous prefectures, Gansu has Lanzhou as its provincial capital. Belonging to Yongzhou in history, Gansu Province was once the key place and golden section of the Silk Road. Adjacent to Mongolia, Gansu is like a beautiful jade between the Loess Plateau of central China, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and Inner Mongolian Plateau. As an important province in Northwest China, Gansu Province attracts numerous domestic and foreign tourists every year by its unique geographic location and long humanistic history.

W ith complex and various landforms, Gansu Province belongs to typical high mountain landform. With a dry climate here, Gansu Province has abundant thermal energy, wind energy, and atmospheric resources, all of which are renewable resources. The mineral resources in Gansu Province are also very abundant. Unique geographic environment and unique folk customs beyond the Great Wall lead to abundant tourist resources here.



G ansu Province is located at the western part of China and at the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River. Covering a vast territory that stretches from 32°11′N to 42°57′N, and from 92°13′E to 108°46′E, Gansu has most of its land resting on the second altitudinal level of the Chinese terrain. The province adjoins Shaanxi Province in the east, Sichuan in the south, Qinghai and Xinjiang in the west, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Mongolia in the north, extending its influence to the entire central Asia. It also has a complex terrain, including mountains, alps, plains, valleys, deserts, and Gobi deserts throughout its territory, while the landscape sometimes stretches across each other. The altitude drops transitionally from the southwest towards the northeast. The entire province is long and narrow, measuring 1,659 km wide from the east to the west, and 530 km long from the south to the north, covering an area of 453,700 m2, accounting for 4.72% of the total land area of China.



G ansu Province, located at the convergence zone of the Loess Plateau, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the Inner-Mongolian Plateau, has a complex terrain, intriguing interlacing mountain ranges, and vast altitudinal differences among various regions. Widely distributed in the province are alps, basins, plains, and deserts, notably the Gobi Desert, making the province a representative of the mountainous landform of the loess plateau. The province transits from the northern subtropical moist area through highly cold regions to arid zones from its southeast to the northwest. The climate here is dry, while temperature differs greatly between day and night.

T he entire region is sunbathed with a high degree of solar radiation. Annual average temperature fluctuates between 0 and 14℃ and drops transitionally from the southeast to the northwest; annual average temperature ranges from 4 to 9℃ at the Hexi Corridor, from 0 to 6℃ at the Qilianshan mountain region, from 5 to 9℃ in central Gansu, from 7 to 10℃ in east Gansu, from 1 to 7℃ at the South Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Region, and from 9 to 15℃ in south Gansu. The annual average precipitation in Gansu Province remains around 300 mm while regional precipitation fluctuates between 42 and 760 mm yearly, and the southeast region has greater rainfall than the northwest part. Rainy season concentrates from June to September.

B esides, Gansu Province abounds with light resources, with 1,700-3,300 hours of sunshine duration each year, while the northeast part enjoys more sunshine than the southeast. The sunniest area of the province is the Hexi Corridor, which is home to Dunhuang City and receives 2800 to 3300 hours of sunshine annually. Dunhuang is renowned for its sweet fruits and traditional medicine, such as bluish dogbane and cynomorium songaricum. The least sunny place of south Gansu receives 1,800 to 2,300 hours of sunshine annually, while the central, eastern and southern part of the province receives 2,100 to 2,700 hours of sunshine each year.



A s part of old Qinlong Culture, the local culture of Gansu Province is represented by classic dry farming culture in valley flat-bottomed land of branches and sub-branches of the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River. Historically, such a culture once had a profound influence on China.



T he best tourist season lasts from May to October across Gansu Province. Since Gansu Province stretches across a region of vast altitudinal differences, its climate in the south and north differs greatly from each other. Regions north of Lanzhou are scorching in summer and freezing in winter, while the temperature varies greatly between day and night. The regions barely receive any rainfall throughout the year. On the contrary, the southern part of Gansu features important scenic spots like natural pastureland, especially during the summer when boundless grasses and trees could be seen. Summer has become the greatest touring season for travelers at Gannan. Notes: 1. Located at the northwestern part of China mainland, Gansu Province can experience contrasting temperatures in a single day. Travelers need to bring winter outfit, such as warm coats and sweaters, in case of cold weather. 2. Given its high altitude, Gansu Province has a high degree of solar radiation and is extremely dry. Travelers are recommended to bring suitable sun protection equipments, such as sunscreen cream, lip-balm, sunglasses, and sun helmet on their journey. 3. The weather is dry throughout the day in Gansu. Travelers are recommended to bring water with them or eat fruits each day as Gansu boasts varied types and flavors of fruits. However, too much intake may provoke discomfort in the stomach. 4. Though the altitude of Gansu is lower than that of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, newcomers may be affected by altitude stress. Ordinary symptoms include headache, dizziness and feeble appetite. Travelers are encouraged to drink more water, have enough rest and keep from strenuous activities under such circumstances. 5. As one of the economically underdeveloped regions of China, Gansu is not able to provide travelers with first-class accommodation and dining experiences as the more advanced regions do.

I ts dietary and living habits are greatly influenced by local ethnic minorities, especially the Hui Nationality. Wheaten food, beef and lamb are the favorites of Gansu people. Travelers are recommended to follow the local traditions in order to adapt to the local customs more quickly. 6. Given the fact that Gansu covers a vast territory and has a great time difference from east China, numerous scenic spots in Gansu are usually separated from each other from a long distance, travelers may spend a lot of time on the road. Travelers are recommended to adjust themselves well and to bring dramamine in case of carsickness. 7. A must-not-miss spot in Gansu for travelers is the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. Tourists are recommended to bring flashlights with them inside the grottoes in order to have a clearer view of the paintings. They should wear comfortable outfit in order to travel easily and safely. 8. Since there are large numbers of Hui people in Gansu, travelers are recommended to bear Muslim taboos in mind and remain calm and polite in case of any dispute, so as to make your journey happy and joyful. Travelers are not recommended to eat or mention pork in face of Hui friends to offend them as pork remains their biggest taboo. 9. Additional notes for photographers: (1) Video cameras or cameras are not allowed inside the Mogao Grottoes. They must be stored at the entrance. (2) Tourists are not recommended to bring cameras or cellphones with them when climbing the Mingshashan Mountain in case the devices should be damaged by the sand or lost. (3) Tourists are recommended to bring extra batteries for their devices since low temperatures can shorten the duration of the batteries. (4) Photographers should kindly ask local monks, lamas and ethnic people for their permission before taking photos with them. Otherwise the locals may feel offended. (5) Photographing is not allowed inside the Tibetan temples within the Tibetan area. Visitors should hence mind their behaviors on such occasions.

A ltitude Stress Cities like Lanzhou and Tianshui are of lower altitude on the whole when compared with other areas of the province, where travelers are prone to be affected by altitude stress. Such highly affective regions include the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Qilianshan mountain range. Symptoms like dizziness, headache, exhaustion, and insomnia usually will disappear in one or two days after the travelers’ arrival. To deal with altitude stress, please consider the following suggestions: 1. Refrain yourselves from drinking, smoking, and exhaustion before your departure; preventive medicines like rhodiola are recommended to be taken one or two days before the departure; travelers infected by cold are not recommended to go to places of high altitude, for such a circumstance may lead to pulmonary edema. 2. Physical exercises are not necessary; travelers are recommended to have more vegetables, fruits, water and sleep before the departure. It is always beneficial to have a relaxing state of mind. 3. A slight degree of altitude stress may disappear as the body adjusts itself to the environment. Travelers are not recommended to rely on oxygen bottles at first in case addiction should occur. The traditional Chinese medicines like Gaoyuan’an and the American ginseng will help alleviate the symptoms. 4. Please refrain yourselves from running, jogging, or jumping at places of high altitude.