Lanzhou, the capital city of northwest China's Gansu Province, covers an area of 1631.6 square kilometers (629.96 square miles). The topography of Lanzhou area is formed by three parts. They are valleys, basins, hilly land and Huangtumao ditch and gully area. The Yellow River is flowing through the whole city. Most parts of the area are semi-dry climate in the temperate zone. It has an average annual temperature of 8.9 degree Celsius, and an average annual precipitation of 331mm. Lanzhou has a population of 3.14 million, including Han, which covers the vast majority ,and Hui, Bao'an, Dongxiang, Tibetan, Yugu, Sala and more as well.
Although geographically Lanzhou appears to lie very much in the middle of China, culturally and politically it remains remote from the great cities of eastern China, despite being both the provincial capital and the largest industrial centre in the Northwest. Squeezed 1600 meters up into a narrow valley along the mighty Yellow River, Lanzhou stretches out pencil-thin for nearly 30km. At the head of the Hexi Corridor, it was a vital stronghold along the Silk Road and was the principal crossing point of the river. For centuries Lanzhou has been a transportation hub, first for caravans, then shallow boats and now rail lines. Not until the Communist era, however, did it become a large population centre as well, in response to the city's burgeoning industry.
Lanzhou's downtown area includes Chengguan, Qilihe, Xigu and Anning district. Chengguan District, situated in eastern Lanzhou, is the center of politics, economy, culture, scientific research and transportation. In northwestern Lanzhou, Anning District is the economic development zone as well as the area where most colleges are located. Zhongxin Square, also named Dongfanghong Square is the largest in Lanzhou situated in the central area of the city. There are Dongfanghong Department Store in the south, Guofang Shopping Center in the east and Lanzhou Gym sits in the west. The square is the daily entertainment place for local people and is also an ideal shopping area for tourists. The popular commercial streets in Lanzhou are mainly Qingyang Lu, Zhongshan Lu, Jiuquan Lu, Zhangye Lu, Yongchang Lu, Qin'an Lu, Longxi Lu and Linxia Lu, etc.
Lanzhou abounds in coal. And also, there is gold, silver, zinc, nickel, manganese, clay and dolomite, etc. The resource of waterpower is abundant too. Amongst its major industries, especially the oil refineries, chemical, machinary and metallurgical industry, are in the first place in China. In agriculture, there is spring wheat, vegetables, beans, oil-boiling, melon, tobacco, drug and so on. Lanzhou is the important output place of roses and lilie. The reserve of rose-oil is in the first place. It can be about 80% of Chinese output. Lanzhou's fruits are famous too. In Lanzhou, the railway and highway are very convenient. The airplane here can take you to more than 20 cities all over the country. Lanzhou's climate is cool. And there are so many places of interest. Wuquan Mountain, Baita Mountain and Xinglong Mountain are the most famous summer resort places in China. There are also some tourist attractions enjoying increasingly great fame around Lanzhou, in particular, Maiji Caves to the east, Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves to the west, Labrang Monastery to the south and Dunhuang Mogao Caves to the north. .Lutusi ancient government is the most complete ancient palace building that has survived through China's long history.
Lanzhou is a beautiful modern city with both the grand beauty of northern cities and the prettiness of southern cities. The Landscape along the Yellow River should not be missed, as Lanzhou is the only provincial city through which the Mother River runs. Whether you choose to roam along the River, to cross the First Bridge over the Yellow River, or to have a cup of eight auspicious teas at the Watermill Park, you will be impressed by Lanzhou with its harmonious combination of the modern and the old.
While the natural parks around the city such as Yan Tan Park and Shifogou National Forest Park will restore and refresh you, the White Pagoda Park and the Five-Spring Mountain Park will give you an understanding of the cultural side of Lanzhou.
If you want to experience something more exciting, the Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves, Labrang Monastery and Sangke Prairie should satisfy you thoroughly.
Besides the above-mentioned attractions, the hospitable locals, multifarious restaurants, cheap yet delicious snacks, and convenient transportation system will all ensure that you get a memorable trip in this tolerant and placid city.