Main tourist attractions of Gansu

Gansu is a North-Western province of China. The name is derived from Gan and Su – two regions combined. Gansu is a North-Western province of China and is undoubtedly one the provinces in China with lot many tourist spots spread across the entire province. The place has snow-capped mountains, terrrains ranging from mountain peaks to rainbow deserts ( Danxia National Geopark). The best tourist attractions are listed below and we recommend you to spend at least 2-3 days here so as to cover majority of the tourist attractions in Gansu, China.

100 li Yellow River Scenic Area in Lanzhou

The river flows through Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu, where the local Government has built a 40 Km long scenic area around the yellow River.

100 li Yellow River Scenic Area in Lanzhou

Image: 100 Li Yello river scenic area

Famous attractions – Mother Yellow River sculpture, Lanzhou Waterwheel exhibition park, Zhongshan bridge.

  • Admission Fee: NA/Free
  • Best time to visit: Spring and Summer

Three Gorges of the Yellow River

The three Gorges – Liujia Gorge, Yanguo Gorge and Bingling Gorge are located in the county of Yongjing is one of the scenic tourist spots in the province. Major tourist attractions are Liujia Gorge Reservoir, Stone Forest of Bingling, Taiji Lake, Bingling Temple Grottoes and the Dinosaur National Geopark

Three Gorges of the Yellow River china tourism

Image: Three Gorges of the Yellow river

  • Admission Fee: NA/Free
  • Best time to visit: June to September

Kongtong Mountain

The 84 square kilometered Kongtong Mountain located approximately 12 kms from the west of Pingliang City, is extremely beautiful! There are many peaks, and the main peak is around 2123 meters high. Also known as “The first mountain of Taoism”, the mountain tells us about Taoist culture. Not to mention the place is incredibly scenic! The grasslands, peaks, clouds, stones, caves – all of them makes you feel that you are in a wonderland, making it a must visit place! The place also has a martial arts school. Kongtong Martial Arts which originally belongs to this area is one of China’s top five martial arts schools.

  • Admission Fee: 120 yuan
  • Best time to visit: Summer and autumn

Gannan Grasslands

Gannan Grasslands is one of China’s six most beautiful grasslands and is stretched across an area of 2.51 million hectares across Luku, Hiehe and Maqu counties of Gansu. The grassland features many crystal clear lakes and is home to many rare animals.

gannan grasslands china tourism

Image: Gannan grasslands

Main attractions:

  1. The largest fresh water lake in Gannan grasslands
  2. Labrang Monastery – A Tibetan-Buddhist cultural monastery protected by the state.
  • Admission fee: NA/Free
  • Best time to visit: June to August

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery is one of the largest Tibetan monastery in China; in fact one of the largest Buddhist monastery outside Tibet. This Tibetan architecture of this monastery is so beautiful and it coveres a huge area of 82.3 hectares and has 10000 monk rooms, 500 prayer wheel rooms, 30 Buddha palaces, 84temple halls and more than 30 Tibetan styled penthouses. Labrang Monastery is said to have one of the best Buddhism teaching systems at present. A must visit place for Architecture enthusiasts and those who like Buddhism and Buddhist temples.

labrang monastery china tourism

Image: Labrang Monastery

  • Admission Fee: 40 yuan
  • Best time to visit: September to December

Maiji Mountain

This 215 square kilometers wide scenic area is located 50 kilometers towards the southeast of the city of Tianshui. One of the Four Great Grottoes in China likes on Maiji Mountain – the Maiji Mountain GrottoesMain attractions:- Maiji Mountain, Stone Gate, Quxi River and Xianren Cliff.

  • Admission fee: 70 yuan
  • Best time to visit: July to October

Jiayu Pass

Located in the city of Jiayuguan. One side of the pass lies the snow-covered Qilian Mountains and the Longshou (Dragon’s head) and Mazong (Horse’s mane) mountains rise up to its north. The 1372 built building has two layers of walls – the outer (made of mud; except the western wall – which is brick made) and inner wall. The double wall structre mainly signifies the strategic role of this building.

  • Admission fee: 101 yuan (May 1 to Oct 31)

                                  61 yuan (Nov 1 to Apr 30)

  • Best time to visit: May to October

Yueya Spring

This scenic spring spot lies in a desert and is one of the best tourist attractions of Dunhuang City, Gansu, China and is surrounded by the Mingsha Mountains. The peculiarity of Mingsha Mountain is that it is surrounded by the echo-making sands and thus giving it the name – Echoing-Sand Mountain.There are a lot of spots in Yueya spring where you can do sand surfing, camel riding and also there are sand spas which you can try out!

Yueya Spring china tourism

Image: Yueya spring

  • Admission fee: 120 yuan (Apr 1 – Oct 31)

                                  80 yuan (Nov 1 – Mar 31)

  • Best time to visit: Summer and autumn

Mogao Grottoes

One of the best Grottoes (caves) in China. Contains rich collection of Buddhist arts in the entire world. Also known by the name Thousand Buddha Cave. The first cave in Mogao Grottoes is built in 366 by Yue Seng, which was later continued by several dynasties and now is one of the world’s best group of caves! As of now, there are 492 caves and have more than 2000 colored statues.

Mogao Grottoes caves china tourism

Gansu Province Dunhuang China The Mogao Caves

Image: Mogao Grottoes (caves)

  • Admission fee: 160 yuan (Chinese)

                                 180 yuan (foreigners) (Apr 1 – Oct 31);

                                  80 yuan – 120 yuan (Nov 1 – Mar 31)

  • Best time to visit: Summer and autumn

Besides the visual treat, you have a lot of local cuisines to enjoy while you are in Gansu. Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles is a popular one among them which has earned a lot of fan following.

  • Drinks to try out: Local spirits named Zhangye and Yak milk.
  • How to reach: The nearest Airport is Lanzhou.
  • How to travel around: There is a well connected high speed train network all around the province. The public transport system will be further enhanced once the Metro rails are opened (supposed to be in 2018). If you want to visit local attractions, you will have to use public buses, if you aren’t hiring a taxi. And yes, you wont find a lot of English speaking people around, so get ready to communicate non-verbally too 🙂

Foreigners has to get an insurance for local bus trips, which are charged twice for the fare when compared to the locals.