Gansu Ruins and fortress on the Silk Road

Gansu Travel Guide of China

Things to do in Gansu

  • Dunhuang Crescent Lake

    Dunhuang Crescent Lake

  • Mogao Caves

    Mogao Caves

  • Langmusi


  • Labrang Monastery

    Labrang Monastery

  • Sangke Prairie

    Sangke Prairie

  • Jiayuguan Fortress

    Jiayuguan Fortress

The top sites in Gansu >>

Within the confines of the Middle Kingdom is the desert region of Gansu, marked by the west end of the Great Wall. Now part of the Chinese territory, this autonomous region of Hui ethnic group is a mixture of sandy landscapes, valleys and mountains. Read through our travel guide of Gansu, the former crossing the Silk Road in the Muslim and Buddhist land where people and their ideas were implemented.

Gansu Overview

For a long time, Gansu was regarded as the Western Empire of the Middle Kingdom. Mainly composed of desert, the Chinese conquest stopped at Jiayuguan, the western end of the Great Wall. Keeping the Hexi Corridor, 1,200 kilometers, the lands being lost to the west were the place of banishment of bad Chinese citizens.
Yet, the Silk Road was already crossing these deserts to bring goods and ideas in China. This is why we find from many cities, commercial crossroads of the time.
Gansu is also a multiethnic region with varied landscapes. Through the desert, the Hui ethnic group, Kazakhs ethnic group, the Uighurs and Mongols exchanged their ideas while the South marks the beginning of the Tibetan plateau and the verdant region of Amdo. All these people live in harmony in the different parts of Gansu and leave traces of their culture and religion.

Things to do in Gansu

As the passage of the Silk Road, the most important site of the Gansu is the Mogao caves in Dunhuang. Other Buddhist works are remarkable in the Gansu region such as the Maijishan caves, Bingling Temple and Matisi.
Being mainly a desert region, a small journey in the desert of Gobi is a must for visitors. The fortress of Jiayuaguan and the Overhanging Great Wall are also not far from there.
During a trip in Amdo, nicknamed little Tibet, you should not miss the Labrang Monastery, along with the great Buddhist monastery outside Tibet.
Lastly, in the centre Gansu lies the natural geopark of Zhangye Danxia with multicolored peaks

Best time to visit Gansu 

With the exception of southern Gansu, the rest of the province suffers from a severe drought. Due to the vast desert region it rarely rains in Gansu and sand storms are fairly common, especially in the spring. Winters can be quite cold but nothing insurmountable. In Amdo, the higher the altitude, the colder it is. The best time to visit the south of the province is in the spring and fall but some dust storms can reach Lanzhou at any time.

  • Best time to visit

    May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. 
  • Altitude

    1400M Altitude Gansu
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