Recommended tourist itineraries
Located in western Gansu, Dunhuang was a strategic point on the Silk Road, which linked China to the Western Region. As the starting point of the three routes of the Silk Road that passed through present-day Xinjiang, it was where the incoming and outgoing travelers and traders had to pass through. The itinerary includes Dunhuang, the Mogao Grottoes, the Dunhuang Museum, Mingshashan, and the Yumenguan Pass.
Details of the tour
Gansu lies along the most flourishing section of the ancient Silk Road. People who want to tour Gansu can take, according to their needs, any of the following three routes along the Silk Road.
The western route. This route starts from Lanzhou and runs 1, 148 kilometers westward to Dunhuang, passing through Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiuquan, and the Jiayuguan Pass. This itinerary includes the Han tomb that yielded the famous bronze galloping horse (now the logo of Chinese tourism) at Leitaisi in Wuwei; the priceless Western Xia-Chinese bilingual stone inscription, also in Wuwei; the world's largest sleeping Buddha at the Dafosi in Zhangye; the world's largest sitting Buddha at the Dafosi in Shandan; the tourist area in Sunan, which features the lifestyle and customs of the Yugur ethnic group, the beautiful grasslands, and the fascinating Matisi cave art; the historical site dating from the Western Han period in Jiuquan's Quanhu Park; the magnificent Jiayuguan Fort; the famous Mogao Grottoes, the spectacular Resonant Sand Dunes, the Crescent Moon Spring, Gobi deserts, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains in Dunhuang. Heading westward from Dunhuang, you can reach Turpan and Urumqi in Xinjiang. If you travel southward from Dunhuang, you can get to Lhasa or Xining via Golmud.
The eastern route. This route leads eastward from Lanzhou to Qingyang, passing through Tianshui and Pingliang. You can visit a number of historical monuments along the route including the Majishan Grottoes referred to as the Museum of Eastern Sculpture Art and the terrace on which Fuxi was said to have created the Eight Trigrams used in divination in ancient times in Tianshui; Kongtong Mountain, the number one Taoist mountain in China and the Palace of the Queen Mother of the West in Pingliang; as well as the Northern Caves, cave-dwellings, and handicraft in Qingyang. Traveling eastward from Qingyang, you can get to Xi'an, Shaanxi via Baoji, and reach Guyuan and Yinchuan in Ningxia if you head northward.
The southern route. Totaling 280 kilometers, the southern route starts at Lanzhou, passes Linxia, and ends at Xiahe. The region along the route has lush pastures and a strong presence of the Hui and Tibetan ethnic groups. Traveling along this route you can visit the spectacular Binglingsi Grottoes, which are also known as the Hundred Thousand Buddha Caves; the Moslem Town of Linxia and its magnificent Nanguan Mosque as well as its brick carvings. You can also visit Xiahe, the Tibetan monastery town, which is often referred to as the Lesser Tibet, and its Labrang Monastery, Gongtang Pagoda, and beautiful Sangke Grasslands. Traveling 700 kilometers southward from Xiahe, you will get to the beautiful Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area in Sichuan and reach Xining in Qinghai if you ride 343 kilometers northwestward.
Located on the Loess Plateau, Gansu is a vital communications hub a hugely elongated sprawl from east to west. There are airports in Lanzhou, Dunhuang, and Jiayuguan. More than 100 flights are available weekly on over 20 air routes that connect Lanzhou to 26 major cities in China. In addition, there are chartered flights operating between Lanzhou and Hong Kong. Every day, 90 trains leave Lanzhou, one of China's major railway junctions, for other parts of the country. All the tourist attractions along the three routes designed for standard Gansu tours are easily accessible by national or provincial highways.
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