The Yellow River, also known as the Mother River of China, winds its way from its source in the Bayan Har Mountains of Qinghai Province thousands of kilometres through nine provinces in Northern China. The Yellow River runs through Lanzhou at the foot of the Jiuzhou Mountain, making it remarkably enough the only major city through which the river intersects during its long course. The landscape along the river in Lanzhou is quite spectacular, prompting the city to open up the country’s first scenery trail along the river. This 50 kilometre long trail has become the pride and joy of locals who like to refer to it as “the Bund of Lanzhou.”
The trail runs for approximately 50 kilometres between the industrial areas of Xiliugou in the west to the Sangyuan Xia area of Chengguan District in the east. The trail is a great place for a bike trip in the spring and autumn months when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Along the route you will find covered corridors where you can get some shade from the scorching sun, as well as a host of statues like the Mother Yellow River Statue, the Green Hope Statue and the Journey to the West Statue. Among the other sights you will see on your way along the riverbanks are the East Lake Music Fountain, Yellow River Music Fountain, Man and Nature Square, Longyuan Garden, Sports Garden, Spring Garden, Summer Garden as well as the Green Garden.
Tourists can rent bikes in the city centre and follow the route below running from east to west:
The Bund of the Yellow River – Mother Yellow River Statue – the Waterwheel Exhibition Garden – Yellow River Iron Bridge – Baitashan park.
Recommended place for bike rental:
Add: West Station, Lanzhou
Tel: 130 9910 4363
Rental fee: 1 day: 5 RMB, 3 days: 10 RMB, 1 week: 20 RMB. These bikes are suitable for biking in the city area as well as on the Yellow River Scenery Trail.
Note: When biking on the Scenery Trail, it is a good idea to choose a day with no or only light wind.
Mother Yellow River Statue
The Mother Yellow River Statue is located on the south side of the middle section of Binhe Lu, stretching along the river next to the northern side of the Xiaoxihu Park. It is considered to be the most beautiful among the statues lining the river, having won a prize at the first national competition of city sculptures. The statue is six metres long, two metres wide, weighs 40 tonnes, and is the work of the famous female Gansu sculptor He E. The statue consists of a mother and a son representing the Yellow River nourishing the Chinese Nation. This attraction is not surprisingly, a very popular place for local tourists to take the ubiquitous group photo.
Yellow River Waterwheel Park
The Yellow River Waterwheel Park is located on the western part of Binhe Lu, neighbouring the Yellow River Iron Bridge to the east and the Mother Yellow River Statue to the west. If your are interested in old Lanzhou, this is probably the most worthwhile attraction along the trail, since these waterwheels, resembling the wheels of ancient war chariots, were the traditional way of irrigating the fields in the old days. The biggest wheel in the park has a spoke length of approximately 20 metres and the smallest of around 10 metres. To watch these waterwheels carry the water to a height of 15-18 metres is a very impressive sight. Other sights in the park include double waterwheels, dams and a water powered grinding mill.
Zhongshan Iron Bridge
Lanzhou’s Zhongshan Bridge located on the northern side of the middle stretch of Binhe Lu below Baidashan Mountain, is popularly known as the Zhongshan Iron Bridge or the Yellow River Iron Bridge. It was built in 1907 during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, and is the oldest bridge in Lanzhou. It became known as the “First Bridge under Heaven of the Yellow River” because it was the first real bridge to be built spanning the river. Even today, despite there being numerous new bridges, locals still consider this bridge the most important and meaningful.
If all the biking around makes you hungry, then we strongly recommend that you visit the food street located around 200 metres to the east of the Yellow River Iron Bridge. Here you can find all kinds of snacks, but of course above all you can sit down and enjoy a bowl of steaming Lanzhou noodles. Lanzhou noodles are probably the most famous product of the city, known and loved throughout the Middle Kingdom. The noodles used are always freshly made, often in front of the guests by chefs who with amazing speed can transform a handful of dough into hundreds of fine threads of noodle in a matter of seconds. The noodles are boiled in a beef broth, sprinkled with turnip and beef slices and lastly seasoned with fresh coriander and chilli oil. A visit to a noodle restaurant in this noodle capital of China is definitely a not-to-miss experience.
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Keywords: Lanzhou yellow river yellow river scenery trail Lanzhou biking cycling routes Lanzhou
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