Lanzhou is one of the central cities in northwestern China. Its history is super long (5,000+) years, and its folk customs, food choices and sights make it an interesting tourist spot for anyone who finds themself here for a day or two. While here, be sure to check out the oldest standing building in China, a pretty awesome pagoda set on the side of a picturesque hill, a “majestic” wetlands area, and the world’s largest waterwheel park!
1) Wuquanshan Park 五泉山公园 View In Map
Located at the north foot of Gaolan Mountain south of Lanzhou, Wuquanshan Park has over 2,000 years of history! Many of its current buildings were built during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Inside of the Sung Hing Temple (崇庆寺), you will find the Diamond Hall (金刚殿), which was built in the first year of the first Ming emperor Hangwu (also 1368), and it is apparently the oldest standing building in China. Inside of this super-ancient building is the well-preserved casting of the Hangwu emperor himself, as well as a 20,000 pound bronze Buddha statue.
Also Check out Qianfoge, which is located on the side of a cliff, to see some more Buddhist statues and such (you also get a nice view of the Yellow River). If you happen to visit on the 8th day of the fourth month (according to the lunar calendar) you can also participate in a "temple fair" and watch some Buddhist monks do various holy activities. There is also a flower exhibition and various folk culture activities that might be going on. If you go during Spring Festival, you can also visit an annual lantern exhibition. Good luck and plan accordingly!
Address: North foot of the Gaolan Mountains, south of Lanzhou, Gansu Province
Opening Hours: 06:00 - 18: 00
Admission: 5 RMB per adult, children under 1.4 meters 2.5 RMB
Transportation: From the city, ride the No. 8, 18, 31, 33, 34, 76, 101, 102, 106 bus and get off at the Wuquanshan stop (五泉山站)
2) Baitashan Park 白塔山公园View In Map
Baitashan (White Pagoda Hill) Park is located outside of Lanzhou city proper on the north shore of the Yellow River. The park gets its name from the pagoda that was constructed at the top of the hill to commemorate a Tibetan lama who died in Lanzhou on his way to Mongolia. The white pagoda is 17m tall, and made of solid brick. South of the pagoda is Baitasi, the main temple(白塔寺) ; north is a Bodhisattva Hall; and there are other various small temples to the east and west. In Baitasi, you can look at the "Town Mountain Three Treasures" (镇山三宝), which include, an elephant skin drum, a bronze bell, and a Bauhinia tree (which is now dead). Climb to the top of the hill and you get a nice panorama of Lanzhou, the White Pagoda, and the Iron Bridge that crosses over the Yellow River. In the park, also stop by the "Yellow River Rare Stone Museum" and Yugur Minority (裕固族) reception area.
Address: Beibinhai Zhong Lu, Lanzhou
Opening hours: 6:00 - 18:00
Price: 3 RMB adult, children under 1.4 meters 1.5 RMB
Best time to travel: early June to mid-September
Transport: ride No. 20, 35, 53, 131 bus to the Baitashan Park Station 白塔山公园站
3) Silver Beach Wetland Park 银滩湿地公园 View In Map
Silver Beach Wetland Park is the only wetland park on the Yellow River in Gansu Province. As this park is wetlands, the fluctuations in water level of the Yellow River and the change in season dramatically change the park’s scenery, making this an interesting place to visit any time of the year. The park has ten main attractions areas, and is currently divided into four scenic lake areas: Shuiqin Lake (水禽湖), Yujie Lake (玉洁湖), Yuyue Lake (鱼跃湖), and Houniao Lake (候鸟湖). The whole area has 22 bridges, nine grass pavilions, many types of fish, and more than ten species of duck. It is quite a sight, walking along the one-metre elevated wooden bridges throughout the park, so go at either dawn or dusk, and bring your camera!
Add: Beibinhe Lu (western section), north of the Silver Beach Yellow River Bridge in Anning District, Lanzhou
Opening hours: 6:30 - 20:30
Getting there: ride the No. 26, 80 bus to Silver Beach Bridge stop (银滩大桥西), or the No. 121 bus to Silver Beach Great Bridge stop (银滩大桥站)
4) Lanzhou Waterwheel Park 兰州水车博览园 View In Map
Located on the Yellow River, the Lanzhou Waterwheel Park boasts the largest number and variety of any waterwheel-themed park in the world! The park is divided into three parts: the "waterwheel garden", the waterwheel public square, and the cultural plaza. It is well known to both Chinese an foreign waterwheel "enthusiasts", as it has collected waterwheels from China and abroad, and brought them together to showcase the different shapes, sizes and styles of waterwheel. Visiting this place is quite surreal, as the Yellow River rages into the park; it causes all of the waterwheels to spin nonstop all around you. This is definitely a unique place to get that "wish you were here" picture taken at.
Add: Binhedong Lu, south of Lanzhou. Southbank of the Yellow River, 1 km east of the Huáng Hé Dàqiáo bridge (黄河大桥).
Price: 10 RMB
Opening hours: 08:00 - 18:00 (20:00 in the summer)
Getting there: ride the No. 140, 26 bus to the park (you can't miss it; there are a bunch of waterwheels here!)
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Keywords: Lanzhou parks Lanzhou Wuquanshan Park Lanzhou White Pagoda Hill Park Lanzhou Waterwheel Park Lanzhou Silver Beach Wetland Park Lanzhou Baitaishan Park
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