Archive for the ‘Gansu Travel’ Category

How to Get to Dunhuang

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
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Planning your Dunhuang Tour? Dunhuang (敦煌) once commanded a very important strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road along the narrow Gansu Corridor which was extended to the north Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang’ans and Luoyang.

Dunhuang is a small town with wide sidewalks and easy walking narrow lanes connecting markets and squares. You can easily explore the downtown area of Dunhuang on your own. most of the highlights in Dunhuang are out of the town such as Dunhuang Museum, Mogao Caves, Crescent Lake, Echoing Sand, Yadan National Geopark, Yumenguan Pass and Yangguan Pass.

Now Dunhuang is easily accessible by flight, rail and road. Xian, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Jiayuguan and Turpan remain the most visited cities where you change for flights, trains and even buses coming to Dunhuang.

Rail Travel to Dunhuang
Rail travel is a most popular way of travel to Dunhuang. Dunhuang Railway Station is located 12km in the northeast of Dunhuang city center. Currently overnight trains are available from Lanzhou and Xian to Dunhuang. Getting on the trains in the evening and arriving at Dunhuang in the morning next day, a good time for planning a day trip in Dunhuang.

Dunhuang Railway Station
Tel: 0937 – 5959562

Dunhuang Railway Station
Dunhuang Railway Station

Get from the Dunhuang Railway Station to Dunhuang city center
1) Public Bus: Exit from the station, on our right side, there is a special shuttle bus ( Bus No.03 ) from the station to Shazhou Market (Fengqing Street), the most commercial area and the city center of Dunhuang. Bus fare: 1 yuan.
2) Taxi: 5 yuan

Note: 128km to the north of Dunhuang is located Liuyuan Railway Station (柳园火车站). There are more trains arriving at Liuyuan Railway Station from Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Jinan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Lanzhou and Urumqi. You may take a taxi ( 100 yuan ) or share a car ( 30 yuan ) from Liuyuan Railway Station to Dunhuang.

Flight Travel to Dunhuang
Dunhuang Airport is located 15km in the east of Dunhuang. There are flights available from Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xian,Urumqi, Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. Among them, the flights from Xian and Lanzhou are fixed and run all the year round; other flights are not available in winter season and you should check in advance.

The flights to Dunhuang are usually expensive without any discounts and you may take trains or travel overland instead.

Dunhuang Airport
Tel: 0937-8866133

Dunhuang Airport
Dunhuang Airport

As a small airport, the airport has airport shuttle buses only there are coming arrival flights, bus fare 15 yuan and 20 minutes. There are no shuttle buses from the city of Dunhuang to Dunhaung airport, and you have to take a taxi, 40 yuan for the 15km taxi ride.

Overland Travel to Dunhuang
Dunhuang Bus Station is located at No.25, Mingsha Road, just opposite to Feitian Hotel ( 飞天宾馆 ) in Dunhuang. Tel: 0937 – 8822174.

There are daily buses from Dunhuang to Crescent Lake and Echoing Sand, Jiayuguan. There are also buses to Qiuquan, Xian, Hami, Golmud and Urumqi.

Dunhuang Bus Station
Dunhuang Bus Station

Jiayuguan: about 4.5 hours
Lanzhou: about 20 hours
Golmud: about 15 hours

When to Visit in Dunhuang
All the attraction sites in Dunhuang are open all year round. The best time to visit Dunhuang falls between May and October, but avoid visiting Dunhuang during the public holidays such as May 1-3 for Labor Day Holiday and October 1-7 for National Day. The summer temperature can reach 30 or 40 degrees, so be well prepared for the hot weather, bringing your hat, long-sleeve clothes, sun glasses and sunblock cream.

Dunhuang in Winter
Dunhuang in Winter

The low tourist season from November to April is not suitable for traveling Dunhuang, with potential sandstorms. All the sights in Dunhuang offer discounted half prices. There are very few vendors in the downtown area and even some big stores are closed.

Where to Stay in Dunhuang
Budget Hotels
Charley Johng’s Hostel: 3F,11 Qingcheng Tel: 13893763029
Dune Guesthouse: Tel: 13893763029
Five Rings Hotel: 20 Ming Shan Road. Tel 0937 -8836574
Feitian Hotel: Dunhuang, 22 Mingshan Road. Tel 0937 -8822726

Standard Hotels
Grand Sun Hotel Dunhuang: 5 North Shazhou Road. Tel: 0937 8829998
Dunhuang Hotel: 14 Yangguan East Road. Tel: 0937 8822538
Dunhuang Legend Hotel: Mingshan Road Tel: 0937 – 8853888

Deluxe Room at Building 8 of Dunhuang Hotel
Deluxe Room at Building 8 of Dunhuang Hotel

Deluxe Hotels
Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel: Dunyue Road. Tel: 0937 8882088

What to See in Dunhuang
Dunhuang is a small town with wide sidewalks and easy walking narrow lanes connecting markets and squares. You can easily explore the downtown area of Dunhuang on your own. most of the highlights in Dunhuang are out of the town such as Dunhuang Museum, Mogao Caves, Crescent Lake, Echoing Sand, Yadan National Geopark, Yumenguan Pass and Yangguan Pass.

Dunhuang Museum: Located at Mingshan Road and it is a 15-minute walk from the central town ; 8:00am – 6:30pm. This newly opened museum displays the artifacts ranging from prehistorical to Qing Dynasty. It is free, but you need to bring your passport for registration.

Mogao Caves: Mogao grottoes is synonymous with Dunhuang, the junction of Silk Road and a must to see. Some of the most amazing art works of buddhist sculptures
& wall paintings with history dated back 1700 years over 10 dynasties.

Murals from Mogao Caves
Murals from Mogao Caves

Echoing Sand Mountain: The Mingsha Mountain, or Echoing-sand Mountain, is located 7 kilometers away from the city center of Dunhuang.
The reason that it is called Echo Sand Mountain is due to the fact The sand produces some echo or noise when the wind blows, hence the name of the Singing or Echoing Sand Mountain or Sand Dunes. People can have a fun of sand surfing or camel riding on the desert.

Crescent Moon Lake: The Crescent Moon Lake is an amazing place where you can see desert meeting the oasis in the most spectacular fashion.
A spring in the middle of the sand dunes in a shape of the moon and a temple built on the side of it, a breath-taking scene.

Yadan National Geopark: Yadan National Geological Park ( Yadan Landforms or Ghost City) is located on 185 km northwest of from Dunhuang city center. “Yadan” means “steep hill” Uyghur. The locals call the area Ghost City because you can hear the sand whispering when the wind blows especially at night. Your entrance ticket allows you to be on a bus tour to stop for 4 locations – peacock, lion, sphinx and armada of western sea and you need your own imagination to enjoy the natural arts.

Yadan National Geopark
Yadan National Geopark

Yumenguan Pass: Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) was origally built by Emperor Wudi of Han dynasty soon after 121 BC. Yumen Pass was one of the two most west fortresses
(Yumen Pass and Yuanguan Pas) on the ancient Silk Road. Once you pass these two gates, you are in the Western Regions and it was part of the road connecting Central Asia and
China. You may stop on your way to Yadan Geopark and you need a lot of imagination and knowledge to fully appreciate the historical site.

Yangguan Pass: Yangguan Pass is the 2nd pass of the two most west fortresses (Yanguan Pass and Yumen Pass) of the ancient Silk Road. It was established at the same time
as Yumen Pass by the order of Emperor Wudi of Han dynasty. Yangguan Pass is 70 km to the southwest of from Dunhuang city center. Now the only remain is the broken beacon tower. Yangguan Museum is built onsite based on the old Yang Guan of the Han Dynasty.

Yulin Grottoes: Also known as Yulin Caves, located about 180km south of Dunhuang with 40 caves ( 9:00am – 5:00pm). The grottoes are opposite to each other perched in a valley with a history over 1500 years from Northern Wei to Qing Dynasty. The frescoes here are bettered preserved than those in Mogao Caves with little oxidation.

Local Cuisines in Dunhuang
Local people like to eat Lamb and mutton, and are good at making noodles. The food in Dunhuang is a bit spicy. There are many food vendors at Shazhou Night Market, where you can taste the flavors from all Gansu Province – nooldes, barbecue, skewers and etc. Small eateries are also found in the narrow lanes nearby.

If you prefer a quiet place to dine out or drink, you may go to the restaurants near Feitian Hotel on Mingsha Road.

What to Buy in Dunhuang
Dunhuang is not only a tourist destination, but also a shopping paradise where you can find numerous souvenirs and special products. Most of the shopping malls and markets are located in the city center, like Feitian Department Store, Tianma Department Store, Shazhou Market, and Nanguan Zhonghe Market.

Dunhuang Walking Street ( on Mingshan Road ) and Shazhou Market (on East Yangguan Road) are the most popular places for shopping. Dunhuang Colored sculptures, Dunhaung dates and Dunhuang wine are the special local products.

Nightlife in Dunhuang
In summer, the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel hosts a beer garden at the entrance to the grounds. The lane behind Charley’s Johng’s Hostel has a row of stylish bars and cafes.
John’s cafe (22 Mingshan Road) in the parking lot of the Feitian Hotel with Reasonably priced western meals available. Oasis Cafe is on the Pedestrian
Street has good coffee, milkshakes, and a small menu with pizza and hamburgers.

Dunhuang Goddess is an 80-minute performance based on the story from Mogao Caves. It is held at the Dunhuang Theatre.

Dunhuang Travel Tips
1. Don’t travel alone in the desert or Yadan National Geopark. Well prepared for the changeable temperature on the desert.
2. Bring with you an aid kit while you travel on the west region in China.
3. Leave nothing but prints and photos.
4. Respect the local customs and traditions.
5. Be always vigilant against possible tourist scams and theft.
6. Well-prepared for your travel plan.
7. Dunhuang Hospital: No.20, Yangguan East Road Tel: 0937 – 8859088
8. Dunhuang Pst Office: No.01,Yangguan East Road Tel: 0937 – 8822986
9. Tourist Information Center: No.08, Xinjian Road, Dunhuang Tel: 0937 – 8851578

Tip:  Hassle-free Dunhuang Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Dunhuang Guided Tours:

Dunhuang Highlight Day Tour    from US$ 119 p/p
Dunhuang Excursion Day Tour   from US$ 89 p/p
Dunhuang 4 Day Tour  from US$ 159 p/p

Further Readings


How to get to Dunhuang
Dunhuang Trip
Top 10 Places in Gansu

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Make a Day Trip to Maijishan Grottoes from Xian

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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If  you are in the process of planning your Xian tour, you may consider making a day trip to Maijishan Grottoes, oft-lauded as one of the four most famous ancient Buddhist grottoes in China. The other three grottoes are Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Yungang Caves in Datong and Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang.

The Maijishan Grottoes Scenic Area is located 30 km south of Maiji District (麦积区) of Tianshui City (天水市). As an individual traveler, the best option for you to go to Maijishan Grottoes from Xian is taking a 3-hour train from Xian Railway Station (not Xian North Railway Station).

When you arrive at Tianshui Railway Station, you will see a signboard pointing to Bus 34, a shuttle bus going from Tianshui Railway Station to the parking lot attached to Maijishan Grottoes. The Bus 34 is on the right side of the square in front of Tianshui Railway Station if you exit from the railway building (about 50 meters away on your right direction).  Bus 34 Bus fare RMB 5, a 50-minutes bus ride.

There are several daily passing-by trains going from Xian to Tianshui. You can easily purchase  your  Xian  to Tianshui train tickets from  any of the ticketing offices dotted around Xian, or you may go to Xian Railway Station or Xian North Railway Station ( but you should take the Tianshui-bound train at Xian Railway Station) to book your train tickets. If you are going to Visit Maijishan Grottoes on weekend or China public holidays, you’ d better book your train tickets in advance.

Your whole return day trip from Xian to Maijishan Grottoes and back to Xian takes about 10 hours – 6 hour return train ride between Xian and Tianshui, plus 2 hours return bus ride between Tianshui Railway Station and Maijishan Grottoes and 2 hour sightseeing at Maijishan. So you’d better off booking your train ticket from Xian to Tianshui with departure time between 5:30 am and 8:00 am and return ticket from Tianshui to Xian between 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm.

Currently all the trains stopping at Tianshui are passing-by trains on their way from Beijing to the western cities like Lanzhou, Xining and so on. Only two kinds  of train tickets are available for the 3-hour train ride – hard seat and hard sleeper and no soft sleeper. It is preferable to reserve a hard sleeper to give you quiet space for a long and tiring day trip. Bring some snacks with you since there are hardly any western food restaurants in Tianjinshui except McDonald’s and Kentucky.

Maijishan, or Maiji Mountain is 142 meters high with an altitude of 1742 meters .  The hill is large in the middle part and a bit narrow at the bottom and the flat top, resembling a wheat stack, hence the name of Maiji – a wheat stack in Chinese. One of the glamour Buddhist grottoes areas along the ancient silk road, Maijishan Grottoes were originally built in late Qin ( 384AD and 417AD ) of sixteen states period., developed and expanded through the successive dynasties ranging from North Wei, Zhou, Sui, Tang, Song and Ming dynasties.

The red-looking Maijinshan is a Danxia landform, relatively easier for grottoes carving. Currently there are 221 remaining grottoes, over 7000 statues and 10000 square meters of murals. Carved between 30 meters and 80 meters in the side cliffs of Maijinshan, visitors now need to climb up the cat-walks and spiral stairways to see these caves.

The caves are hewn from the rocks on the side cliffs, but the statues inside these caves are not carved from the same rocks. Instead the statutes are mainly composed of 3 kinds – stone as core covered with clay, clay statutes, clay carving mixed with other materials ( wood ). What distinguish the grottoes in Maijishan from other same their those in Datong, Mogao and Yungan is  that most of the a Buddhist statues are clay carvings. The clay statues still keep a large mount of pigment.  The clay statues in Maijishan are vivid, personalised with more secular life descriptions. It is worth your 10-hours round trip from Xian.

Well, follow me to have a glimpse of Maijishan Grottoes from Xian.

Arriving at 9:00am at Tianshui Railway Station which is located at Maiji District, one of the two districts in Tianshui.  Walk out from the Exit, raise your head,  you will see a large sign hanging on a cement pole in the middle of the  square in front of the railway building. The sign points to the starting place for the Bus 34,  50 meters on the right side of the square.

The first bus leaves at 6:00 and last bus at 9:00pm. Get ready for RMB 5 to be put inside the slot for the 50-minute bus ride from the station to the parking lot of Maijinshan Grottoes. The bus leaves every 13 minutes. Line up at the front door to get a seat on the bus and get off the bus at the middle door at your destination.

The Yellow Colored Bus 34 going to Maijishan

The Yellow Colored Bus 34 going to Maijishan

It is a scenic bus ride from the train station to Maijinshan Grottoes – fresh air, green mountains and typical Chinese villagers.

A scenic bus ride from the train station to Maijishan Grottos

A scenic bus ride from the train station to Maijishan Grottos

Getting off from your bus and walk to the ticketing office by the entrance – Chinese traditional decorated gate. Entrance fee: RMB 70 and RMB 15 for a return electric car which brings you up to the base of Maijishan and back. It is worth taking the golf cart for the fast and comfortable ride otherwise you need to walk another 3km to get to the base of Maijinshan.

The electric car service saves your time for a 3 km walk.

The electric car service saves your time for a 3 km walk.

The decorated entrance gate to Maijishan Grottoes

The Decorated Chinese traditional entrance gate to Maijinshan

The Decorated Chinese traditional entrance gate to Maijinshan

Get off from the electric cart,  you still need to walk up about 500 meters to the bottom of Maijinshan Mountain, passing by along a long string of food  and souvenir stalls. Before starting your climb up to Maijin Hill, you’d better locate a good spot to take a panoramic picture of Maijishan Mountain with grottoes.

The east side cliff of Maiji Hill

The grottoes on the east side of the cliff

The grottoes on the east side of the cliff

The west side cliff of Maiji Mountain

The grottoes on the west side cliff

The grottoes on the west side cliff

Just follow a single trail up to the hill along the zigzag stairways taking you to different caves with good English captions introducing each major cave. Some caves are closed for protections and you have to see through the wire fence windows. The visit on the mountain caves takes about 2 hours.

Climb up the catwalk with guard rails

Spiral Catwalks

Spiral Catwalks

The zigzag stairway leading to the caves caved on the cliffs.Walking up toward to the Grotto No. 013. Built in Sui Dynasty ( 518AD-618AD), and later rebuilt in Song Dynasty. The grotto contains a huge high-relief stone frame clay sculptures of the Buddha in the middle and flanked by two Bodhisattva, 15.70  meters high, the largest  statues in the Maiji Mountain.

Walking up along the zigzag catwalk.

Walking up along the zigzag catwalk.

Have a close look at the trinity of Buddha and two Bodhisattva.

A close look at the giant statues

A close look at the giant statues

This is the Grotto No. 009, known as Middle Seven Buddha Pavilion.  A large pavilion is perched in front of the seven niches housing the seven buddhist statues. The grotto was built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557 – 581) and rebuilt in Song, Ming and Qin dynasties.

The Seven Buddha Pavilion

The Seven Buddha Pavilion

Zoom in one of the seven niches with a clear picture of the clay statue with vivid facial expressions.

Look at one of the seven niches

Look at one of the seven niches

Continue to move on to Grotto No.003. Also originally built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty. It is a long corridor pavilion, 36.5 meters, a representative art of early wood structures. The upper and lower rows of Buddha, hence the name of One Thousand Buddha Corridor.

The One Thousand Buddha Corridor

The One Thousand Buddha Corridor

The statues at the long corridor are seen through the mesh grills.

The statues are seen through the mesh grills.

The statues are seen through the mesh grills.

Continue to walk up to the Grotto No.004, also built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty ( 518AD – 618AD). It is known as Upper Seven Buddha Pavilion.

The Seven Buhhda Pavilion

The Seven Buhhda Pavilion

Have a close look at the statues inside the Upper Seven Buddha Pavilion.

Look at the statues inside the Upper Seven Buddha Pavilion

Look at the statues inside the Upper Seven Buddha Pavilion

Narrow catwalk support numerous visitors. High on the catwalk with a panoramic view of the surrounding lush mountains.

Standing on the spiral

Standing on the spiral catwalk

Some caves are closed for repair.

Some caves are closed

Some caves are closed

After the 2-hour visit of the Maijin Mountain, walk down to the parking lot for the bus returning to Tianshui railway Station for a 3-hour train back to Xian.

If you have any questions, just drop a line.

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Gansu

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
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Plan your Gansu Tour in autumn? Gansu Province has a varied landscape with wide species of plants. Its north is the famous Hexi Corridor flanked by Qilian Mountains and Longshou Mountains; its south is the transitional area from the loess to Qinghai -Tibetan Plateau; its east part is dominated by the mountainous areas and the loess plateau.

Its diversity of landscapes and plants offer Gansu much photography opportunity when autumn comes, red maples, golden poplar trees, white reeds, yellow alpine meadows, presenting a palette of colors pleasing your eyes.

If you plan to visit Gansu in autumn, we are going to reveal you the best places to see the foliage in Gansu. The late September and October are the best time to enjoy the autumn colors in Gansu.

1. Red Colors at Xinglong Mountain National Nature Reserve 榆中兴隆山赏红叶
Xinglong Mountain National Nature Reserve is within Yuzhong County, about 45 km to the southeast of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu. The nature reserve has an area of 29583.6 hectares, at the altitude between 1800 m and 3670 m, yearly average temperature around 4.1 ℃, annual precipitation 621 mm. Xinglong Mountain is composed of two peaks with a stream running through in the middle.

Autumn is the most beautiful season in Xinglong Mountain which is blanketed by the multi-colored  red leaves of maple trees. The cascading colors covering the mountain, a stunning autumn view, not overshadowed by “The Red Leaves of Fragrant Hill in Beijing”.

 Red Colors at Xinglong Mountain National Nature Reserve

Red Colors at Xinglong Mountain National Nature Reserve

2. Autumn View at Zhangye Heihe National Wetland Park 张掖黑河国家湿地公园秋色
Zhangye is an ancient town on the middle of the Hexi Corridor synonymous with the Silk Road. Zhangye is located on the delta formed by the Heihe River. Zhangye Heihe Wetland Park is on the northern suburb of Zhangye, with an area of 1733 hectares, closely connected with the city of Zhangye. The wetland park is an important part of the eco-system of the Zhangye oasis in the dry inland area. In addition to the Hei He River feeding the wetland, the water in the wetland also comes from the underground.

Zhangye wetland features a varied landscapes of rivers, marshes, wet meadows, man made lakes, ponds, a multi-forms of wetlands. Autumn is a  good time to visit the wetland.  When autumn comes, Zhangye Heihe National Wetland Park turns into a glistering ocean of golden reeds, a touch of solitude and tranquility.

3. Autumn Scene at Zha Ga Na Mountain 甘南扎尕那
Zha Ga Na Mountain is witin Zagana Dongwa Village, Yiwa Township, Diebu County, Ganna Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province.  It takes about 7 hours’ drive from Lanzhou to Diebu County and another 28km from the seat of  Diebu County to Zhagana Mountain, an undeveloped scenic area.

Between June  1925 and March,1927, Joseph Charles Francis Rock (1884 -1962), an Austrian American explorer, botanist and geologist, made several expeditions into Diebu area including Zhagana Mountain. He exclaimed that ” I have never seen the magnificent scenery before. If the writer of the book of Genesis had seen the beautiful in Diebu, he would have put the birthplace of Adam and Eve here. I’m amazed by Diebu, an expansive forest like a natural botanical Museum,  absolutely a maiden place. It will become a mecca for those who love nature.”. Dibu boasts the unique conifer trees.

In 2009,  China National Geography sponsored an activity of looking  for Top 10 “Non-famous Mountais in China” and Zhagana Mountain was listed as No.4.  Zha Ga Na, literally”Stone Box” in Tibetan, is a complete natural “stone city”at the altitude of 3970 m. North of the massive Zhagana Mountain is the grand and bright treeless rock peak known as “Stone Mirror Mountain”; Zhagana Mountain is ringed by the steep rock peaks on its east and south. The Zhagana Mountain Scenic Area is totally natural and unfurnished. You may stay overnight in a Tibetan home, a original and primitive Tibetan tribe.

Autumn in Zhagana

Autumn in Zhagana

4. Autumn Hues at Jinta Poplar Tree Forest 金塔胡杨林
Jinta Poplar Tree Forest is located in the west of Jinta County within Jiuquan City of Gansu Province. Jinta Poplar Tree Forest covers an area of  5333  hectares, surrounded by the expansive plant belt of date trees, birch trees and red willows, typical plants in the northwest China.

Poplar trees spread densely and grow well, ranking the top in the province. It is said that the poplar trees have an unusual vitality that enables it to survive for 3,000 years by living for one thousand years, standing still for another one thousand years after death, and remaining not rotten for one thousand years.  Autumn is the best season  to view the autumn hue of poplar trees at Jinta.

Autumn hues at Jinta Poplar Tree Forest

Autumn hues at Jinta Poplar Tree Forest

 

5. Kulong Gorge at Shandan Horse Farm in Zhangye 山丹马场窟窿峡
Shandan horse farm is located within the Qilianshan Mountains in Shandan County, 130 km southeast of Zhangye. Shandan horse farm is the largest horse farm with the longest history in the world, back to Han Dynasty as early as 1300 years ago. Shandan horse farm used to be a war horse breeding center for China’s successive dynasties. For the 50 years from 1949 t0 2001, Shandan horse farm were operated by China’s military. In 2001, the horse farm ws turned over to  the China Animal Husbandry Group since cavalry grew a less essential l part of Chinese military defense.

Shandan horse farm has been the war horse breeding center of Chinese successive dynasties royal from Han dynasty. As early as 3000 years ago, there had already started horse breeding. The horse farm has an area of ​​2,195 square kilometers, slightly larger than two HKSAR, it’s the Asia’s largest horse farm.

From 1949 to 2001, Shandan Horse farm was belonged to the Chinese military and the principal aim is to provide riding horses for the military, it had experienced nearly 50 years of military management. In 2001, Shandan horse farm was handed over to the China Animal Husbandry Group, as cavalry became a less crucial part of Chinese defense system

In the southeast of Shandan horse farm, there is a gorge known as Kulong Gorge ( literally a gorge with holes and caves), a strange and weird landscape. Clear  and limpid water passes through the gorge filled with holes and caves, making louder sounds like playing music. Even you walk the meadows along the banks of the river running in the gorge, you can feel the running water under your feet. When autumns comes, the pine trees, red leaf trees and flowers blanket the gorge, a soul-recharging experience.

6. Fall Colors at Dingxi 甘肃定西秋色
Once an ancient city along the Silk Road, Dingxi is located in the heart of Gansu Province, about 107 km to the southeast of Lanzhou, oft-lauded as “the East Gate of Lanzhou”. Dingxi is also nicknamed as “The City of Potatoes”.

In the Anding District of Dingxi, the terraced trees hugging the hillsides offer much photography opportunity. This is the result of “Returning arable land to forests and meadow”, a local policy of preserving the ecological environment . Now this area has become a good spot for autumn colors in Gansu.

Autumn Colors at Dingxi.

Autumn Colors at Dingxi.

7. Autumn Colors at Xixia Gorge Eulogy of Chenxian County成县西狭颂
Chenxian County is located in the mountainous region under the jurisdiction of Longnan City in Guansu. Chenxian is recognized as one of the 33 “Thousand-Year-Old Towns in China”. Also oft-lauded as”A Township of Walnuts”.

13 km on the west of Chenxian County lies a National AAAA scenic spot known as “Xixia Gorge Eulogy”.  The gorge is named after a famous cliff carvings in the gorge known as “Xixia Gorge Eulogy” which were carved in the year 171 AD. The gorge is itself gorgeous when autumn comes.

Fall Foliage at Xixia Gorge Eulogy.

Fall Foliage at Xixia Gorge Eulogy.

Add-on:

Top 10 Places to Visit in Gansu

Any questions, just drop a line.