After dinner, we went to Lanzhou Railaway Station for a 11-hour train trip from Lanzhou to Jiayuguan. Lanazhou Railway Station is the only passenger railway station in Lanzhou. It is located below the Gaolan Mountain in the south of Chengguan District of Lanzhou, Gansu Province. We were arranged to take the overnight Train K9661 starting at 08:38pm and arriving at Jiayuguan at 7:46 the next morning covering the total raily length of 770km. Now it was the tourism peak season here in Gansu Province, there were over a dozen of through or passing by trains linking the two important cities on the ancient Silk Road.
The orange coloured train looked much safer and more reliable than the white bullet Beijing Shanghai high speed trains, which had been hit fatally by the train collision last month in Zhejiang Province, though the orange fast train was much slower.
The orange coloured train looked much safer and more reliable.
I was waked up by the early morning sunlight creeping into our cabin. What caught my eyes were the passing by Qilian Mountain with snow capped peaks. Yes, the famous mountain would accompany us throughout the trip paralleling the the whole Hexi Corridor.
Qilian Mountain with snow capped peaks
We arrived at Jiayuguan on time. Jiayuguan Railway Station was located 5km south of the city center.
Jiayuguan Railway Station
After disembarking at Jiayuguan Railway Station, going through the city center, we went directly to Jiayuguan Hotel (嘉峪关宾馆) for a familiarization trip. It is a 4 star hotel with 177 rooms modernly equipped and elegantly furnished. Add: No.01 Xinhua Road, Jiayuguan Tel: 0937 – 6201588 Fax: 0937 – 6227174.
we were transferred to Jiayuguan Hotel (嘉峪关宾馆) for a fam trip.
A huge painted Jiayuguan Tourism Map hanging on the wall in the lobby of the hotel aroused my interest. The map clearly showed the layout of Jiayuguan City with the mapping of its rich tourist attractions.
Jiayuguan Downtown – Jiayuguan Airport ( 13km )
Jiayuguan Railway Station ( 5km )
Long Distance Bus Station ( 1.5km )
Jiayuguan Pass ( 4km )
Overhanging Great Wall (Suspension Great Wall ) 12km
The First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall ( 15km )
Wei Jin Underground Brisk Murals ( 18km )
July First Glacier ( 120km )
The Tourist Map of Jiayuguan City
The next activity was the highlight of our fam trip in Jiayuguan, visiting the Jiayuguan Pass. Jiayu Pass ( Jiayuguan Fort ) was the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China. Built 1372, Jiayuguan Fortwas was christened as the first and greatest Pass under the Heaven. The pass consisted of three defense lines – an inner city, an outer city and a moat.
The fort was located at the narroweat point of the western section in Hexi Corridor ( 15km wide ) bound by Qilian Mountains and Hei Shan ( Black Mountains ). The fort had a perimeter of 733 meters with an area of more than 33,500 square meters. The total length of the city wall was 733 meters and 11 meters high.
Jiayuguan pass had two gates – East side ( Gate of Enlightment ) and West side ( Gate of Conciliation ). On each gate there was a building with an inscription of “Jiayuguan” in Chinese written. Each gate had 17 m-high towers with double gates that had been used to trapping invading armies. The south and north sides of the pass were linked to the Great Wall. There was a turret on each corner of the fort.
The West Gate of Conciliation
The unrepaired turret of the fort.
The city wall of the pass.
The horse course way up to the pass
Outside the wall of the pass.
After finishing the tour of Jianyuguan, we moved on to the south of the pass and got to the first beacon tower of Great Wall of China. The first beacon tower was built 1539 by an local military officer stationed in Hexi Corridor.
Now we were driving along the highway from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang at the driving distance of 385km.