Archive for the ‘Linxia Travel’ Category
Linxia is the seat of Linxia Hui Autonomous Precture of Gansu Province, one of the two autonomous prefectures in China, the other being Changji Autonomous Hui Prefecture. “Linxia” literally means “fronted by Da Xia River”. So the name of the city is taken after the river passing by – the Daxia River, one of the important tributaries of Yellow River.
Linxia is located 140km southeast of Lanzhou, 117km northeast of Xiahe, and 198km north of Hezuo, on the transit zone between the loess plateau and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. There are in total twenty-two ethnic groups living in Linxia, including Hui, Han, Dongxiang, Bonan, Salar, Tibetan and Tu. The Bonan and Dongxiang are unique to the prefecture and have thire own autonomous counties. Linxia has a population of 1.9 million with ethic groups taking 57%.
Linxia was an important Silk Road passage in the ancient China. The Hui people as well as Dongxiang, Bonan, Salar are said to be the descendants of the 13th immigrants from Central Asia coming through the Silk Road for the trade and culture exchange. Dongxiang, Bonan, Salar speak an Altaic language.
For most travelers, Linxia serves as kinda of transit area to take a break, dining or stay overnight. Aside from viewing the yellow Daxia River, in the downtown of Lingxia, you can visit Linxia Nanguan Mosque, one of the famous Islamic shrines in China’s northwest region first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
47km in the northeast of Lixia City is the famous site of Binglingsi Grottoes in Yongqin County under the administration of Linxia. “Bingling” means “thousand Buddhas” or “ten-thousand Buddhas” in the Tibetan language. Also known as Bingling Temple, the grottoes are carved on Jishi Hill 75 km from Lanzhou. Bingling Temple Grottoes are famous for stone sculptures of Buddhist pagodas in relief and murals of Esoteric Buddhism.
On Auguast 02, 2011, after visiting Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, we started our 258km driving trip back to Lanzhou along the National Highway 213. At the lunch time, we stopped in the city of Linxia for 2 hours for lunch and a brief city tour.
Now we were approaching Linxia, a booming city with plentiful highrises under construction. The yellow Daxia River winds passing by.
We were driving across the bridge spanning the Daxia River, leading to the city of Linxia.
At a crossroad with Linxia Hotel at the front.
One the main street in the city of Linxia.
The heart of the city of Linxia, the most commercial area.
Another main avenue in Lixia.
Linxia Long Distance Bus Station
We were leaving from Linxia and said goodbye to the Daxia River.
On the way from Linxia to Lanzhou on the Highway 213, we saw a lot of mosques in the villages of various sizes on the loess.
On Augaust 01, on the way back from Langmusi Town to Xiahe County, we made a detour from the national highway No.213 and went to Gahai Lake for a short trip. Gaihai Lake is located 1km west of the main road, the national highway No.213, about 30km away from Langmusi on the way to Luqu and Xiahe.
Gahai Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, an important wetland in the east of Tibetan-Qinghai Plateau. Gahai Lake is a part of the National Gahai Zecha Natural Reserve. Gahai Lake is under the administration of Luqu County, which is situated 90km north of Langmmsi and 260km south of Lanzhou.
Gahai Lake is surrounded by the mountains with an altitude of 3480. Gahai Lake has rich water resources with water coming from three streams from the nearbye mountains as well as the underground sprinsg. It is a pefect habitat for over 100 migrant birds like swans, black-neck cranes…
The area around Gahai Lake is very fertile with lush grassland, a ideal place for grazing yak herds. In summer, Gahai Lake is a field of wildflowers, a paradise for holiday maker.
Next time, if you go to Langmusi from Lanzhou or Xiahe, do drop here for a few minutes to immerse yourself into the beauty of nature – white clouds, lush grasslands, wildflowers, birds and fresh air!
The entrance to Gahai Lake, RMB20 per person
The Rock Carved with the Chinese characters meaning “Gahai Lake”
East side of the Lake
Middle part of the Lake
West side of the Lake
The distant view of the Lake
Wildflowers of the grassland around Gahai Lake
More wildflowers around the lake
A close look at the flower
Starting at 2:00pm, July 31, 2011, we first drive 140km along the Lanzhou Lingxia Expressway from Lanzhou to Lingxia via Hezheng County, then drive along the National Highway No.223 for 87km, and lastly drive 30km on a special road to Xiahe – our destination today. The total length of Lanzhou to Xiahe is about 258km. Before we reached Xiahe, we stopped at Hezheng for a short tour of Hezheng Musuem of Paleontologic Fossils.
Hezheng is a county under the administration of Lingxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province with an area of 960 square km and a population of 200,000. Hezheng is located 30km to the southeast of Lingxia City. The county’s average altitude is 2200 meters. The Lanzhou Lingxia Expressway runs through the Hezheng County from north to south. The 110km drive from Lanzhou to Hezheng takes us one hour.
Hezheng Museum of Paleontologic Fossils has tons of prehistoric animal fossils including giant rhinoceros animals, platybelodon (shovel tusker) animal groups, equus animal groups and popularization activities.
The Museum boasts of being the No.01 in the following six aspects:
1.The Unique Hezheng’s ovibos in the world
2.The richest fossils of the Hipparion in the world
3.The richest shovel elephant fossils in the wrold
4.The largest hyaena in the world
5.The largest horse in the world
6.The earliest woodly rhino in the world
So in the museum, you will see many ancient and extinct animals, such as shovel tusked elephants, ancient giraffes with relatively short necks, premitive horses with three toes, rhino without horns, and a peculiar muskox that is known only in the Lingxia basin.
These animals became extinct due to the dramatic changes of environment of climate of the past. Through these animals, people will learn the mysteries of evolution and the wonders of the changing nature.
The musuem guide gives us a brief introduction to the distribution of the prehistoric fossils in Hezheng and Lingxia basin.
The hyaena fossils
Shovel elephant fossils
Unique Hezheng’s sheep fossils
The ancient giraffe fossils