City of Gansu in China

Gansu (甘肃) Province is in China’s northwest. It borders Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Mongolia. The capital city is Lanzhou (兰州) through which the Yellow River passes.

While home to some of China’s most notable Silk Road history and incredible ancient sites as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Gansu is one of China’s more underdeveloped and poorest provinces.

You can learn more about Gansu’s location with these maps of China’s mainland provinces.


Gansu’s weather is one of extremes. While more temperate in the southern part of the province, in the northwestern region around Dunhuang, the climate is extreme. This area begins the reaches of the Gobi Desert so you’ll experience extreme cold in the winters and heat in the summers in this arid landscape.

When to Go

The most pleasant times of year are spring and fall when the temperatures don’t reach extreme points.

Getting There

Many visitors make Dunhuang their entry and exit point for Gansu but if you don’t get to the southern part of the province, notably Lanzhou, you’ll miss one of China’s greatest provincial museums. There are also a large number of Tibetan Buddhist areas and attractions in the southern part of the province.

Dunhuang is best connected by air to Xi’an and many Silk Road itineraries start in Xi’an with Dunhuang as its second stop. Dunhuang and Lanzhou are connected by rail and air with rail being convenient with overnight routes. Flight connections are less regular and can be seasonal. There are direct flights from many major Chinese cities to Lanzhou.

Getting Around

Depending on your itinerary in Gansu, you’ll probably want to look into hiring a car and driver if not also a guide. While in cities, you can easily use taxis but many major sights are located outside city centers. In Dunhuang, to see the Mogao Caves, Yadan Geological Park, and the Yumenguan, you will certainly need some transportation.

What to See and Do

You may think the main (and only) attraction was the world-famous UNESCO-listed Mogao Grottoes. While these caves full of ancient Buddhist art are an incredible attraction, there is much more to see in Gansu Province.

Bamyan Sister Cities


Share this story with your friends:

Join us to get know more about unseen face of Afghanistan specialy Bamyan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked this story, sign up for the monthly features newsletter. A handpicked selection of stories from Visit Bamyan Culture, Festivals, Events and Bamyan adventurouse visitor stories! delivered to your inbox every month.


Popular hiking paths & camping places among tourists


Stories, expriences and adventures of people who visited Bamyan