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About the City-Lanzhou


  • Area: 13,300 km2 (5,100 sq mi)

  • Elevation: 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level

  • China's northwest geographical center

  • More than 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi) of urbanisation along the southern banks of the Yellow

  • River.

  • Zonary basin

  • Mountains are located on the south and north sides of the city:

  • Qilian Ranges, Mt. Pingliang and Mt. Kongtong (the most noted in Taoism)


The Yellow River flows through from west to east. Lanzhou is situated on the upper reaches of the Yellow River where it emerges from the mountains and has been a center since early times, being at the southern end of the route leading via the Hexi Corridor across Central Asia. It commands the approaches to the ancient capital area of Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in Shaanxi province from both the west and the northwest, as well as the area of Qinghai Lake via the upper waters of the Yellow River and its tributaries.

Climate and environment

Lanzhou is situated in the temperate zone and enjoys a semi-arid climate (K?ppen BSk) with hot summers and cold and very dry winters. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from ?5.3 °C (22.5 °F) in January to 22.4 °C (72.3 °F) in July. The mean annual temperature is 9.75 °C (49.6 °F), while annual rainfall is 315 millimetres (12.4 in), almost all of which falls from May to October. The winters are so dry that snow is extremely rare. Sunshine is generous, with no month having less than 50% of the potential, but not particularly abundant, averaging 2,424 hours annually.

Serious air pollution in the city means that it has some of the worst air quality of any city nationally. According to the Blacksmith Institute, Lanzhou is one of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, with its TSP (total suspended particle) rating 247% above that of the Gansu State recommendation. Air quality is so poor that at times one cannot see Lanshan, the mountain rising straight up along the south side of the city. At one point, a controversial suggestion was put forward to bulldoze a mountain adjacent to the city, in order to let fresh air into the bowl where Lanzhou is situated. It was suggested on the premise that the surrounding mountains block a free flow of air in the city. The city is located in a narrow river valley with an unfortunate curve causing it to be hemmed in with no free air flow. Lanzhou is also the home of many factories, including some involved in petroleum processing, and suffers from large dust storms kicked up from the Gobi Desert, especially in the winter and spring. In 2011, using Chinese statistics, the World Health Organization reported that Lanzhou has the worst air quality (annual mean PM10 ug/m3 of 150) among eleven western Chinese cities, and is even worse than Beijing with its reading of 121.[9]

The reach of the Yellow River at Lanzhou carries a high load of silt, giving the river its characteristic muddy appearance; however water quality in this reach is better than the "fetid outflow that barely passes for water two hours downstream"


  • The Five Spring Mountain Park(五泉山公园)was built at the northern side of Gaolan Mountain, is famous for it's five springs and several Buddhism temples.

  • The Yellow River Bridge(黄河铁桥) has connected the transport hub of Lanzhou to the mainland and northwest since the Ming Dynasty when people began to envisage such a crossing to conquer the Yellow River .

  • Baita Mountain Park(白塔山公园) was built close to the mountains at an elevation of 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) and opened in 1958 across the Yellow River bridge.


The city is the cultural centre of Gansu. It is home to many different ethnic groups and their respective cultures, but the most prominent three groups are the Han, Hui, and Zang.

  • Chinese opera: Qinqiang Drama

  • Cuisine: Lanzhou beef lamian noodles, the root of the lily, and many different kinds of mutton all feature into Lanzhou's distinct food culture.

  • Islam in China: Xiguan Mosque, the mosque was constructed in the Ming dynasty and later rebuilt in 1990, and occupies an area of 467 square meters, and is one of the most influential mosques in China. The architecture of the mosque predominantly reflects that of Arab architecture.

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