Lanzhou Facts

Name: Lanzhou (兰州; Lánzhōu /lan-zhow/)
Meaning: 'Orchid Prefecture'
Previous names: Jincheng (Gold City), Yunwu, Lanzhuan


map-cht-tb-11Transportation from Lanzhou to neighboring cities and Tibet
  • Old Silk Road city
  • Important transportation station to Lhasa, Tibet
  • The Yellow River flows through the city
  • Now it is the administrative center of a major industrial region.

Main Attractions


The city was once a Silk Road route crossing point on the Yellow River. A bridge built on boats once spanned it. Now it is an inland industrial center and a transportation hub for trains and expressways.

  • 763 The city was captured by the Tibetan Empire.
  • 843 The city was captured by the Tang Empire
  • 1235 The Mongol Empire captured it.
  • 1860s and 1870s The city experienced war during the Dugan Revolt.
  • 1930s and 1940s The city was successfully defended, and the Japanese army didn't capture it.


  • Significance of the city: The city is at one end of a broad lowland that stretches to Xinjiang that is called the Gansu Corridor. The city developed at the place where the Gansu Corridor meets the Yellow River. It was a natural crossing point for Silk Road travellers and traders and became a mercantile city. Now, it is a large municipality in terms of land area.
  • Nearby cities: Gannan (144 km/89 mi), Xi'an (656 km/400 mi), Xining (181 km/112 mi), Yinchuan (440 km/270 mi)
  • Municipality terrain: The city straddles the Yellow River and sits in a long valley.
  • Average altitude: 1,600 meters (5,250 feet)
  • Main rivers: Yellow River

Location Information

  • Municipality location: northern China
  • Municipality population: 3,616,000
  • Municipality area: 13,300 sq km (5,135 sq mi)
  • Municipality population density: 150/sq km (388/sq mi)
  • Urban area: 1,088 sq km (420 sq mi)
  • Urban population: 2,177,000
  • Urban population density: 2,000/sq km (5,182/sq mi)
  • North to south distance of main urban area: 3.3 km (5.4 mi)
  • East to west distance of main urban area: 23.3 km (14.5 mi)
  • City Center: Lanzhou West Railway Station (36.07N, 103.8E)


  • Average annual high temperature in July: 29 °C (84 °F)
  • Average annual low temperature in January: -10 °C (14 °F)
  • Semi-arid, high-altitude, temperate climate; precipitation: 315 mm (12.4 in)

Known for smog, Yellow River pollution, and dust storms.


  • Average annual income: (2008) 26,566 RMB (3,363 USD)
  • Development: developing the city is an industrial center in a mineral and energy-rich region.
  • Industry: 48.8% tertiary industry (services), 48.1% secondary (petrochemicals, electronics, industry), 3.1% primary (agriculture)
  • Shopping Streets: Hezheng Lu Street Market


Questions and Answers About Lanzhou Facts

R.Dickson 2012-11-14
Show Answer
is the bulit train running now, Iplan to be in Lanzhou in feb 2013

Hi R.Dickson, the bullet train is not running yet.

Whitney Liao replied on 2012-11-14
April Offer $25 Coupon
  1. Send your inquiry before Apr. 30, 2014, and we will email you a $25 coupon.
  2. The coupon is valid till Dec. 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth $250 or up.
  3. The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.
Travel Advice or Question? Ask us here
Do you want to book a tour/hotel/Wi-Fi. etc.
Your Name Your Email
Hi, I'm Ruru Zhou
I updated this article on April 14, 2014
See all my travel articles
follow this pageChina Highlights