Home China Guide Jiayuguan Travel Guide

Jiayuguan Travel Guide

Jiayuguan's Location in China Map

Jiayuguan City is in northwestern Gansu Province, China. It has a history of more than 600 years and is an important city of tourism on the ancient Silk Road.

The city is famous for the Jiayuguan Fort and the western end of the Great Wall. The fort in northwestern Gansu province used to be an important area for defence against attack in ancient times.

Jiayuguan History

In the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Jiayuguan Fort was built, composed of defensive walls, gates, and army camps.

It was not easy to build such a grand fort. At that time, construction technologies were simple. So many workers were employed for the construction work. Many stories concerning the construction of the fort have been passed down, and some of them are still popular with the local people.

Now the ancient fort has become a place of interest and a tourist attraction on the Silk Road. See more on The History of the Silk Road in China.

Jiayuguan's Highlights

The First Abutment of the Great Wall, JiayuguanThe First Abutment of the Great Wall

The Great Wall's First Abutment: The "Great Wall First Abutment" is the westernmost end of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall that stretched 8,851 kilometers (5,500 miles) in total.

It was built to be a small fort, one of many, that guarded the Jiayu Pass area.

Built: 1539

Best time to visit: Late spring, summer, and fall

The Overhanging Great Wall, JiayuguanThe Overhanging Great Wall

The Overhanging Great Wall is 14 km northwest of Jiayuguan city centre, and about 8 km north of the Jiayu Pass Fort.

It is an extended part of the Jiayu Pass military defence system, protecting water resources and acting as a northern lookout point.

Built: 1539–1540 by Gansu patrol commander Li Han to strengthen the Jiayu Pass defences, rebuilt in 1987.

Length: originally 1.5 km (0.9 miles); only 750 m (0.5 miles) has been rebuilt

Jiayuguan FortJiayuguan Fort

Jiayuguan Fortress, 5 kilometres (3 miles) west of Jiayuguan City, is the first fortified pass at the most western end of the Great Wall of China and was a vital communications hub along the ancient Silk Road.

There are seven exhibition halls in the fort's Great Wall Museum, and the exhibitions are divided into four sections for tourists and locals to have a general understanding of the Great Wall of China.

More about Jiayuguan City

Jiayuguan has a few more notable tourism resources: the Gobi desert and its landscape, and the International Gliding Base.

In the city, visitors can see tall furnaces pointing to the sky, large buildings standing side by side, rows of poplar trees guarding the wide streets. Jiayuguan City is also referred to as "the steel city in China's northwest". In 1958 the Jiuquan Steel Company was established in the city and has developed into the largest steel company in the region. Industry, tourism, and agriculture are the mainstays of the city's economy.

Its total population is 140,000, and there are people of 12 nationalities living in the city: Han, Hui, Mongol, Tibetan, Manchu, Dongxiang, Yugu, Korean, Zhuang, Tu, Baoan, and Uygur. It is a city of immigrants, and its residents are from other parts of China, mostly from Shandong Province and the northeast of China.

Jiayuguan Weather and Best Time to Visit

Jiayuguan City is in the continental temperate zone, and its climate is dry and harsh. The temperature difference within a year is large. The annual average temperature is 6 °C, and the annual rainfall is around 80 mm.

The coldest month is January, and the lowest record of temperature is -28.6 °C. The hottest month is July, and the highest temperature record is 38 °C. As far as weather is concerned, the best time to visit Jiayuguan is from May to October. Read more on Jiayuguan Weather.

Dining in Jiayuguan

In Jiayuguan, you can order tasty dishes of Dunhuang Cuisine. (Dunhuang is the next city west of Jiayuguan).

To enjoy the real local flavour, visitors would better go to the food stalls or the small restaurants in the open air, which sells typical tasty dishes at reasonable prices. See Jiayuguan Food.

How to Get to and Travel around Jiayuguan

It is very convenient to get to the city and leave it. The transportation network includes a small airport, high-speed and normal railways, and desert highways.

Jiayuguan Airport is located in the city's northeast, 12 km from the city. The Lanzhou to Xinjiang High-Speed Railway crosses the city. Taxis and buses make transport in the city and to its attractions convenient. You can read more on Jiayuguan Transportation.

Explore Jiayuguan with Our Popular Tours

Riding a camel in DunhuangRiding a camel in Dunhuang (next on the Silk Road after Jiayuguan)

If you would like to learn more about Jiayuguan's culture and enjoy a more in-depth and hassle-free experience, a private tour is recommended.

Here are our most popular itineraries, which can be customized to your preferences:

Our travel experts know the area and can help tailor make a Jiayuguan trip to match your interests.