Lanzhou is located in Gansu Province in Northwest China, south of Inner
Mongolia, west of Shaanxi province (where Xian of Terra Cotta Soldier fame
is located), east of Xinjiang Province, and north of Szechuan Province (of spicey
It has a very dry continental climate and frequent winds blow in sand and
loess silt. (Visit in March 2008)
Lanzhou is located in the Yellow River (Huang He)
Mountains which frequently have holes
dug into the hillsides, where people
lived in former times and stored materials.
This statue on the south Bank is called
Mother of the Yellow River. There are also these
sheep-skinned rafts that can be rented for the ride
along the river. Right across from river from this recreational area, the
White Pagoda Mountain Park can be seen.
One of the major parks in the city,
Five-spring mountain park, actually does have springs flowing from the
mountainside, with this bridge over
the stream fed by one of the springs. This mountain park has a series of
temples of varied sorts, Taoist and Buddhist. Soon after entering the park,
there is a statue of Confucius,
which relatively rare in modern Mainland China, compared to places such as Taiwan.
There are beautifully ornamented walls and doorways
such as this one which is a representation of Guan Yin's vase. The monastery
lodgings for the monks also shows their day to day
living with laundry hung in the temple courtyards.
There are also a fantastic array of Tibetan Bells in one
of the temples. The grounds are kept clean by a whole army of groundskeeper such as this
one with king-kong sized pluckers.
The streets of Lanzhou were still decorated after celebrations
from the Spring Festival (Chinese New Lunar) a month before. Some of the old buildings have very
ornate door guardians . In the Dragon Park on the
North side of the Yellow River, even the streetlights have
dragon ornamentations. There is a large muslim minority in this city, and there are many
mosques. Nestled among the city highrises, are still
vestiges of ancient China, with this pagoda and drum at one
of the museums.
Lanzhou University has a campus in downtown Lanzhou. This scene from 8am shows
University Staff hard at play before a day's work. The building right behind them is
lodgings for University Staff. Students also stay on campus, often in groups of four
or six in a single room. These
lodgings are subsidized by the University/Government, and
current prices are less than RMB 1000 ($140) for a year. The student cafeterias cost about RMB 15
$2 per day. However, there is no hot running water in the dormitories, and electricity is
turned off at 11pm (so obviously there is no airconditioning during the hot summer months).