Lanzhou, Gansu province: a typical Chinese city


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June 5th 2013
Published: June 5th 2013
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My first beef noodles in Lanzhou!My first beef noodles in Lanzhou!My first beef noodles in Lanzhou!

This is THE dish to have in Lanzhou
Lanzhou. One day in a typical Chinese city.

I only spent a short day in Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province. There are quite a few parks and temples around Lanzhou but I found this city pretty crowded, messy and noisy (It’s a Chinese city!) and I was really looking forward to hitting the road towards the countryside.

After an overnight train ride from Beijing I quickly found a hotel, dropped my bags and jumped in a bus to go fetch my bicycle I had shipped here from Fuzhou a few weeks ago. The depot was located in the outskirts of the city and it took me quite a bit of time to find it. I quickly put my bike back together and I started riding throughout Lanzhou.

Lanzhou is stuck between 2 mountains that surround the Yellow River. I followed the river for a few hours in order to get an idea of the city. I took pictures of the mountains and the parks. As you will see, Lanzhou is a typical Chinese city. It’s crowded, stretched out, dusty because of all the construction that is going on as the economy is getting better and more
the Huithe Huithe Hui

Men love sitting on the pavement and chatting. I saw thousands of little groups as this one on my ride from Lanzhou to Xiahe
people from the countryside are moving to the city. Lanzhou is not pretty but the local government is trying to improve things. They have planted many trees and they have arranged the river banks where older people get together to dance, exercise, play music (traditional instruments), cards or mahjong.

In the train from Beijing to Lanzhou I met a delightful young man called Mr Pu and his wife. He helped me find a hotel and invited me for my first ‘nvrou mian,’ the local beef noodles. It was tasty! Lanzhou is mostly famous for the Muslim Hui ethnic group and the noodles they make. At night Mr Pu and I got together for dinner and ate local barbecued food and drank local beer until too late. I knew getting up to ride 100 kilometers the following day would be difficult…


Additional photos below
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Mr Pu and his wifeMr Pu and his wife
Mr Pu and his wife

We met in the train. They found me a hotel and invited me for lunch and dinner. Thank you!
Lanzhou and the Hui minority groupLanzhou and the Hui minority group
Lanzhou and the Hui minority group

they have entire neighborhoods with mosques overlooking the narrow streets
riding in Lanzhou cityriding in Lanzhou city
riding in Lanzhou city

yes, inside the city!
following the Yellow Riverfollowing the Yellow River
following the Yellow River

the suburbs do look like any other Chinese City
LanzhouLanzhou
Lanzhou

old houses and more modern buildings
along the Yellow Riveralong the Yellow River
along the Yellow River

Yellow River Mom and her infant
But Lanzhou is still dirty and pollutedBut Lanzhou is still dirty and polluted
But Lanzhou is still dirty and polluted

Kids walking in trash along the river
Lanzhou and the Yellow RiverLanzhou and the Yellow River
Lanzhou and the Yellow River

Baita Mountain Park in the background


5th June 2013

Very cool pictures. Is it safe to travel there?
6th June 2013

I have been in China for 7 years and I have never felt threatened in any way.
China is very safe. So far... I am going to Xinjiang next month. people have told me to be careful. We'll see. more to follow...

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