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Lanzhou Travel Guide

Lanzhou Overview

Lanzhou is a prefecture-level city and capital of Gansu province in northwestern China.

Lanzhou was badly damaged during the rising of the Gansu Muslims in 1864–1875. In the 1920s and 1930s it became a center of Soviet influence in northwestern China. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) Lanzhou, linked with Xi'an by highway in 1935, became the terminus of the 3,200 km (2,000 mile) Chinese-Soviet highway, used as a route for Soviet supplies destined for the Xi'an area. This highway remained the primary traffic route of northwestern China until the completion of the railway from Lanzhou to Urumqi, Xinjiang. During the war Lanzhou was heavily bombed by the Japanese.

The city is the seat of a currently vacant Roman Catholic diocese[3] and was previously the center of a vicariate apostolic.

Main industries include textile mills, rubber, fertilizer plants, oil refinery, petrochemical, machinery, and metallurgical industry. Gansu has one of the largest oil refineries in the country and Lanzhou itself is the center of the province's petrochemical industry. Lanzhou has a large refinery linked to the fields at Yumen by pipeline. It also manufactures equipment for the oil industry.

Lanzhou has a large textile industry, particularly noted for the production of woolens and leather goods. In addition, Lanzhou produces locomotives and rolling stock for the northwestern railways, as well as machine tools and mining equipment. Aluminum products, industrial chemicals, and fertilizers are produced on a large scale, and there is a large rubber industry. Copper is mined in nearby Gaolan.

Lanzhou has been one of the centers of China's national nuclear power industry since the 1960s.

Lanzhou Facts
Lanzhou Geography
Lanzhou Climate & Weather

Area Code: 0931

Zip Code: 730000

Area: 14,620 km²

Population: Lanzhou has a population of 3,310,100 (2010).

Administrative Division: The sub-provincial city of Lanzhou has direct jurisdiction over 5 districts and 3 county-level cities.

Lanzhou is the China's northwest geographical center, more than 20 km of urbanization along the southern banks of the Yellow River. It is formed by three parts. They are valleys, basins, hilly land and Huangtumao ditch and gully area. The Yellow River is flowing through the whole city.

Located in western China, Lanzhou has a typical temperate, semi-arid continental monsoon climate, characterized by dryness and abundant sunshine. Lanzhou Winter is chilly with an average temperature of -7.3 C, while Spring is transient with sharp temperature swings. Summer is short but not too hot with an average temperature of 22.4 C. Autumn sees a rapid decrease in temperature. Though historical records show that in some extreme cases the temperature can be as low as -23.1 C (-9.6 F) and can rise to as high as 39.1 C (102.4 F), Lanzhou enjoys a favourable climate.

Climate Data Table for Lanzhou

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average High
5 7 15 20 26 29 30 29 25 18 10 4
Average Low
-11 -7 0 6 11 15 18 16 12 5 -2 -9
Days of rainfall 1.9 2.4 4.5 5.3 7.5 9.4 11.4 11.2 9.9 6.3 1.7 1.0

Tips for Lanzhou Weather

The annual precipitation is 328 millimetres (12.91 inches), which is concentrated during the Summer, so pack an umbrella. The best season is usually from May to October when the temperature is most suitable. If local folk customs like festivals appeal to you, Winter can be a good tourist season.

In Winter, a warm coat, scarf, gloves, hat, and boots are needed.  All year round, a warm coat is a necessity on your trip to Lanzhou since the temperature can drop considerably in the evening. Other things to carry with you are a bottle of water and sun protection, especially a lip balm.

Highlight Attractions in Lanzhou

Lanzhou Tours & Tings to Do