How to Get to Gansu & Get around Gansu - Gansu Transportation Guide

As an inland tourist region in Northwest China, Gansu is normally the second stop for a China tour. Travelers often get to a international hub in China first, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou, Xian and Chengdu, and then transfer to Gansu by domestic flight or train. Getting to Gansu by road from nearby cities is not as popular as the air and train travel. The capital city Lanzhou is usually chosen as the arrival city as well as transfer city to other destinations in Gansu, such as Dunhuang, Zhangye, Jiayuguam, Tianshui, Xiahe, etc. As the most popular place in Gansu, Dunhuang is as convenient as Lanzhou to get in by flight or train.


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Get to Gansu by Air

Taking a flight is the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Gansu. So far there are 10 airports serving different cities in Gansu. Among them, Zhongchuan International Airport in Lanzhou and Dunhuang International Airport in Dunhuang, Jiuquan are the two only international air gateways to Gansu, which are also frequently used for more available flights. Other less-used Gansu’s airports include Jiayuguan Airport, Zhangye Ganzhou Airport, Tianshui Maijishan Airport, Gannan Xiahe Airport, etc., which just offer limited flights with a few domestic cities in China.

Take Flight to Lanzhou

Airport: Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport

Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport (IATA: LHW) is the only airport in Lanzhou which is approximately 70 km away (nearly an-hour driving) from Lanzhou city. So far, the airport flies more than 150 air routes to over 90 cities at home and abroad. In China, you can take flights to Lanzhou from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Zhangjiajie, Kunming, Hohhot, and Urumqi and so on. Overseas travelers can fly to Lanzhou from Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and other cities. There are also short-distance flights to Lanzhou from Zhangye, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan. Know more about How to Get to Lanzhou >>

Take Flight to Dunhuang

Airport: Dunhuang Mogao International Airport

Dunhuang Mogao International Airport (IATA: DNH) is located at Mogao Town, Dunhuang City, Jiuquan City, northwest of Gansu. It is about 14 km of Dunhuang City. To better facilitate all tourists to Dunhuang, the small airport has upgraded as the second international airport in Gansu. Currently, you can take flight to Dunhuang from 14 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nnajing, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Xining, etc. After arrival, you may take airport shuttle bus or a taxi to get to Dunhuang downtown or use China Discovery’s private transfer service to your hotel and any attractions you plan to visit in Dunhuang.

Useful Links: How to Get to Dunhuang / Dunhuang Mogao Airport & Flights

Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport

Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport

Dunhuang Mogao International Airport - the Second International Airport in Gansu

Dunhuang Mogao International Airport - the Second International Airport in Gansu

Other Major Airport in Gansu

1. Zhangye Ganzhou Airport (IATA: YZY)

Location: Airport Road, Ganzhou District, Zhangye; about 25 km (0.5 hours’ driving) to Zhangye City, about 60 km (1 hour & 10 minutes’ driving) to Zhangye Danxia Geopark.

Air-connected Cities (7): Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Xian, Yinchuan (Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region).

2. Tianshui Maijishan Airport (IATA: THQ)

Location: Huaniu Village, Ershilipu, Maiji District, Tianshui; about 16 km (30 minutes’ ride) to Tianshui City and 30 km (1 hour’s driving) to Tianshui Maijishan Grottoes.

Air-connected Cities (5): Xian, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Tianjin

3. Gannan Xiahe Airport (IATA: GXH)

Location: Xiahe County, Gannan, Southwest Gansu; about 65 km (1.5 hours’ driving) to Xiahe Labrang Monastery and 130 km (2.5 hours’ driving) to Langmu Temple.

Air-connected Cities (4): Xian, Chengdu, Lhasa and Yinchuan

Get to Gansu by Train

Thanks to over 10 regular (normal speed) rails and a few horizontal high speed railways, Gansu can be reached from most cities in China by train, which making it a very important connection between western and eastern China. If you are making a long-distance journey or want to try bullet train experience in remote Northwestern China, the train travel can be a unique experience.

Get to Gansu by High Speed Train

Starting from Lanzhou in Gansu and stopping in Urumqi in Xinjiang, Lanzhou Xinjiang High Speed Railway is one the most important high speed rails running through Gansu. It also passes Xining, Zhangye, Jiuquan, Jiayuguan, Liuyuan, Turpan before heading to Urumqi, letting your Gansu train tour can be done along the Hexi Corridor and “Ancient Silk Road”. Another two influential high speed rails are Xian Lanzhou High Speed Railway and Shanghai Lanzhou High Speed Railway that perfectly link Lanzhou with the eastern regions of China. Thus, Shanghai, Xian, Huashan, Zhengzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing and more cities offers bullet trains to Lanzhou.

Below are the Major High Speed Train Cities in Gansu:

1. Lanzhou - The City of the Yellow River

High Speed Train Stations: Lanzhou West Railway Station, Lanzhou Railway Station

As the capital and largest city in Gansu, Lanzhou is the primary transportation center in Gansu and Northwestern China. Lanzhou West Railway Station is a new but mainly used high speed train station which having high speed bullet trains from Urumqi, Xining, Xian, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, etc., and Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Tianshui and other places in Gansu.

Tips: There are intercity high speed trains running from Lanzhou Railway Station, Lanzhou West Railway Station to Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport.

Xian to Lanzhou Bullet Train

Xian to Lanzhou Bullet Train

Lanzhou West Railway Station

Lanzhou West Railway Station

2. Zhangye - The City of “Rainbow Mountain"

High Speed Train Station: Zhangye West Railway Station

Zhangye West Railway Station is especially built to serve the Lanzhou Xinjiang High Speed Railway. So travelers can take high speed bullet train to Zhangye from Xian, Baoji, Tianshui, Lanzhou, Xining, Yumen, Turpan, Urumqi and other cities on the rail. It is located about 40 km (50 minutes’ driving) to Zhangye Danxia Geopark.

Main Zhangye Bullet Train Schedules:

Zhangye West Railway Station

Zhangye West Railway Station

3. Jiayuguan - The City of West End of Ming Dynasty Great Wall

High Speed Train Station: Jiayuguan South Railway Station

Jiayuguan is most famous for the Jiayuguan Pass - “the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven”, which is the westernmost point of China’s Ming Dynasty Great Wall. Jiayuguan South Railway Station lies about 9 km, about 15 minutes’ driving to Jiayuguan City and nearly 10 km (20 minutes’ driving) to Jiayuguan Great Wall Culture Tourism Scenic Area.

Jiayuguan South Railway Station

Jiayuguan South Railway Station

4. Dunhuang - Magnificent Buddhist Art with Desert Landscape

Nearest High Speed Train Station: Liuyuan South Railway Station

If you plan to take high speed train to Dunhuang, you can get to Liuyuan South Railway Station from Lanzhou, Xining, Zhangye, Jiuquan, Jiayuguan, Yumen, Hami, Turpan, Urumqi and other cities on Lanzhou Xinjiang High Speed Railway. The station is situated in Guazhou County, Jiuquan City, about 130 km to Dunhuang City and 155 km (2.5 hours’ driving) to Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes.

Liuyuan South Railway Station Location Map

Liuyuan South Railway Station Location Map (click to enlarge)

Get to Gansu by Normal Train

At the same time, there are some overnight sleeper trains you can take to get to Gansu from distance Chines cities. Compared to high speed trains, these trains runs at a lower speed, offers simple and basic facilities and services. If you love low-pace travel and like to enjoy a unique sleeper train trip, see variation of landscape across China, or look for a budget transportation to have a Gansu travel, the normal train is an optional choice.

The following are some Gansu normal train schedules for your reference.

Take Normal Train to Lanzhou
From & To Train Time Frequency Departure & ArrivalRailway Stations
Hohhot - Lanzhou 17 ~ 20 hours 4 trains per day Hohhot Station/Hohhot East Station - Lanzhou Station
Yinchuan - Lanzhou 7.5 ~ 12 hours 7 trains per day Yinchuan Station - Lanzhou Station
Yangzhou - Lanzhou 29.5 hours 1 train per day Yangzhou Station - Lanzhou Station
Take Normal Train to Dunhuang
From & To Train Time Frequency Departure & Arrival Railway Stations
Beijing - Dunhuang 35.5 hours 1 train per day Beijing Station - Dunhuang Station
Datong - Dunhuang 29 hours 1 train per day Datong Station - Dunhuang Station
Hohhot - Dunhuang 25 hours 1 train per day Hohhot East Station - Dunhuang Station
Take Normal Train to Zhangye/Jiayugan
From & To Train Time Frequency Departure & Arrival Railway Stations
Beijing - Zhangye 18.5/28.5 hours 2 trains per day Beijing Station/Beijing West Station - Zhangye Station
Beijing - Jiayuguan 21/31 hours 2 trains per day Beijing West Station/Beijing Station – Jiayuguan Station
Datong - Jiayuguan 24.5 hours 1 train per day Datong Station - Jiayuguan Station
Hohhot - Jiayuguan 20.5 hours 1 train per day Hohhot East Station - Jiayuguan Station
Turpan - Jiayuguan 8.5 ~ 12 hours 4 trains per day Turpan North Station/Turpan Station - Jiayuguan Station

How to Get around Gansu

Get around Lanzhou

Lanzhou has the most complete traffic network in Gansu. Taking advantage of its highway system, after a short Lanzhou visit, travelers can easily make side trips to Tianshui Maijishan Grottoes, Bingling Temple in Linxia, Labrang Monastery and Langmu Temple in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture within several hours’ ride. If your destinations are cities along the Hexi Corridor, you are suggested to take a high speed train.

Useful Links: Lanzhou to Zhangye / Lanzhou to Dunhuang / Lanzhou to Jiayuguan

Popular Lanzhou Travels and Lanzhou Side Trips::

3 Days Lanzhou Short Break

4 Days Lanzhou Labrang Monastery Tour

4 Days Maijishan Grottoes & Zhangye Danxia Tour

Get around Dunhuang

Dunhuang is the westernmost station on Hexi Corridor. After discovering Buddhist grottoes in Mogao Caves and desert scenery in Echoing Sand Mountain, Chiense art lovers can go to Yulin Caves where preserves more delicate murals than Mogao Grottoes. If time allows, don’t miss Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Lanzhou, Tianshui and other destinations on Silk Road.

Useful Links: Get from Dunhuang to Jiayuguan / Dunhuang to Zhangye

Popular Lanzhou Travels and Lanzhou Side Trips::

3 Days Best Dunhuang Culture and Scenery Tour

4 Days Classic Dunhuang Tour

3 Days Dunhuang Mogao Caves Yulin Caves Tour of Art & History

Get around Zhangye

Zhangye is located in the middle section of Hexi Corridor, northwest of Gansu, between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. From Zhangye, you can either go westward to Dunhuang, Jiayuguan or travel eastward to Lanzhou, Tianshui, etc.

Useful Links: Zhangye to Jiayuguan / Zhangye to Dunhuang / Zhangye to Tianshui

5 Days Zhangye to Dunhuang Highlights Tour by Bullet Train

Dunhuang Jiayuguan Transportation Map

Dunhuang Jiayuguan Transportation Map Map (click to enlarge)

Zhangye Jiayuguan Transportation Map

Zhangye Jiayuguan Transportation Map (click to enlarge)

How to Plan a Gansu Tour

The length of your Gansu travel and places to visit can be flexibly arranged based on your personal requirements. Gansu owns several heavyweight destinations waiting for your exploration. Buddhist culture and splendid landscape are the two must-sees. If you are in a tight schedule, then Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes is the brightest star in China’s northwest areas. You can spend 1 full day to discover breathtaking Buddhist grottoes art with Crescent Lake, Echoing Sand Mountain in Dunhuang. With more days, you can visit Yumen Pass, Yulin Caves, Yadan Geological Park nearby. Or if you are want to see the colorful “Rainbow Mountain” in Zhangye, 1 full day is needed for Danxia landform sightseeing. If time permits, most travelers will take a classic route to visit Zhangye, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan from Lanzhou within 1 week, enjoy the best natural and cultural highlights in Gansu. Gansu is a part of Silk Road culture, that means, you can extend journey westward to Xinjiang, visit the east starting point - Xian and even link withBeijing, Shanghai and other top destinations in China.

Travel Gansu & Silk Road with China Discovery

China Discovery is a local based best travel agency offering high-quality tour services to all our travel guests. We are experienced, professional and reliable in tailor-make wonderful trips in Gansu and China. Travel with us, you can get more than pre-trip one-to-one counsel for best ideas and itinerary, but also enjoy considerate travel helps, about Chinese Visa application, arrangements of attractions, transportation, accommodation and dining, etc., to make sure your once-in-a-lifetime journey is unforgettable and unique. You may choose from our best-selling Gansu Tour Packages or contact us to customize a unique one!

Travel Zhangye with China Discovery

Our USA Family Customers Enjoyed Trip to Zhangye Danxia Geopark

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes

Recommended Gansu Tours

Top 3 Gansu tours chosen by most customers to explore Gansu in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake
11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Cultural Relic & Unrivalled Landscape)

Lanzhou / Zhangye / Jiayuguan / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar

Irene’s group from Malaysia Mogao Grottoes
7 Days Ancient Silk Road Treasure Tour from Tianshui

Tianshui - Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

Taer Monastery Barbola
10 Days Northwestern China Treasures - Qinghai Gansu Highlights Tour

Xining - Tongren - Xiahe - Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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