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As the traffic hub of the ancient "Silk Road" and the starting point of the Great Wall in the west, Jiayuguan has been renowned as one of the most important Pass and “battlefield” in the western frontier since the ancient time. It has been recorded in the ancient Chinese poems, myths, chronicles, generation after generation. This is the intersection of China's Silk Road culture and the Great Wall culture, known as the "key to the border". Here, you can see the continuous great wall, the magnificent pass city, the exquisite ancient murals, and the magical natural scenery.
The miraculous desert landscape and architectures in Jiayuguan form an “ancient city”, Jiayuguan in the modern times. There are lots of attractions to see, including the Jiayuguan Pass, Xuanbi Great Wall, the first Strategic Post, Wei-Jin Tombs, etc.>>Learn More about Jiayuguan Attractions
Jiayuguan pass built in the Ming Dynasty is the most spectacular fortress along the Great Wall with both an inner “city” and an outer city, as well as a moat. You can take a distant view of the outer city and Qilian Mountain afar. There is also a Great Wall Museum in the scenic area introducing the history of Jiayuguan Great Wall.
16km from Jiayuguan city, Xuanbi Great Wall or the hanging Great Wall, built in the Ming Dynasty, is named for its precipitous terrain and in the north of Jiayuguan Pass. The scenic area includes the ancient Silk Road cultural corridor, and the wall here is similar to the Badaling Great Wall and you can see the vast land outside the pass.
The First Strategic Post is the starting point of the ancient Great Wall. It was a beacon tower. Now only one mound is left there. The scenic spot includes the Taolai River slide, the hanging bridge where you can view the stunning canyon, a museum and multiple sculptures of "army field in the ancient time".
18km away from Jiayuguan City, the Wei-Jin Tombs are actually about 1000 tombs built in Wei and Jin Dynasties. The scenic area includes a museum and 3 underground tombs representing the master’s courtyard, living room and bedroom which he had prepared for the afterlife. The highlight of the tomb is its numerous vivid murals.
As the start point of the great wall, Jiayuguan owns not only the fortress but also a section of steep Great Wall which is well-preserved. It takes about one or two hours to have a hike and you can also go to the Great Wall Museum in Jiayuguan Pass to learn more about it.
There are 3 major museums in Jiayuguan, namely the Great Wall Museum in Jiayuguan Pass Scenic area, Jiayuguan Museum in the downtown area and the historical and cultural experience museum of the first beacon tower of the Great Wall by the Taolai River. If you are a museum and a great wall fan, do not miss them!
The sunrise and sunset around the Jiayuguan Pass area and the Xuanbi Great Wall offer great scenery, which attract lots of visitors and photographer to capture the beauty. Besides, you can also go to the Taolai river and record the great canyon there.
Surrounded by mountains and deserts, Jiayuguan belongs to a typical continental desert climate. It is dry and cool in summer, cold in winter. The annual average temperature is relatively low, arranging between 6.7 ℃ and 7.7 ℃, and the annual sunshine time is about 3,000 hours. It is dry all year round and the annual average precipitation is 85.3 mm, and the evaporation is 2149 mm. The frost-free period of the whole year is about 130 days.
The best time to visit Jiayuguan is from May to October. Spring is still a little bit chilly. Summer is cool and the temperature varies a lot in the morning and evening and the ultraviolet rays are strong. In autumn, you should not miss the beautiful sunrise and sunset at Jiayuguan pass. Though the winter is quite chilly, the snowscape on the Great Wall is very stunning.>>Learn More about Jiayuguan Weather & Seasons
Jiayuguan Airport is located in the northeast of Jiayuguan City, about 12km away from it. So far, Jiayuguan Airport operates flights to almost every scenic city in Gansu Province and non-stop flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, and Xian, etc. There are airport shuttle buses to the downtown area and the bus fee is about CNY 15, and the duration is about half an hour.
There are mainly three train stations in Jiayuguan, namely Jiayuguan Railway Station, Jiayuguan South Railway Station, and Lvhua Railway Station. For Jiayuguan Railway Station located in the downtown area, it operates mostly normal trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Fuzhou, Lanzhou, Urumchi, Aksu, etc. Jiayuguan South Railway Station runs Bullet D trains and some Z trains to Lanzhou, Shanghai, Urumchi, Xining, Jinan, etc. For Lvhua Railway Station, it only operates trains to Tiejinshan Station.
Jiayuguan Bus Station has direct buses from Jiayuguan to many cities in Gansu and the neighboring province, such as Lanzhou, Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Jinchang, Zhangye, Hami, Urumchi, Yumen, etc.
Jiayuguan is an important outpost along the “Silk Road”. It welcomes every visitor with many different standards of comfortable accommodation. But, as a small inland city in Northwestern China, the overall accommodation condition is not as best as in well-developed cities like Beijing and Shanghai. There are only a few 5 star and 4-star hotels, while most are economical hotels.
Most travelers like to stay in the downtown area, and they are easy driving or take a taxi to most attractions in Jiayuguan within half an hour.
To help you better plan and make a trip to Jiayuguan, we offered lots of maps about Jiayuguan’s location, attractions, transportation, etc. All the maps we collected are updated, downloadable and printable.>>Learn More about Jiayuguan Maps
Besides Zhangye, there are some other destinations in Gansu well worth your visit. Transfer to the following destinations and explore Gansu natural and cultural sites - Dunhuang, Lanzhou, Xiahe and Mogao Caves. Discover now!
Chinese Name: 嘉峪关
Chinese Pinyin: jiā yù guān
English IPA: /tɕaːyːkʷæn/
Population: 0.2 million
Language: Mandarin & Gansu Dialect
Tel Code: 0937
Zip Code: 735100
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Usually, one or two days are enough to cover most of the highlights in Jiayuguan, which include the unmissable Jiayuguan Pass Scenic Area, the Xuanbi Great Wall, the First Beacon Tower Relic of the Great Wall(the first strategic post), and the Wei-Jin Tombs. All of these attractions are reachable by car from Jiayuguan Downtown within half an hour.
From Jiayuguan, you can extend your trip to Dunhuang, Zhangye, and Lanzhou (Capital city of Gansu Province), and even to Turpan, Urumqi of Xinjiang.
Travel with China Discovery
We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable wonderful trips to Gansu for the past few years. Among them, Marcin and his friends traveled with us and spent 13-Day to explore the silk road from Lanzhou to Khasgar, visiting Zhangye, Jiayuhuan, Dunhuang... in Gansu province, and shared us their special travel story! Travel with China Discovery to create your great China trip memories!
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >