[Important] Breaking news! China has resumed the issuance of all types of visas(Including tourist visa) for foreigners since March 15, 2023. Read more »

3 Days Lanzhou Short Break $489

Child of the Yellow River


Located on the banks of Yellow River, middle of Gansu Province, Lanzhou is often served as an important transfer hub to further northwest destinations, like Zhangye, Dunhuang, Xinjiang, etc. It was also one of the major cities on China’s “Ancient Silk Road”. The culture of Yellow River and “Ancient Silk Road” are two most famous features of Lanzhou. This 3-day short trip takes you to explore the best highlights in Lanzhou, such as city landmarks of White Pagoda Mountain, Iron Bridge of Yellow River, Gansu Provincial Museum, and make a side trip to the over 1,500 years’ old Bingling Temple.

Highlights of this tour

  • Experience spectacular Yellow River and distinctive city landscape along it in Lanzhou;
  • Learn interesting facts and past brilliant glory of Silk Road in Gansu Provincial Museum and warm up for your “Silk Road” adventure;
  • Discover Bingling Temple off the beaten track; admire magnificent Buddhist statues, murals and amazing landforms on the waterway.

Basic Trip Information

from $489
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Travel Length:
3 Days and 2 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lanzhou Arrival

Welcome to Lanzhou - a city of Yellow River. Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport/train station in Lanzhou, and then escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is for you to explore this northwestern historical city on your own.

Free Time Idea: Zhengning Road Night Market is a famous food street in downtown Lanzhou, where you can taste Beef Noodle, mutton and bread soup, lamb kebab and other different kinds of local cuisine and snacks.

How to Get to Lanzhou? Lanzhou is located in the center of northwestern China. You can get to Lanzhou by flight from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur abroad, or from China’s domestic cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xian, Datong, Kunming, etc. Besides, you can take high speed bullet train to Lanzhou from Xining (2-2.5 hrs), Xian (3-3.5 hrs), Beijing (7.5 hrs), Taiyuan (7 hrs), Zhengzhou (5.5-5 hrs), Urumqi, Shangha, etc.

Lanzhou - the City of Yellow River
Day 2 Lanzhou City Tour ( B, L )

Today, after breakfast, you will be taken to explore the best highlights of Lanzhou. Your first stop is Gansu Provincial Museum - the biggest and most valuable museum of Gansu Province (Tip: The museum will be closed on every Monday, except public holidays.). Designed by the Soviet Union experts uniquely, the museum collects over 350,000 artifacts, from which you can learn profound history and culture of different regions in Gansu and China “Ancient Silk Road”. Top must-see special treasures are the Flying Bronze Horse from Eastern Han Dynasty, about 1,800 years old, which has been adopted as the logo of China tourism; postal man on brick painting that discovered in Wei and Jin Tombs in Jiayuguan, huge number of bronze honor guard of ancient Han Dynasty. Moreover, you can see massive painted potteries, bronze wares, silk fabrics, gold and silver vessels, Buddhist sculptures, even pale ontological fossils of dinosaurs, marine animals found in Gansu.

And then, you will visit three notable landmarks along the Yellow River. You will take a short leisure walk to see the Statue of Mother Yellow River first. A lovely baby nestles against the chest of his loving mother. It is a work from a Gansu’s female artist, praising Mother River who created Chinese civilization and nourished Chinese people. Next, visit the First Bridge on Yellow River. Named as Zhongshan Bridge to memorize Sun Yat-sen, this iron bridge was the first sample built by foreign technology in Northwestern China, already standing over 100 years. Keep moving to enjoy an interesting visit in Lanzhou Waterwheels Park (Lanzhou Shuiche Park). There you can view large area of green plants, and the conspicuous waterwheels in different styles and structures going round and round as well as many bronze sculptures vividly showing daily life scenes of the locals. Modern buildings towering astride the Yellow River tell you that Lanzhou is speeding up to further future as the flowing yellow water.

In the afternoon, your today’s last visit goes to the White Pagoda Mountain on the north bank of the Yellow River. Depending on your personal preference and physical condition, you can choose to have a short walk to the top, or take a cable car (45 CNY to go up, 30 CNY to come down) running across the river (over 1,000 m long). The mountain (alt: about 1,700 m /5,578 ft) once was an ancient fortress and now is a large architecture complex with some temples, pavilions, archways and museum hillside open to public for free. Built in Yuan Dynasty with Lamasery features, White Pagoda Temple on the top is wildly regarded as “the Window of Lanzhou” - a must-visit where you can get an impressive panoramic view of Lanzhou city and the rushing Yellow River. You can stop and rest in a pavilion, enjoy surrounding verdant natural scenery and may meet some zip line riders.

Tips: You can choose one-way cable car up to near the White Pagoda Temple and walk down to see spots en route.

Gansu Provincial Museum Yellow River Mother Statue in Lanzhou The Iron Bridge of Yellow River White Pagoda Mountain
Day 3 Lanzhou - Bingling Temple - Lanzhou Departure (B, L)

Today, you will take a side trip Bingling Temple, a Buddhist cave with a long history of over 1,600 years. First, you will drive about 1.5 hours to Liujiaxia Dam, a big national hydroelectric reservoir on the upper Yellow River. From the dock, you need to take a speed boat to get to Bingling Temple. During the 40-50 minutes’ boat ride, you can see a different section of Yellow River, very limpid and clear unlike the muddy sights seen in Lanzhou, and layered, red-colored huge Danxia landforms along the riverside, without coverage of any plantations.

After getting off from the boat, walk several minutes to the entrance of Bingling Temple. The temple is actually a site of Buddhist grottoes filled with ancient Buddhist frescoes and sculptures caved into the rocks, along a long narrow valley of Yellow River. Dating back to West Qin Kingdom, the cave preserves about 183 caves, 694 stone statues, 82 clay sculptures and more than 900 square meters murals. You will tour the most spectacular Lower Temple Area, seeing the 27-meter giant sitting Buddha, many colored Bodhisattvas in different gestures and remaining murals from Wei, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Though some figures have been damaged by earthquakes, erosion, these relics are unquestionably outstanding Buddhist artworks revealing previous Buddhism prosperity and remarkable architecture and carving art of ancient China.

After sightseeing, leave Bingling Temple and drive back to Lanzhou to catch your flight or train to next destination.

Tips: 1.)Bingling Temple in remote mountain area can only be reached by waterway in summer and autumn via Liujiaxia Dam. 2.) Additional fees will be charged for visiting special caves. 3.) Be careful when walking up the serpentine plank trail on the cliff.

Take a boat on Liujiaxia Dam to visit Bingling Temple Grottoes Bingling Temple Grottoes Bingling Temple Buddhist Mural

Recommended Add-on Options

+2 more days to explore cultural and natural miracles in Dunhuang

Located in the northwest of Gansu and the westernmost of Hexi Corridor, Dunhuang is the most brilliant pearl along the ancient Silk Road. The city has sealed huge art treasury and created oasis in the desert. You can closely see the fantastic Buddhist sculptures, murals in World Cultural Heritage - Mogao Caves, visit Crescent Lake surrounded by Mingsha Mountain, view unique Yardang landform, ancient passes and more impressive scenery here.

You can take a 2-day brief trip to Dunhuang covering top highlights. On the day 1, you can go to Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent LakeE together, witness the wonder of nature, try some exciting activities, like desert camel riding, sand sliding, motorcycling, etc., later return to Dunhuang city to hunt for local flavors at Shazhou Night Market. Day 2 is fully for your Mogao Caves tour. First watch introduction movies about the caves in the Digital Exhibition Center, and then visit specific caves in Mogao Grottoes one by one, learning Buddhist story, Chinese culture and history, which you can’t help admiring this precious land of art.

the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
+2 more days to see the rainbow mountains in Zhangye

Zhangye is located in central Gansu along the Hexi Corridor between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. It is full of history and legends, and diverse in natural scenery. Here you can see the world famous Rainbow Mountains (the Danxia Landform), beautiful deserts, mysterious canyons, vast grasslands, lofty snow mountains, etc.

You can take an in-depth Danxia landform exploration with morning visit to Binggou Danxia and afternoon visit to Danxia Geopark in the Day 1; On the Day 2, you can visit the Giant Buddha Temple first, then go to visit Matisi Temple. After that, you still have enough time to take a flight or train to next destination.

Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

Recommended or Similar Tour Packages You May Also Like

Labrang Monastery
4 Days Lanzhou Labrang Monastery Tour

Lanzhou - Xiahe - Linxia - Lanzhou

Mogao Grottoes
7 Days Ancient Silk Road Treasure Tour from Tianshui

Tianshui - Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

No documents found.

Customize your own China Tour

China DIY Travel
We are here to help you design your own travel experience in China which suits your specific needs best. Tailor make now!
Start to design

Why travel with us...

Personalized service to ensure you're delighted.
Flexible to get more time for photos or discovery.
We time the visits to avoid the crowds.
The food, accommodations, and sights selected to your interests.
Personal tour guide and private vehicle at your service.
More about Us

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.

Customize a Trip
Why Book with China Discovery

You're inquiring about the " 3 Days Lanzhou Short Break "

Please tell us more about your travel plans within just a few simple steps. We'll get back to you with a quotation in 0.5~23.5hrs.

Check Your Tour Information

  • +2 more days to explore cultural and natural miracles in Dunhuang
    +2 more days to see the rainbow mountains in Zhangye

Tell us more about your trip

Tell us about yourself