Lanzhou Danxia Landform, Yellow River Stone Forest, and Bingling Temple, Gansu Province (3 days)
Head out to Gansu Province for a three-day trip that features hikes and walks around three scenic spots near Lanzhou.
Fly to Lanzhou; visit the mosque, museum, and food street.
4-5 hour hike in the Lanzhou Danxia Landform; walk around the Yellow River Stone Forest.
Visit Bingling Temple and take a short hike; lunch in Lanzhou; fly back to Beijing.
Lanzhou Danxia Landform
We started hiking here a few years back, as part of our trips through Xiahe and Zhagana. Like the Zhangye Danxia Landform, the mountains here are striped with unusual colours. The area is still undeveloped, which means we’re able to do get up into the hills for a good long hike. (The local gossip is that the whole area is going to be shut down next year so it can be developed as a park – we’re doing these trips now so you can see it before that happens.)
We’ll do a 4–5 hour hike in the hills here, heading up to a high point that gives great views of the colours of the mountains.
Yellow River Stone Forest
On the way back to Lanzhou, after our hike at the Lanzhou Danxia Landform, we’ll stop by the Yellow River Stone Forest. The Stone Forest is a protected scenic area sited on a bend in the Yellow River, and contains canyons lined with rock columns – quite a sight!
We’ll do a short walk here to get a good look at the scenery.
One of the many Silk Road-related sites in Gansu, Bingling Temple is a collection of caves and cliffs filled with Buddhist carvings and sculptures that was recently only accessible by boat. The first caves date back to 420 AD, and more were being added as late as the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), and the sculptures and artwork in the caves preserves a record of the different styles of artwork popular during the time of construction.
We’ll tour the temples and caves, and then climb up to take a look at the 27m tall carved Buddha.
It’s going to be cold! Expect highs of around 6°C and lows of around -5°C. It could get colder! There’s a small chance of rain, so bring a waterproof jacket just in case.
On this trip we’ll stay in a nice hotel in Lanzhou. You’ll be sharing a room with another hiker. If you’d like a hotel room to yourself for the trip, it can be arranged at an extra cost of 500 RMB in total.
Further details about room shares and single supplement can be found in the documents we send you as part of the registration.
Flights and transport
We fly to and from Lanzhou for this trip. Land transportation will be via big and comfortable SUVs.
Want to organise your own way to meet us in Lanzhou? That’s fine, and you can subtract 1,700 RMB from the trip cost.
Frequent flyers: Please let us know if you would like to use your frequent flyer miles or if you are a frequent flyer member. If you would like to organise your own flights, we can provide further details.
We will take most of our meals at restaurants in the areas we visit, or at the hotels. Bring some spending money for snacks during the trip. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies.
Things to bring
- Passport/ID card
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Thermal underwear and other warm clothing (it could get cold!)
- Thick socks
- Hiking boots
- A day pack to take on outings, suitcases or bigger bags can be left at the hotel
- Camera and charger, batteries
- Torch or headlamp
- Mobile phone, charger
09:30 – Meet at Beijing Capital International Airport
11:20 – Take off
14:00 – Arrive at Lanzhou Airport
15:00 – Check in at the hotel
15:30 – Visit the Lanzhou Museum and a mosque
18:00 – Walk to the food street
19:00 – Dinner
20:00 – Back at the hotel
08:30 – Drive to Lanzhou Danxia Landform
09:30 – Start hiking at the Danxia landform
13:30 – Lunch
14:30 – Drive to the Yellow River Stone Forest for a walk
17:00 – Drive back to the hotel
18:00 – Arrive at the hotel
19:00 – Dinner
08:30 – Check out and drive to Bingling Temple near the Yellow River
09:30 – Arrive at the shore of Yellow River
10:30 – Tour of Bingling Temple
13:30 – Drive back to Lanzhou
14:30 – Lunch in Lanzhou
15:30 – Drive to the airport
17:00 – Check in for flight
19:15 – Take off
21:30 – Arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport
All times are approximate, and depend on our speed of movement.