Welcome to Lanzhou
At China’s cartographic bullseye, Lánzhōu (兰州) marks the halfway point for overlanders trekking across the country. Growing up on a strategic stretch of the Yellow River (黄河; Huáng Hé), and sitting between competing Chinese and Central Asian empires, Gānsù’s elongated capital city frequently changed hands, reflected today in its mix of ethnic groups and cultures. These days, Lánzhōu is perhaps most well known for its favourite food – Lánzhōu beef noodles (牛肉拉面; niúròu lāmiàn) – and with several excellent night markets, this is an excellent place to sample the delights of Chinese Silk Road fare. Lánzhōu's reputation as being hazy and traffic-choked is also changing with the building of a new metro, which should be open by the time you read this.