Lanzhou is the provincial capital of Gansu province. Covering an area of 14,620 square kilometers along the Yellow River, Lanzhou is the political, economic and educational center of Gansu province and a key transportation hinge in northwestern China. There are valleys, basins, hilly land and Huangtumao ditch and gully area in the city with Yellow River flowing through from east to west.
Lanzhou enjoys a time-honored history and is an important city along ancient Silk Road. Early back to 5000 years ago, people had settled here. During the West Han Dynasty (202B.C-9A.D), it was named "Jincheng City", meaning gold city in Chinese. The name was changed to Lanzhou city during the early Sui Dynasty (A.D581-618) and called so ever since. From the Han Dynasty (206B.C-220A.D) to the Tang (A.D618-907) and Song (A.D960-1279) Dynasty, Lanzhou had become an important place of commerce and transportation along the ancient Silk Road, which served as a bond between China and foreign countries, playing a crucial role in cultural and economic communications between east and west. Ancient Silk Road had endowed the city with plenty of historical sites and glamorous culture, attracting millions of tourists to experience the ancient civilization of China. Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, is one of the three major Buddhist grottoes in China; Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves, represents the Buddhist art with historical value; Waterwheel Park, provides an insight into China's ancient irrigation tools along Yellow River; White Pagoda together with the Zhongshan Bridge at its foot become a symbol of Lanzhou City; and Five-spring Park, owns springs with beautiful legends.
Lanzhou is now a key link on the present Eurasia Bridge, building the modern Silk Road. As a crossroad between Asia, middle-east and Europe, Lanzhou serves as a bond with advantageous strategic position. Lanzhou is the standard Yellow River crossing point as well, thus becomes a transportation hub and communication center between east and west, north and south China.
The weather in Lanzhou is featured by large temperature differences and less rainfall. It is hot in summer; cold and dry in winter. The climate is suitable for the growth of fruits and melons; hence Lanzhou is also called "Fruit and Melon City". The Bailan Melon, Yellow River honeydew melons and Lanzhou black melon seeds etc. all enjoy nationwide reputations.