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Discovering Lanzhou

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By Lara Marzo, Insight China Delegate

After four exiting days in Beijing we continued our journey with a two day visit in Lanzhou, the capital and largest city of the Gansu Province. Lanzhou is located in the northwest of China and from west to east flows the Yellow River through the city. It is famous for its beef noodle soup and the Zhongshan bridge.

At the Airport we were warmly welcomed by Yuming (Stephen) Zhu, Director of Sister-city Affairs Gansu Provincial Foreign Affairs. After a short lunch break, we had the opportunity to explore the Lanzhou New Area District and the Lanzhou New Area Planning Exhibition Hall. The new Area was found in 2010 and covers approximately 1744 square kilometers with a population of around 300’000 people. We received very insightful information on the past and future steps to expand the Lanzhou city.

After exploring the new area district, we visited the Middle School of Northwestern Normal University. The president, Mr. Jia Jinyuan, gave us a tour through the school and provided us with information on the history, classes and international exchange with other universities. We visited some of the classes and were able to gain an insight into the life of a student at the school. After an introductory presentation we enjoyed two incredible performances by the students of the Middle School of Northwestern Normal University and we as well performed two traditional swiss songs. We ended the very exciting day by enjoying traditional chinese food in a traditional chinese restaurant.

On our second day, we visited the Gansu Provincial Museum, which celebrates its 80th birthday this year. The museum has four main exhibitions, which includes colored pottery, ancient animal fossils, silk road and the Buddhist art. The English guided tour helped us understand the incredible cultural heritage of China and Gansu. For lunch we enjoyed the famous Lanzhou beef noodle soup in a traditional Chinese restaurant. The Chef gave us a nice demonstration of the preparation of the beef noodle soup.

In the Afternoon we visited the Gansu Rural Women Handicraft Museum. After a tour through the museum we got divided into three groups and received the opportunity to be part of some DYI handicraft activities including Papercuts, shell bags and knitting decorations. The afternoon at the museum left us with wonderful hands-on experience of Chinese culture and tradition and we all had a lot of fun in challenging our handicraft skills. For Dinner an impressive Banquet was organized and hosted by Director-General Zhang Baojun of Gansu Provincial Foreign Affairs Office at the Zugong Hotel. A beautifully decorated table was ready for us at our arrival. Besides the delicious food, we had the opportunity to taste a local red wine and the nationally famous Baijiu liquor.

We made incredible experiences in Lanzhou, receiving valuable insight on the history and culture of Lanzhou and the Gansu province. The heartwarming hospitality made us feel very welcome and comfortable right from the beginning.

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