From Yinchuan I took the train to Lanzhou, Gansu Province.
In Lanzhou, I met my 2 German high-school friends Jan and Lucas. Xiao Li also accompanied my and so we formed a group of 4 people during the first day in Lanzhou. When Xiao Li and I arrived in Lanzhou in the early morning, the two German friends were still asleep, so we also decided to sleep for a while. Jan and Lucas visited Beijing the 3 days before, climbed the Great Wall, visited the forbidden city and then took the plane to Lanzhou.
After we all woke up, Jan and Lucas gave me some things, that I ordered from Germany, such as spaghetti sauce, deodorant and sausages. Super great!
After receiving the gifts, we went out for a walk into the city of Lanzhou. Everybody told me to eat the famous Lanzhou beef Lamian, a special kind of noodles with beef. The super friendly hostel owner recommended a restaurant nearby, that offered very decent beef Lamian. So the most important thing in Lanzhou was already done!
So now it was time for the relaxing part. We just visited some parks and temples.
In the afternoon we climbed a hill next to the riverbank, which also contained a temple with a small pagoda and provided several spots with a fantastic view over the city and the yellow river. If you see the pictures in this and the next chapter, you will soon figure out, that the yellow river clearly deserves its name..
We got a little bit hungry so I contacted the hostel owner to ask for any advices for food. He provided an excellent advice and told me that there’s a food market close to the other side of the river. I’ve seen many food markets already, but each single region has its own styles and I wasn’t surprised to see that Lanzhou also seems to have its distinct offerings.
Here and there we ordered some snacks, such as this bread with spicy meat and pepper or the yellow cake, which tasted a bit like corn.
(sorry, the following video is upside down, do maybe turn your device. I don’t have the software to turn the video now)
We waited until the end of the food market to order our main dish: grasshoppers. As soon as you ignore the fact that you eat insects, it’s quite decent, yet a little dry. So we helped ourselves with some beer.
That night, we went out to a club and enjoyed our night, so the next morning we got up a little bit later than expected. That’s why we needed to adjust our plans a little, but it didn’t matter much, because we already considered that there would be delays. We said goodbye to our friend Xiao Li and took the bus to Liujiaxia (刘家峡) in the South of Gansu province.
The destination of interest were the Binglíngsì Buddha Caves, which we planned to visit for a day trip and come back to Lanzhou at night. That didn’t work out, so we decided to stay one night in Liujiaxia, which is close to the Binglíngsì Buddhist Caves. I hope the many names of the towns and sights aren’t confusing too much, I’ll just name them so everyone can refer to the exact places where we’ve been.
As soon as we arrived in our hotel, we enjoyed some local tea and some German sausage. We found out there’s no shower in the hotel, so we decided to ask for hot water which you can get for free everywhere, let it cool down a little and then use it as a “shower”.
Since we still had some time left that day, we dediced to take a walk in that village and we soon found out that the village is next to the Yellow river as well, so we took a walk at the river bank.
The next day we visited the binglíngsì temple and further continued the journey to the north of Gansu province, I’ll keep you updated!