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Gannan Travel Guide

gansu Map1.jpgGannan, known as Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, is situated in the southwest of Gansu Province, neighboring Dingxi and Longnan in the east and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in the north. It is bounded on the south by Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province in the neighborhood of Guoluo, and Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefectures of Qinghai Province in the west.

Facts of Gannan Prefecture
Full Name: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese Name: 甘南藏族自治州 (gān nán zàng zú zì zhì zhōu)
Population: 682,900
Area: 45,000 square kilometers (17,375 square miles)
Nationalities: Tibetan, HanAdministrative Division: 7 counties: Lintan, Zhuoni (Jone), Luqu, Maqu, Diebu (Tewo), Zhouqu, Xiahe; 1 county-level city (Hezuo)
Seat of the Prefectural Government: Renmin Jie, Hezuo City,Gansu Province.

History of Gannan

istory: Before the Qin State in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) partly governed this area, Gannan was the domain of the ancient Qiang (later Tibetan) people, being one of the main birthplaces and residential areas of the Qiangs. It was in the year of 111AD that the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) brought Gannan into the feudal regime of Central China. It has played an important role in proving the relationship between the Han and the Tibetan. The south of the Silk Road and the Tang-Tibet Ancient Road all passed through this region. In 1954, the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established with Hezuo City as its capital.

Top Gannan Attractions

The prefecture lies in the northeast fringe of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the transition area to the Loess Plateau. The terrain slopes from the northwest to the southeast. It can be divided into three parts: the southern mountainous region with moderate climate, being an important forest zone in Gansu; the eastern hilly area and the eastern meadows and grassland, being the main pasturing area of the province.

Langmusi TownKesang 1.jpgLabrong Temple
                      Langmusi Town           Sangke Grassland                   Labrang Monastery

Hilights of Gannan: Xiangbala Tourism Arts Festival, held annually in midsummer, is the largest comprehensive tourism festival in Gannan Prefecture. During the fifth and the sixth lunar months, there are various festivals and ceremonies, such as Xianglang Festival, Erecting Arrow Festival and Caihua (Flower Picking) Festival. Apart from the traditional Tibetan festivals, it also has some special festivals for monasteries. For those who are interested in these Buddhist ceremonies, visitors can visit the Labrang Monastery during the third lunar month.

Gannan2.jpgGannan1.jpgGannan 1.jpg

The photoes taken to show dancers perform Tibetan drama at the opening ceremony of Shambhala Tourism Festival in Gannan, Northwest China’s Gansu province, July 17, 2016.  [Photo/Xinhua]

When to visit Gannan?

Gannan has a continental plateau climate, featuring high altitude, humid and cold weather. The temperature varies greatly during the day but slightly among four seasons. Its annual average temperature falls around 1C-13C . June to August is the best time to visit. The temperature in this period maintains a level of 15C-30C . The grassland scenery is at its best at this time. In winter, monasteries, no matter whether they are big or small, hold Buddhist ceremonies during the period from the eighth to the sixteenth day of the first lunar month. This is the busiest period. 

How to get to Gannan?

Lanzhou is the main transfer station for south and southeast Gansu, whether by air, by train or by bus. Buses are the only vehicles to get in and out of Gannan. Visitors can find these buses at the New Lanzhou South Bus Station at the junction of No.212 National Highway and Lanzhou-Lintao (Dingxi City) Expressway. In addition, buses to Xiahe County, Langmu Monastery, Maqu County, Diebu (Tewo) County are available in the south bus station in Lanzhou. As the seat of the prefecture government, Hezuo City has many regular buses to surrounding regions, such as Lanzhou, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Dingxi City, Aba of Sichuan Province and Xining of Qinghai Province. The bus station is located in Xiyi Lu.

Gannan Travel Tips

  1.  Special Local Products: Tibetan souvenirs, such as ornaments, embroidery, Tibetan herbs, silver wares, religious handicrafts

  2. Useful Telephone Numbers:
    Tourist Complaints: 0941-8212567
    Weather Forecast: 121
    Zip Code Inquiry: 184
    China Post Branch: No.104, Renmin Jie, Hezuo City

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