The Gansu Provincial Museum (Gansusheng bowuguan), covering a total area of 16.5 acres, is the most impressive museum in the province. This is one of the best sights in the city, and for those who are in the western section of Lanzhou, a visit is well worthwhile. The museum complex is made up of three separate buildings linked by corridors, and further divided into two sections, a natural resources section downstairs and historical exhibits upstairs.
There are altogether thirteen exhibiting halls here housing famous historical relics, minority relics and a number of rare or extinct animal specimens. Among the most interesting exhibitions or relics are listed below. The museum's exhibitions are all in English.
The bronze Galloping Horse of Gansu, a 1,800 years old statue discovered only thirty years ago in a small town called Wuwei. The 14cm-tall horse, with its procession of chariots and horses behind, recently made a tour of the US and Canada.
The exhibition of the Silk Road, containing many treasures including Neolithic painted pottery that was excavated from the town of Dadiwan, whose ancient civilisation is believed to span back some 7,000 years. Also of interest are Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) Wooden Tablets, once used to relay messages along the road.
A one and a half meter high statue of a Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) warrior, made of a coloured and then glazed earthenware.
A gilded silver plate that portrays Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, that dates back some 2,000 years from the Eastern Roman Empire.
Finally, for those into prehistoric presentations, the 4m-tall Mammoth, whose remains were excavated from the Yellow River basin in 1973, is a fearsome sight.
Address: 3 Xijin xilu.
How to get Gansu Provincial Museum: Both bus No.1 and 31 take you there. The museum is directly across the street from the Friendship Hotel.
Opening hours: 9am-noon and 2:30pm-5pm.
China tours inclusive of visiting Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou