Known as the 'mouth of China' because of its position at the end of the Great Wall of China where it guarded the western boundary of Ming Dynasty China. The narrow river passage heading southeast from here is known as the Hexi Corridor and is nicknamed the 'throat of China'.
Bus 1 - The southbound bus heads from the centre of town to the train station.
Bus 4 - This leaves the train station, goes through town and then to the Jiayuguan Fort, north of the city. 45 minutes from the train station to the fort.
Bus 6 - This leaves the long distance bus terminal and goes to the Jiayuguan Fort, north of the city. 15-20 minutes from the bus station to the fort.
The Overhanging Wall is 8km from the fort. You can choose one-day tour bus ticket or take a taxi. Round trip bus ticket is ¥50, and it will take 30 minutes on the bus. If you take a regular bus to the fort, taxis can be hired for ¥50 round-trip (be sure to agree round-trip price BEFORE departing) to the Overhanging Walls (including waiting time), so no need to use the tourist bus.
The Jiayuguan Wei and Jin Dynasty Cutural travel scenic is 18 km away from urban city, you can choose one-day tour line or take taxi, round trip ticket is CNY50, and it will take 30 minutes on the bus.
Jiayguan tourist area
Three parts - Jiayuguan Fort, the Overhanging Wall, and The First Beacon.
Jiayuguan Fort. The ticket for the Fort alone (which also gives admission to the Great Wall Museum, located inside the Fort boundary) is 120 yuan (60 for students) as of August 2012. This does not include admission to either section of the Overhanging great wall or the First Beacon. Take bus no. 4 or 6 to the last stop, north of the town. Western terminus of the Ming Great Wall of China, trapezoid-shaped fortress overlooking the Gobi Desert. There is ongoing restoration work being carried out on large sections of the fort as of May 2014, although it is still very much open for business.edit
Great Wall Museum. Inside the area of the Fort, and no additional ticket required. Dedicated solely to the Great Wall. Not all exhibit descriptions translated into English.edit
Overhanging Wall. (悬壁长城). There are two different great wall sections, right next to each other. The first section (closest to the city by about 200m) is independently run, and costs 25 yuan. This section has a fort and two towers. The second section has two towers and no fort, but the climb is higher. This section is run by the same organization as the fort, and is ¥21, ¥11 for students. Tickets to the second section can be purchased in combination with the Fort for ¥130 (¥65 reduced). UPDATE May 2014: I just showed my regular ticket from the fort (¥60 student ticket) at the Overhanging Wall counter and the lady ushered me to the entrance, where my ticket was hole-punched again, no additional charge. About 8km Northwest of the Fort, you can walk or cycle from Jiayuguan Fort to the East or take a taxi (costs ¥50 for round trip from town). Both sections of the Overhanging Wall seem to be newly built tourist attractions, rather than authentic restored sections of the Ming Dynasty Wall, so are perhaps not worth visiting. There's a path just past the first one that leads up the mountain and to the open back entrance.edit
First Beacon of Great Wall (长城第一墩;changcheng diyi dun) 20 yuan, zip line over river Beida (31 yuan). About 7km Southwest of the Fort.
Wei Jin Tombs. Tombs of town from the Wei and Jin periods with nice paintings inside. Only one tomb is open to the public. It includes three small rooms. Nevertheless it is very interesting and you will not be disappointed. Photography is forbidden inside the tomb. At the entrance of the tomb compound is a small museum with some coffins. A trip from the city and back (including visit) takes about 1.5 - 2 hours.edit
Night Market, (North corner of Jiayuguan, easy to find, head north along Xinhua South Road, the main street, it is on the right after the crossing where the Jiayuguan Hotel is). There are venders on the street selling food, and lots of little street restaurants.edit
Jinhua Jiulou, Xinhua South Road (Oppisite the Jiaotong Hotel, behind the little park). The staff do not speak English, but the food is great.edit
Aili-Bakery, (Xinhua Zhonglu, 100-200m south-east of the roundabout, east-side of the road). Bakery-Cafe with free and fast Wifi-Connection. Coffee is rubbish, but pastry is ok...edit
Huili Business Hotel (Huili Business Hotel), West of Xiongguan Square jiayuguan, china, 735100, . The Huili Business Hotel (Jiayuguan Huili Shangwu Gongyu) is located in downtown Jiayuguan, west of Xiongguan Square. All 141 rooms are equipped with independent air conditioning, digital TVs, computers and broadband internet access. edit
Jiayuguan Yuda Hotel (Jiayuguan Yuda Hotel), West Yingbin Road (Yingbin Xi Lu) jiayuguan, china, 735100, . The Jiayuguan Yuda Hotel (Jiayuguan Yuda Dajiudian) is located in the vicinity of Yingbin Lake and is only 3 kilometers from Jiayuguan Railway Station. On offer here are various rooms equipped with all standard amenities including air conditioners, international direct dial phones and mini bars. edit
Youth Hotel (Qing Nian Hotel), No. 3 Jianshe West (Walk south from the long distance bus terminal along Shenglin Middle road and turn left after 1km.). checkout: 14:00. The building itself is pink and has a steeple on top, kind of making it resemble a church. It's set in a little bit from the street, so it's easy to miss at first but you'll know it when you see it since there's a large sign in English saying "Youth Hotel". The shared bathroom and shower are really shared: no dividers or segregation of genders.50rm shared bathroom, 160rmb Single ensuite. 180rmb (with discount) Double room ensuite bathroom. (39.784136,98.276217)edit
Jinye Binguan, (Junction Lanxin Xilu and Shengli Zhonglu). Rates in August 2012: "Standard Room" for 200 yuan; "Common Room" for 138 yuan, but possible to bargain. Shared bathrooms absolutely vile - reeking and uncleaned, all showers broken. edit
No english name hotel, (Go 100m NW from Jinye Binguan. The hotel is after a pharmacy and a copyshop.). twin without bathroom 45yuan, twin with ensuite 68yuan. Friendly owner, but Chinese identity card required, so foreigners not allowed.edit
Jiaotong, (On the corner of Lanxin East Road and Xinhua South Road, near the long distance bus station), ☎ +86 937 6202260. edit
Xin Yi, (At the city hospital bus stop (line 1 and 4), next to the market and right next to the Chinese Construction Bank.). edit ¥60 for a double room with bathroom. Chinese identity card required.
Jiayuguan Fort Hostel, (After you get off bus 4 or 6 in front of the fort, walk 200m away from Jiayaguan town to the junction and turn left. Hostel is right outside the exit of Jiayuguan Fort Museum, look for the large blue signs (in Chinese) on the last building on the right before the security gate.), ☎ 18673091831. Well located, literally right beside the fort and museum - take the 4 or 6 bus for ¥1 from town. Dorm ¥34. edit
Qingnian Hotel (Qingnian Binguan), 4 Jianshe West Road, ☎ +86 937 6201088. Be careful of this hotel. Even if you speak Chinese, they will say one price for a room checking in, and when you leave they will charge you another price. edit
Donghudajiudian (Donghudajiudian), Yingbin East Rd. - between Datong Rd & Gangcheng Rd, ☎ +86 937 6385588. Very friendly place. Clean, tidy and good value for money. Westerns can stay. Great hotpot restaurant on the 2nd floor, v.popular with locals edit
Internet Cafe - On Xinhua Nan Lu. From the Xiongguan hotel walk north about 30m. On the right hand side, there is an entrance with stairs. The internet cafe is on the first floor. This is a big place, good speed, flat screens, but a little smokey. ¥2 per hour.
July 1st Glacier - enormous 500 meter glacier, day trip tours available, renting a taxi costs about ¥500 (2009) for the 130km trip. The road is long and the conditions are not great, make sure you rent a good taxi. 3-5 hours, to the 4,300 m base. Then a climb up to the glacier.
Another way to get to the glacier is to take a train to Jintieshan for 4.5 yuan each way - departs at 7am, returns at 5pm. It takes about 2 hours. From there you need to go by taxi for about another hour (we were quoted 100 yuan per person in Aug 11, but negotiated it down, feel we could have got it down to half price). For the price the driver will wait and bring you back to the station again in time for the 5pm train back to Jiayuguan.
Entrance is 101 yuan, or 51 for students.
head south Xinhua Zhonglu for about 3km until you reach a statue with a horse. Turn left for 200-300m. The PSB is on your left. (opposite the stadium). Friendly staff, takes 2-3 days.
UPDATE September 2012: very rude and unfriendly staff at the PSB, spoke only little English, told us extension would take 5 working days.
9-11-13 Very friendly. Handed over passports Wed PM, will be ready for collection Friday PM