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Linxia (临夏; Línxià) is a city in Gansu Province. It is the capital of the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture.


Colorful market town located in the mountains south of Lanzhou. Sometimes called the "Mecca of China," many consider it a main center of Hui Muslim culture in China.

Get in[edit]

Linxia is only accessible by road.

By bus[edit]

From Lanzhou - Lanzhou Nanzhan (Lanzhou South Bus Terminal, near Lanzhou University of Technology shortly Li Gong Da) serves the buses to Linxia, Gannan (including Xiahe, Hezuo and Langmusi, etc.). 2/3 of the road Lanzhou-Linxia is highway, thus trip time shortened now, for about 2 hrs. Be careful to the people around you outside the gate of Lanzhou Nanzhan. Frequency: about every 30 minutes serves a bus to Linxia, starting 7am-5pm.

From Linxia - There are 2 bus stations in Linxia. One is called Linxia Xizhan (West Terminal), which is operated by state-owned trans company. The other is named Linxia Nanzhan (South Terminal), operated by private sectors, i.e., individuals. Fares are almost the same. The principal disavantage of private transportation is their total disregard of any schedules. The driver would normally stop at every corner to get more passengers. Thus the bus heading to Xiahe (Labrang) scheduled for 6:30 left the city area only at 8:00. This took 3 hours to reach the destination instead of 1,5 hrs by the state-owned vehicle.

Usually, people in China like to take state-owned buses for their travel, maybe for the sake of safty.

The South Bus Station is at Jiefang Road

  • Lanzhou - takes about 2 hours
  • Menda Tianchi - takes about 4 hours
  • Xiahe - takes about 3 hours
  • Xining - takes about 9 hours
  • Xunhua - takes about 4 hours

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Numerous mosques (qing zhen si) and Islamic mausoleums (gongbei). Start with Da gongbei (大拱北) of the Qadiriya Brotherhood near the Red Garden (红园), which displays mostly Sinified outlook, than proceed to Bijiachang Gongbei (毕家场拱北) and Huasi gongbei (华寺拱北) of Hufiya and Naqshbandiya Brotherhoods respectively -both are clearly more Arabicised.

Do[edit][add listing]

Hike up the escarpment of the loess plateau north of town, to the pagoda of Wanshou Guan, a Taoist temple, for the great views of the Daxia River valley in which Linxia City is located.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Bank of China branch exchanges currency.

Throughout town there are vendors that sell the skullcaps of the local Muslim Hui ethnic minority in a variety of styles.

  • Antique Market, (Along one of the main streets). Has real and fake antiques. The selection there includes locally made bronze teapots, Tibetan metal and leather products, and porcelains. One product that travelers should NOT BUY are the furs. The skins of spotted leopards, an endangered species, appear on open display in the market. Leopard skins and other fur products have been poached in China or in neighboring countries. Asia's wildlife is quickly disappearing as China's appetite for illegal animal products increases. Please do not contribute to this crisis.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Most of the restaurants in town serve Islamic food. Search or ask for cafes and restaurants marked dazhong (大众) for alcohol and pork-serving places.

Unlike eastern China, where people mostly eat bread in the form of steamed bread (mantou), baked bread products abound in Muslim-heavy western China, including Linxia.

  • Xiang Fu Yi Pin (祥府伊品), Jiefang Rd (Near Linxia Nanguan Mosque), +86 930 623 8888. Muslim restaurant in an upmarket setting with tasty food at reasonable prices.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Red Park Cafe (红园咖啡; Hóngyuán Kāfēi), (Near the Red Park). Coffee shop (in the western sense) with a sleek modern look serving coffee, tea, bubble tea, and waffles. Owned by an English-speaking foreigner who can be helpful in getting information around town.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

July 2019, Shuiquan Binguan no longer is accepting foreigners. Baohan Hotel accepts foreigners. Basic double rooms, clean sheets, rustic, ok communal shower, the communal squat toilets are filthy. 15 min walk from Linxia South Bus Station. 56 RMB/night.

Get out[edit]

  • Liujiaxia Reservoir on the Yellow River. Accessible by minibuses going to Lianhua Tai.
  • Bingling Temple, by private boat from Lianhua Tai.

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