Home to one of the Great Wall of China’s most famous passes, Jiayuguan is a small city along the banks of the Beida River. It boasts an excellent museum exploring its Great Wall history and a fascinating subterranean tomb gallery, as well as a leafy central park with a nighttime light show.
Things to do
Discover the cultural heritage of the Jiayuguan Pass fortress complex at the Great Wall Museum of Jiayuguan, which is situated within the Cultural Relics Scenic Area. Learn about the Great Wall’s history throughout the country’s successive dynasties and browse the ancient weaponry on display, together with a stunning calligraphy collection.
Marvel at the Overhanging Great Wall, a 16th-century fortification that formed an integral part of the Jiayu Pass defence. Appearing like a dragon hanging over the slope, its yellow hue is camouflaged against the surrounding desert, tricking enemies into believing they could easily pass through after traversing the Black Mountain Canyon.
A short drive north-east of Jiayuguan takes you to the Wei-Jin Art Gallery, which encompasses more than 1,400 tombs built between the 3rd and 5th centuries. It’s considered the largest subterranean art gallery in the world, with colourful murals adorning its chambered tombs to illustrate the lives lead by the deceased.
Stretch your legs in the Jiayuguan Donghu Ecological Scenic Area, which includes leafy walking trails and the picturesque waters of Donghu Lake. Stay until after dark to experience its impressive light show that illuminates the park’s buildings in multicoloured displays.
Jiayuguan Airport is around 25 minutes’ drive from the centre of Jiayuguan and has regular flights to destinations across China. Buses travel throughout Jiayuguan and connect to most of the surrounding sights.