CN-9: Lanzhou

Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province. A generally modern and overcrowded city, it has little by itself to offer a visitor.

But being the provincial capital, Lanzhou is the home to the Gansu Provincial Museum, one of the finest in China. As the home of Dunhuang, Zhangye, Wuwei and other Silk Road sites, Gansu has more than its share of historical artifacts, and its museum curators have done a wonderful job displaying them in a brand new building.

The museum of course holds many fine artworks from the Silk Road, including the Flying Horse of Wuwei described in the previous posting. However, we were the most taken with some of the more unusual items, such as this wooden “envelope” for sending messages from one station to another.

The museum also has a fine collection of pottery dating back to the Yangshou civilization and before. These are some of the oldest painted pots ever discovered, and they show remarkable sophistication.

After visiting the museum, we hurried to the airport for our evening flight to Kunming. This was a fine end to our three months of traveling the Silk Road.

– end of China Silk Road postings –

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