Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province in China, and is considered as one of the major cities along the Hexi corridor. It is a city of almost 3 million people on the banks of the Yellow River and has more than 2000 years of history.
Geographically it's almost at the center of China,or also termed by the local as the most central of China.However, historically it's considered to be in the northwest edge of the heart of China.
Although Xian is sometimes considered the start of the Silk Road, but when you go west from Xian to Lanzhou, you will really feel you are getting out of China! There are many ethnicities of people living here, Han, Hui, Man, Tibetan are some of the main ones. Qinghai and Tibet is south of here, and Inner Mongolia is to the north.
Lanzhou is an important point on the Silkroad, which has prospered since the start of Silkroad but has dwindled since the route has lost its significance.
One can find numerous train to various parts of China easily. A good stopover point for trains.
Would advise foreigners heading to Tibet not to get their Tibet travel packages in Lanzhou city as major travel agencies there are unfamiliar with the admin,and you may be in shock to be referred to foreigners-attracted cities like Shanghai,Chengdu etc!
Most famous is the authentic Lanzhou beef noodles