Regarded as the Mother River by the Chinese, the Yellow river runs through the city of Lanzhou the capital city of Gansu province, our next destination. We arrived at the city around 4:00 o’clock on the evening of October 2, 2008. This river is also popularly known as the cradle of the Chinese civilization. If it were to be in India it might be a Holy river where people take holy dip to cleanse themselves from their sins even though it’s dirty and so muddy.
We were taken to a place on the banks of the river where they erected a statue called the “Huang he muqing xiang” or the Yellow River Mother Sculpture. The sculpture was placed at a very prominent place on the bank of the river.
Not very far from the sculpture was the Water Wheel Park. The water wheel was an ancient device that uses flowing or falling water to generate power. We had a brief stop at the park and visited a shop that sells carved gourd of various shapes and sizes. They were finely carved with the landscapes, animals, portraits, calligraphy and poems. Some of the carved guard were priced 900 RMB. The price of the gourd pinched me a bit.
Another striking attraction in Lanzhou was the Sheepskin Raft. At first I was a bit uncomfortable at the sight of it because it looks like a pig (hope I didn’t offend anyone). The sheepskin raft has a very long history in the Chinese culture. It is an ancient mode of transportation used in the Yellow river. Today motor driven boats are mostly used for transportation, but there are quite a few sheepskin rafts to be seen near the river.
Our Last and final destination was The White Pagoda Mountain Park. We had to cross the famous bridge called Zhongshan Bridge in Lanzhou to go to the Bai Ta Shan (White Pagoda Mountain). I was surprised to find that it cost only 6 ¥, while Ta er si cost 80¥. Me and one of my colleague climbed up the mountain and we found that it functions like another business centre. We were not so impressed so we decided to go back and not walked all the way up. From the side of the hill we watched the river smoothly running along the city and enjoyed the view of the city from above.
We had dinner in one of the best restaurant (I assume) in Lanzhou. We then went to the train station to board the Xi’an bound train that was supposed to leave at 9:58 pm. We were a bit early so we sat outside the entrance chatting away with my colleagues.
That ends the story of my trips during the National Day Holiday. It was a nice get away from the busyness of life in our city.