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You can check air quality around China courtesy of Air Quality in China (.org). Below, you can see how Lanzhou compares right now to some other cities that visitors to China typically spend time in.
The Redefining Lanzhou site has a (out of date, it must be said) page on air quality, which attempts to persuade visitors that seasonal variations in air quality makes visiting Lanzhou in the summer a pleasant option.
China.org.cn has published a list of 'Top 10 Attractions in Gansu', as follows:
1. Mogao Grottoes (Dunhuang)
2. Yueya Spring (Mingsha, Dunhuang)
3. Jiayu Pass (Jiayuguan)
4. Maiji Mountain (Tianshui)
5. Labrang Monastery (Xiahe)
6. Gannan Grasslands (South Gansu)
7. Kongtong Mountain (Pingliang, see photo)
8. Three Gorges of the Yellow River (Liujiaxia)
9. 100 Li Yellow River Scenic Area in Lanzhou
10. Dafo Temple (Zhangye)
You can find news and upcoming events on eChinacities.com Lanzhou in Pulse page.
Writing in Der Spiegel (German print edition, 2 July 2012), Sandra Schulz asks 'are there lessons to be taken from the Communist Party's method of governance?' The writer has been to Lanzhou to find some answers. Read article here (translated into English, published on Spiegel Online, 31 August 2012).
The Lanzhou Painted Pottery Museum (兰州彩陶博物馆 Lánzhōu cǎitáo bówùguǎn) opened on 28 November 2011. It is located in the 'Golden City Pass' Culture and Customs Quarter on the north bank of the Yellow River, near White Pagoda Hill Park (map). Chinese news story here. Photos here.
According to the 'China Urban Competitiveness Ranking 2011', Lanzhou has come second in the list of cities with best landscapes (China Institute of City Competitiveness).
The full list is as follows:
To be held on Sunday 3 July 2011. As well as the marathon, there are half-marathon, 10km and 5km races. More information here.
There is a zipline about 200 metres west of the back gate at the top White Pagoda Hill Park (白塔山). There are photos below, and a promo video on Tudou (which is pretty good, if you can ignore the 'busy' webpage). You can also do a zipline at Xinglong Shan (no photos).
You can plan bus journeys in Lanzhou on Google Maps. Just right click over your departure point and select 'directions from here', then right click over your destination and select 'directions to here'.
The results show a selection of possible routes, how long the journey should take, number of stops, connections, and distances of any walking involved.
Here are the search results for the journey from Lanzhou Station to the Gansu Provincial Museum, with the route used by bus #1 highlighted. Select 'view larger map' to see in full:
There are some new interactive features on the Air Quality page, which lets you see the daily Air Pollution Index results of provincial cities and municipalities measured by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Below are some screen shots: