Chinese: 兴隆山 (Xīnglóng Shān), 栖云山 (Qīyún Shān) Location: 45 km to the south-east of Lanzhou, near Yúzhōng (榆中) county town Bus to Yúzhōng: Frequent buses from Tiānshuĭ Lù Chēzhàn bus station (天水路车站), which is 200m north of the train station on the east side of the road. Taxi from Yúzhōng: Xinglong Shan is only 7 km from Yúzhōng. A local 3-wheeler taxi should cost 10 yuan. Cost (per mountain): Adults 30 RMB; students 15 RMB Facilities: Tea-houses, restaurants, snack shops, zipline, spa, rock climbing centre, and a couple of hotels
The Xinglong Shan area is a pleasantly cool, green escape from the city, especially during the summer. You arrive at the bottom of a deep gorge, with two mountains rising to your west (Xinglong) and east (Qiyun).
The first entrance (on the left) takes you up Xinglong Shan (lit. 'prosperous and thriving' mountain). There are several temples and rest spots on the way up, as well as the start of the zipline, which stretches across the gorge to Qiyun Shan. There is a large tea-house and restaurant at the 'top' of the main path. It takes around an hour and a half to reach this point (walking at a leisurely pace). This 'top' is actually only about half-way up the mountain. From here, you can either continue higher up (along a less developed route), or go back down the mountain along a different path from the one you came up on, taking you back to the main road, about 1 km away from the entrance. The rock climbing centre is here, by the way.
For Qiyun Shan (lit. 'roosting in the clouds' mountain), continue another 300m past the entrance to Xinglong Shan. It's on the right. This is the harder climb of the two mountains, but is probably more satisfying, as you reach an obvious mountaintop. It takes around 2 hours, with a very steep flight of stairs on the final section (the "Ladder to Heaven"). You can also visit Chiang Kaishek's 'mansion', built by the Gansu KMT to accommodate him during a visit in 1941.