Linxia (临夏; Línxià) is a city in Gansu Province. It is the capital of the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture.
Colorful market town located in the mountains south of Lanzhou. Sometimes called the "Mecca of China," many consider it a main center of Hui Muslim culture in China.
Linxia is only accessible by road.
Most travelers are coming or going to Lanzhou, which is about three hours away. Buses run throughout the day and leave from Lanzhou's West Bus Station. Alternatively it shouldn't be too hard to arrange a private taxi to take you out here. Ask any of the people hanging around the bus station for a ride (updated August 2008).
From Lanzhou - Only Lanzhou Nanzhan (Lanzhou South Bus Terminal, near Lanzhou University of Technology shortly Li Gong Da) serves the buses to Linxia, Gannan (including Xiahe, Hezuo and Langmusi, etc.). 2/3 of the road Lanzhou-Linxia is highway, thus trip time shortened now, for about 2.5 hrs. Be careful to the people around you outside the gate of Lanzhou Nanzhan. Frequency: about every 30 minutes serves a bus to Linxia, starting 7am-5pm.
From Linxia - There are 2 bus stations in Linxia. One is called Linxia Xizhan (West Terminal), which is operated by state-owned trans company. The other is named Linxia Nanzhan (South Terminal), operated by private sectors, i.e., individuals. Fares are almost the same.
Usually, people in China like to take state-owned buses for their travel, maybe for the sake of safety.
The South Bus Station is at Jiefang Road
- Lanzhou - takes about 4 hours
- Menda Tianchi - takes about 4 hours
- Xiahe - takes about 3 hours
- Xining - takes about 9 hours
- Xunhua - takes about 4 hours
Numerous mosques (qing zhen si) and Islamic mausoleums (gongbei).
Hike up the escarpment of the loess plateau north of town, to the pagoda of Wanshou Guan, a Taoist temple, for the great views of the Daxia River valley in which Linxia City is located.
Throughout town there are vendors that sell the skullcaps of the local Muslim Hui ethnic minority in a variety of styles.
- Antique Market (Along one of the main streets). Has real and fake antiques. The selection there includes locally made bronze teapots, Tibetan metal and leather products, and porcelains. A traditional local product are eyeglasses of peculiar style.
One product that travelers should NOT BUY are the furs. The skins of spotted leopards, an endangered species, appear on open display in the market. Leopard skins and other fur products have been poached in China or in neighboring countries. Asia's wildlife is quickly disappearing as China's appetite for illegal animal products increases. Please do not contribute to this crisis. International trade in products from endangered animal species is prohibited by the CITES convention, and an attempt to smuggle them into a country such as Australia may result in confiscation and heavy fines.
Most of the restaurants in town serve Islamic food.
Unlike eastern China, where people mostly eat bread in the form of steamed bread (mantou), baked bread products abound in Muslim-heavy western China, including Linxia.
- Longquan Wheaten Food Restaurant.
- Red Park Cafe (红园咖啡; Hóngyuán Kāfēi) (Near the Red Park). Coffee shop (in the western sense) with a sleek modern look serving coffee, tea, bubble tea, and waffles. Owned by an English-speaking foreigner who can be helpful in getting information around town.
There are a couple small guesthouses right across from the main bus station. There are bargains here: as little as ¥30 for a couple with bathroom. Poke around and be sure to bargain.
- Shuiquan Hotel (Shuiquan Binguan) (Main crossroads, close to the main (southern) bus station). Double with en-suite: ¥70, double without bathroom ¥36 (summer 2006).
- Liujiaxia Reservoir on the Yellow River. Accessible by minibuses going to Lianhua Tai.
- Bingling Temple, by private boat from Lianhua Tai.