Jiayuguan Fort, also known as Jiayuguan Pass, is an ancient stronghold located at the western end of the Great Wall of China. It is one of the most well-preserved and significant fortifications along the Silk Road and a must-visit destination for history buffs and travelers who want to explore the ancient wonders of China.
Fast Facts of Jiayuguan Fort
- Location: Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province, China
- Area: 33,500 square meters
- Time Needed: Half a day to a full day
- Highlights: The Great Wall, the Overhanging Great Wall, Great Wall Museum, Weijin Tombs
- Suited to: History buffs, culture enthusiasts, adventure seekers
The Great Wall at Jiayuguan Fort
The comprehensive and systematic Great Wall Museum at Jiayuguan Fort is the first of its kind in China, showcasing the rich culture of the Great Wall. Located near the magnificent Jiayuguan Fort, which is the westernmost pass of the Great Wall, the museum spans an impressive 12,312 square meters and boasts seven exhibition halls.
With an impressive collection of over 6,000 historical and cultural relics, the Great Wall Museum at Jiayuguan Fort offers visitors an immersive experience of the Great Wall’s history, construction, protection, and culture. The exhibits range from models, pictures, sculptures, and paintings, showcasing the Great Wall’s evolution from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Along with this, the museum also provides insight into ancient wars, weaponry, and famous individuals who played a significant role in the Great Wall’s history, especially in the Hexi Corridor and the Silk Road.
What to See and Do in Jiayuguan Fort
Visit Jiayuguan Fort
Gateway to Medieval China. It is the oldest and most legendary pass along the Great Wall, built in the Ming Dynasty. It has an inner city wall and an outer city wall, as well as three large towers and a number of watchtowers.
Explore the Overhanging Great Wall
A steep and winding section of the Great Wall that looks like it is hanging over a cliff. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and desert.
Visit the Great Wall Museum
This museum is located near the Jiayuguan Pass and houses various artifacts and exhibits related to the Great Wall’s construction and history.
Hiking and Trekking
Visitors can hike and trek in the surrounding area, including the Qilian Mountains and the Gobi Desert.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Jiayuguan Fort is during the spring and autumn seasons, from April to May and September to November, when the weather is mild, and the scenery is at its best. Summers can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C, while winters can be cold, with temperatures dropping to -15°C.
Attractions Nearby Jiayuguan Fort
- Weijin Tombs: These ancient tombs date back to the Wei and Jin dynasties and offer a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived during that time.
- Mogao Caves: These ancient Buddhist caves are located in Dunhuang, a nearby city, and are known for their impressive murals and sculptures.
- Yulin Grottoes: These grottoes are located in Anxi County and are home to over 40,000 Buddhist statues and more than 1,000 square meters of murals.
- Gobi Desert: Visitors can explore the nearby Gobi Desert and enjoy activities such as camel riding and sandboarding.
Getting to Jiayuguan Fort
You can fly to Jiayuguan Airport from Lanzhou or Xian, and then take a taxi or a shuttle bus to Jiayuguan Fort. The airport is about 19 km and 30 minutes by car from the fort.
You can take a high-speed train or a normal train to Jiayuguan South Railway Station or Jiayuguan Railway Station from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Lanzhou, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Urumqi and other cities. The south station is about 10 km and 20 minutes by car from the fort, while the railway station is about 7 km and 15 minutes by car from the fort.
You can take a long-distance bus to Jiayuguan Bus Terminal from nearby cities like Zhangye, Dunhuang, Jiuquan, and Yumen. The bus terminal is about 9 km and 20 minutes by car from the fort. You can also take a local bus (Bus 4 or Bus 6) from the train station or the city center to the fort.