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Lanzhou Waterwheel Garden

 Lanzhou Attractions

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Introduction to Lanzhou Waterwheel Garden (兰州水车园)

The Waterwheel has a long history in Lanzhou, originating in Ming Dynasty. It is the oldest irrigating tool along the coast of Yellow River. The waterwheel expo garden was set up in Lanzhou which is called “city of waterwheel”. The garden is themed with 12 Yellow River Grand Waterwheels. Besides, the garden contains more than ten waterwheels in different styles at home and abroad. This waterwheel garden is one of the top Lanzhou attractions. The Lanzhou Yellow River Waterwheel is a representative in China waterwheels with its unique construction, nice craft, and vigorous style.

Lanzhou is the only city through which the Yellow River flows, hence there are many irrigation machines in the city. The waterwheel was invented by Duan Xu during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is the oldest of its kind. Duan Xu learnt from the irrigation machines in Yunnan Province and invented a distinctive style with the appearance of chariot wheels of diameter ranging from 10 to 20 meters (32.8 to 65.6 feet). An axle and boards were placed at the centre of the wheel and the brim of the wheel was fixed with many quadrate buckets. These buckets could carry water to a height of 15 to 18 meters (49 to 59 feet) to water fields. Before the year 1952, there were about 252 waterwheels sighted along the river in Lanzhou and the city was called the ’City of Waterwheels’ then.

On the south bank of the Yellow River, you can see two huge waterwheels. They are modeled after the traditional waterwheel of a diameter 16.5 meters (54.1 feet) with quadrate buckets. During high water level periods, they were driven by flowing water of the river; in low water level periods, they were driven by water gathered by cofferdam. The two waterwheels and its location attract a lot of tourists to the Waterwheel Teahouse. Visitors get to watch the revolving waterwheels while enjoying a cup of tea here. 

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


West of Binhe Road, Qilihe District, Lanzhou, Gansu Province

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Main Sights

12 big and ancient style waterwheels

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Travel Information

Opening Hours: 8:00AM~06:00PM (the closing time will be extended to 8:00PM in summer)

Admission Fee: 10 Yuan

Visiting Time: 1~2 hours

Best Time to Visit: autumn, for autumn is the harvest season of fruits in Lanzhou, which could satisfy your appetite.

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


Take bus 7, 20, 25, 135 or 140 from Lanzhou downtown to get there directly.

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Tips 

Nearby attrations: Yellow River Mother Culpture, The Waterwheel Mountain, the Five Springs Mountain Park, Zhongshan Bridge, White Pagoda Mountain Park and White Cloud Temple.

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

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