Lanzhou: The third most polluted city in the world

17:54 Paul Robinson 0 Comments

Lanzhou does not have a good reputation. Guide books are usually dismissive and lazily quote a fact that it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. I can't see how this cool little city  has gathered such a poor reputation.

When I arrived, the transfer from the airport to the city was effortless. What's more, the air was perfectly clear which allowed me to admire the gathering clouds above. The sky is usually a soupy beige colour in China  and I really appreciate those rare days when a clear sky brightens my mood.

The palaver at the airport meant I only had a few hours to spend in Lanzhou. I visited a few sights and had a general mooch. As always, Chine comes alive amongst the tiny side streets and alleyways. Fruit vendors, bike mechanics and pet dog sellers all jostle for space. Then there are the ubiquitous Lanzhou Beef Noodle stalls. I tried them and they were bloody good. The soup was spicy and sour and had plenty of vegetables - a world apart from the greasy slop I'm used to in Jinan noodle places.

As usually the locals were lovely. A few wanted to pose for pictures and others wanted to shake my hand.  I can even understand their Chinese dialect in Lanzhou. They are either speaking to me in crystal clear Standard Mandarin or their dialect has a familiar Lancastrian twang.

Unfortunately it was quickly time for me to get to bed in preparation my early morning bus to the famous Labrang Monastery.

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