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Home Travel in Gansu Jinchang--The Nickel City of China
Jinchang--The Nickel City of China
Travel in Gansu

(jīn chāng 金昌) is a prefecture-level city in China's Gansu province.The City is located in central Gansu, west of the Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河), north of the Qilian Mountains (qí lián shān 祁连山), and south of the Alashan Plateau (ā lā shàn yòu qí  阿拉善右旗). The southwest of the city borders Qinghai Province (qīng hǎi shěng 青海省) and the northwest borders Inner Mongolia (nèi méng gǔ 内蒙古).  It is a newly developed industrial city founded on the basis of mines, nonferrous metal metallurgy and chemical industries.


JinchangJinchang has 1 urban district and 1 county with a total population of 458,500 and half of which is urban. The area is 8,896 km². It has important archaeological sites from the stone age, a Western Han site, and sections of the Great Wall from the Han (hàn cháo 汉朝) and Qing dynasties (qīng cháo 清朝). The famous scenic spots in Jinchang include Shengrong Temple (shèng róng sì tǎ 圣容寺塔), Liqian Ruins (lí jiān yí zhǐ 骊靬遗址), and Yongchang Bell Drum Tower (yǒng chāng zhōng gǔ lóu 永昌钟鼓楼). The relatively undeveloped natural environment is also a draw for tourists.


As early as 4,000 years ago, ancestors of Gansu People entered the primitive clan society. Before the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD) established shires and counties to administrate this area, it was successively dominated by several ethnic regimes.

JinchangIn the Shang Dynasty, it is the herd place of West Rong People. During the Spring-Autumn and War State Period, the Yuch-chih people raising herds in the area. In early Han Dynasty, Jinchang was under the control of HunXiutu (xiōng nú xiū tú 匈奴休屠).

Jinchang city, founded in 1981, is a provincially administered industrial city. It is honourably named as the "China Nickel City" for it is rich in nickel. Our former national leader, Deng Xiaoping once called it "a city of gold" when he visited Jinchuan in 1960s. Then in 1992, the former President Jiang Zemin also paid a visit to Jinchang and dedicated it "the soaring nickel city". Ever since 1994, Jinchang has been awarded titles of the State Model City for Supporting Army by the Bureau of Civil Affairs and the PLA (People's Liberation Army) General Political Department, the Provincial Civilized Cityand the State Hygiene City by provincial committee and provincial government.

Geographic Features and Climate

JinchangThe terrain of Jinchang city basically declines from south to north, and its land interleaves mountains and plains. Southern Jinchang is comprised of vast mountainous area. In the central, there are basins, oasis plains and mountain valleys dotted peaks. Desert plain is mainly distributed in northernJinchang.

Jinchang is in the temperate zone and has a dry climate, and because the difference of the topography, the climate is different from place to place. the annual average rain fall in the north part is 119.5 mm while the south part is about 300 mm of the annual average temperature is 9°C.

Economic Features

JinchangMetallurgy, chemicals and building material are pillar industries of the city. Jinchuan Group Limited (JNMC), the largest producer of nickel and cobalt in China, has had an annual production capacity of 130,000 tons of nickel, 200,000 tons of copper, 6,000 tons of cobalt, 8,000 kilograms of platinum group metals (PGMs) and 120,000 tons of chemical products. The company realized sales revenue RMB 65.8 billion in 2009, ranking first among all the industrial enterprises in Gansu province.The service sector generated value-added output of RMB 3.24 billion, accounting for 15.4% of the city's total GDP in 2010.


Shengrong Temple (shèng róng sì tǎ 圣容寺塔)
In the Yushan Gorge at the end of the Jinchuanxia Reservoir stands the famous temple in northwestern Gansu, Shengrong Temple. It was first built in 561, and once changed into Tonggan Temple in the Sui Dynasty (581-618). Pagoda of Tang Dynasty, Ruins of the Great Wall of Han and Ming Dynasty, tombs and stone carvings of Xixia Kingdom, as well as many other relics are well preserved in the temple.

JinchangThe Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty(618--907) and got the name because it stand on the cliff near the temple, Now the temple has been destroyed but its pagoda till stands there, it is 16.2 meters tall with a concise look and Tang-style structure, Inside the pagoda there are several remains of frescos and inscriptions. It provides important materials for researches of history, culture and architecture of the ancient Silk Road.

Location: in Jinchuanxi Village (jīn chuān xī cūn 金川西村) of Chengguan Town (chéng guān zhèn 城关镇), Yongchang County (yǒng chāng xiàn 永昌县)
Tel: 0935-8214499
Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00
Transportation: Take Bus No.1, 2, 5, 6 can arrive there
Admission Fee: CNY10

Liqian Ruins (lí jiān yí zhǐ 骊靬遗址)
JinchangThe ruins lie in Zhelaizhai Village of Yongchang County. Legend says that during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD), a group of several thousand exiled Roman soldiers surrendered to the Han Court which settled them in Zhelaizhai Village, (also called Liqian City by local people). They lived a peaceful life from then on. The local villagers with typical European looks are said to be their descendants. They love oxen very much. The offerings made into ox shapes are regarded as the best and noblest and they always enjoy bullfighting games. These traditions are said to be from ancient Rome.

Behind the courtyards in the west of the village, there is a broken section of the old city wall built in an "S" shape. This measures 11 yards long and three feet tall. Scientists have pointed out that this insignificant mud wall is part of the Liqian Ancient City Relic. Near the wall stands a white pavilion, built in ancient Rome architectural style.

Location: in Zhelaizhai Village (zhě lái zhài cūn 者来寨村) of Yongchang County (yǒng chāng xiàn 永昌县)
Tel: 0935-8214499
Opening Hours: The whole day
Transportation: There is no non-stop buses in Jinchang City, It is recommended to take a taxi or rent a car.
Admission Fee: Free

Yongchang Bell Drum Tower (yǒng chāng zhōng gǔ lóu 永昌钟鼓楼)
Yongchang Bell Drum Tower  is also called Voice and Drum Tower, it lies in the center of Yongchang County seat, First built in 1586 in the Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝), the town is a harmonious blend of architectural features of Mongol (méng gǔ 蒙古), Han and Tangus ethnic groups.

JinchangConsisting of base and body, the tower is 35 meters tall with an elegant and solemn look, There hang 12 large horizontal inscribed boards written by celebrities of various dynasties on the four sides of the tower, The building has a good structure, consummate techniques and a grand look. Climbing the tower, people can look over mountains, desert and oasis and enjoythe beautiful scenery in west China.

Location: lies in the center of Yongchang County
Opening Hours: The whole day
Transportation: Take a taxi to Yongchang museum
Admission Fee: CNY10
Advised Visiting Time: Half a day


There is no airport and railway station in Jinchang, the only way to reach there is by bus. Jinchang Bus Station in Xinhua Road (East) offers buses to Lanzhou, Wuwei, Jiayuguan and many other places within the city or neighboring cities. Jinchang is 396 kilometers (246 miles) from Lanzhou, and buses to Jinchang can be found in the long-distance bus in No.133, Pingliang Road of Lanzhou City.


Jinchang Shengronggu Wine (shèng róng gǔ jiǔ 圣容古酒)
Jinchang Shenggurong Wine is a high quality distilled spirit produced by Jinchang Wine Factory. Brewed with traditional techniques and scientific recipe, this spirit tastes mellow and the fragrant scent can be kept for long. It has an annual production of 50 tons and is one of the brand products in Gansu Province.

Yongchang Dumplings (yǒng chāng jiǎo zǐ 永昌饺子)
One of Yongchang local snack, Yongchang dumplings are made by potatoes and select mutton. It is featured with thin peel and much stuffing and rich fragrance. With rich nutrition, it is not oily and suitable for both the old and the young.Jinchang

Trout (jīn chāng zūn yú 金昌鳟鱼)
Trout is a famous and precious fish grown in Yongchang and there are Gold Trout and Red Trout. Its meat is delicate and tastes smooth. It can be cooked with both sugar and vinegar and can be cooked hot or cool and is a classic cate for treating guests. 

Travel Tips:

Seat of the City Government: No.82, Xinhua Road, Jinchuan District
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tourist Complaints:
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China Jinchang Branch: Xinhua Road (East), Jinchuan District
China Post Jinchang Branch: No.87, Xinhua Road, Jinchuan District
Recommended Time to Visit: Summer and Autumn