The travel guide publishers have scoured the world’s biggest continent to find the number one destination that tourists should put on their list to visit this year, and the winning location is one that you might not be overly familiar with.
Indeed one of the reasons that Lonely Planet have recommended this part of China is that it is fairly undiscovered. There are no hordes of tourists descending on the area every day, despite the fact that it is extremely well-connected with high-speed rail and highways – and there’s a new metro coming this year, too.
But that’s not to say there aren’t a whole host of unique attractions and things to do: the dramatic and varied landscape incorporates a section of the Gobi Desert, the Yellow River, the red stripey mountains of Zhangye Danxia, giant sand dunes, majestic forts along the Great Wall Of China and more.
The province is also home to one of the most important collections of Buddhist art in the world in the shape of the Mogao Grottoes. There is now also a new state-of-the-art visitor centre which allows you to appreciate the full history of the system of 492 caves, the first of which was dug as far back as 366 AD.
In addition to these killer attractions, Gansu as a whole is simply a great place to spend some time travelling around. It helps when the food is as good as this: the local cuisine is a standout, particularly the Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles.
If you’re making holiday plans and are scanning the map for the next big thing, look no further!