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Getting There

The railway station is in the north of Beidao Qu, with many trains from Lanzhou (4 hr.) and farther west, and from Xi'an (4 hr.) and farther east. Tianshui's allocation of tickets is limited, so you may need to proceed through CITS in Qin Cheng. Heading west for Lanzhou there are plenty of options; the T52 (4 hr.; 3:48pm) is convenient. To Xining, the speediest choice is the T151 (7 hr.; 6:33am). To Chongqing, the only direct train is the K544 (19 hr.; 2:09pm). Pray for an upgrade. To Xi'an (4 hr.), take the T152 (6:47pm) or the T54 (5:55pm) that continues to Shanghai (20 hr.). Beijing trains include the T76 (17 hr.; 11:17pm).

The main bus station in Qin Cheng (tel. 0938/821-4028) is at Shandong Lu 31. Buses depart for Xi'an (380km/236 miles; 6 hr.; ¥69); Lanzhou (381km/236 miles; 4 hr.; ¥67); daily services also run to Linxia (4 hr.; ¥71) and there are buses for Yinchuan (610km/378 miles; 10 hr.; ¥105).

Getting Around

Bus no. 6 from the railway station connects Qin Cheng with Beidao Qu (15km/9 1/4 miles; 30 min.; ¥2.60). The first bus is at 6:20am; the last bus departs at 11:30pm. Taxis in both areas cost ¥6, white minivans ¥3.

Tours & Guides

CITS at 2 Wulong Lu (tel. 0938/273-3710; fax 0938/272-1948; www.tianshuitour.com) is useful if you are looking for a guided tour or an English-speaking guide (¥150 per day), but don't expect obligation-free advice. They are open from 8:30am to 6pm.

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The main Bank of China is located at Jianshe Lu 8 in Qin Cheng, 800m (2,624 ft.) east of the northeast corner of the main square on the north side of the road. The building has massive bronze lions out front. It's open from 8:30am to noon and 2:30 to 6pm on weekdays.

Internet Access -- An Internet bar on the second floor of Gonghui Dasha skyscraper charges ¥2 per hour.

Post Office -- The main post office (8am-6pm) is located on the northwest corner of the main square in Qin Cheng.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.