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Water Wheel Park Guide

-Travel to Water Wheel Park

To the west of the sculpture (Binhe Road), tourists can pay a visit to the Water Wheel Park to get an idea how the traditional irrigation tool works. In fact, the water wheels were introduced into Lanzhou from Yunnan Province by a local people, who used to work in Yunnan in Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the first water wheel was successfully built on the north bank of the Yellow River in 1556. The large water wheels have a diameter of about 20 meters, small ones around 10 meters, therefore, through the irrigation device, the water can be lifted about 15-18 meters high. Generally the big wheels can irrigate 600-700 Mu of land (1 Mu=666.6 square meter), and small one about 100-200 Mu. In the ancient time, water wheels were very advanced and convenient irrigation tool. Located in the Binhe Road in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, the Waterwheel Park was built in 1994. Covering an area of 1.45 hectares, the park is comprised of two waterwheels, a cofferdam, the recreation area and a house of water mill, which will provide an insight into the irrigation tools of the ancient times as well as some recreation activities.

Lanzhou is the only city through which the Yellow River flows, thus many irrigation machines were invented and placed in the city. The oldest waterwheel was invented in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). With characteristics learning from the irrigation machines in Yunnan Province and the adoption of some local usages, waterwheel was invented a distinctive style with the appearance of chariot wheels and a diameter ranging from 10 to 20 meters. The center of the wheel was placed with an axle and boards, while the brim of the wheel was fixed with many quadrate buckets. These buckets were used to carry water to a certain height to irrigate fields

Until 1952, with about 252 waterwheels stood along the river in Lanzhou, the city was reputed to be the "City of Waterwheels".In the Waterwheel Park, two huge waterwheels stand on the south bank of the Yellow River. They are modeled on the antique waterwheel with quadrate buckets and a diameter of 16.5 meters. In high water periods, the waterwheels are driven by flowing water from the river; while in low water periods, they are driven by water gathered by cofferdam.
Owing the advantaged position to appreciate waterwheels, the Waterwheel Teahouse attracts a lot of tourists. In the park, tourists can also experience crossing the river on a sheepskin raft, which is the most primeval ferrying tool in the northwest region of the Yellow River.

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