Subei (肃北) is a county located within Jiuquan Prefecture, in the extreme south west of Gansu Province. Situated more than 2,000 meters above sea level, Subei is near the Qilian mountain range to its south on the border with Qinghai province, which means this area, is bounded with a lot of hiking and mountaineering opportunity. The most notable being the Tuoming Mengke Glacier. The county is 50 km east of Aksai Kazakh Autonomous County.
Mongolians here stand out as the second most populous ethnicity.
In 2017, a railway project had been undergoing construction for a couple of years, and in the near future, Subei will be connected by rail to Dunhuang to the west and Golmud (Qinghai) to the south with further plans to Ruoqiang (Charklik) in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
5 buses (¥20) go to and from Dunhuang, with the earliest being at 08:30 departing from Subei. There are also buses that depart from Subei to Guazhou County and Jiuquan City.
Just around the bus station, taxis go to and from Dunhuang for ¥40 per person if you carpool with 3 others.
The main attraction is the Qilian mountain range which is located a hundred or so kilometers to the Qinghai border. But here are a couple of things to get you started.
Thousand mu of flower sea. (千亩花海)
This is a park with wooden elevated walkways that hinders through yards of different variety of flowers which includes any of various plants of the genus Centaurium like the vervain/verbena. Free admission
Lama temple (喇嘛庙)
Located just beside the flower park, through another paved road to the right, is this temple built half in Chinese dirt brink gansu style and Tibetan style. It’s worth a visit. Free admission
Tuoming Mengke Glacier
Shibaochengxiang (石包城乡) is the nearest town of significance, 90 km to the east in the Qilian mountain range. Buses from Subei departs only on Mondays and Fridays early in the morning for ¥65.
There is virtually just one hotel that will be able and willing to take foreigners. Tianjiao Hotel (天骄酒店) just besides the county government building. It’s one of the few huge buildings in town. Doubles for ¥186 (or probably even more).
All other roads are minor ones and they only go the small towns in the mountains.