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the Degree Confluence Project
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China : Gānsù Shěng

12.2 km (7.6 miles) SW of Xinsi, Gānsù, China
Approx. altitude: 2097 m (6879 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 36°S 77°W

Accuracy: 6 m (19 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The Hole Underneath #3: GPS Reading with Official Coordinates #4: Kid Posing at the Centre #5: Huizu Minorities are being asked where the Centre of China is #6: Reward to myself after a long day #7: "Wrong" Centre with Hen running accross #8: Water Dripping out at the Centre #9: Information on a Stone Tablet #10: Dongxiangling Village as seen from the Monument

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  36°N 103°E (visit #2) (incomplete) 

#1: The Centre of China

(visited by Rainer Mautz)

07-Sep-2006 -- This is actually not a visit to a confluence, but a special visit to the Geographic Centre of China on a bicycle trip from Sichuan Province to Central Asia. The story starts at 32°N 107°E.

On the internet, I had found the official coordinates for China’s Geographic Centre: 35° 33’ 49’’ N and 103° 23’ 19’’ E. That day I started biking in the town Huichuan and headed through the loess country westward. The nearer I came, the more likely it will be that local people know about it. At the spot, there was supposed to be a monument.

I came closer and closer, but nobody knew anything of a monument or the Centre of China. But anyway, I entered the coordinates into my GPS receiver and hunted the point.

I came through Hui and Dongxiang Minority area. 700m from the point, I asked again for China’s Centre, but all I got, was a crowd around me – not any hint of the centre.

At a small village called Pingzhuang, I left the road, crossed a river (without bridge) and climbed a steep hill on a footpath. The point itself is near the footpath on a little hill top. There was no monument at all. Interestingly, the loess soil at the Centre is hollow. Just at the spot, there is a big hole underneath making up a lower level. A kid guided me all the time. I taught him the significance of this spot and he soon was ready to have him photographed in the Centre of China.

The night I spend in the nearby district town of Songnanba, where I learned about the monument in Dongxiang village 26 km further north by road. At that time, I didn’t know about the first visit of the monument by the Yip-Bannicq Group.

The monument is a 2000 cm high steel tower erected in the year 2000, but now neglected and quickly degrading. Exactly in the centre, there is a map of China on the ceiling with Gansu-Dongxiangling marked with a hole in the middle. Water was dripping out from the whole and soaking me wet. The reason for the negligence is given by the write-up of the first visit.

The coordinates as given on a stone engraving are 35° 33’ 49’’ N and 103° 23’ 19’’ E, but my GPS reading was 35° 50’ 41’’ N and 103° 27’ 7.6’’ E – 28km misplaced.

The monument is almost on the highest spot in the area – so afterwards I had a great rolling-down and made it to Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu that day.

CP visit details:

  • Time at the true centre: 17:30 p.m.
  • Time to reach the CP from the road: 10 minutes
  • Distance to a track: 300 m
  • Distance to a road: 700 km
  • Distance of bicycle parking: 10 m
  • Distance to houses: 30 km
  • Topography: mountainous..
  • Minimal distance according to GPS: 0.73 m
  • Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
  • GPS height: 2162 m
  • Vegetation: deciduous woodland, agricultural fields nearby.
  • Weather: sunny, 25° C (felt temperature)
  • Description of the CP: In southern part of Gansu Province, in Dongxiangzu Autonomous County. In rough eroding loess area.
  • Given Name: The True Center Confluence

Story continues at 36°N 104°E


 All pictures
#1: The Centre of China
#2: The Hole Underneath
#3: GPS Reading with Official Coordinates
#4: Kid Posing at the Centre
#5: Huizu Minorities are being asked where the Centre of China is
#6: Reward to myself after a long day
#7: "Wrong" Centre with Hen running accross
#8: Water Dripping out at the Centre
#9: Information on a Stone Tablet
#10: Dongxiangling Village as seen from the Monument
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)