When to go
June-august is peak tourist season, with the warmest temperatures but also the greatest chance of rain. May offers a good compromise of temperature and rainfall though the landscape is more yellow and less green than in July and August after some rain. There is also still a chance of snow in May. September is likely to be another suitable shoulder period, before October brings cold and, historically, the highest snowfall of any month.
How to get there
Fly into Lanzhou and take a bus to Diebu (Tewo) from Lanzhou’s South Bus Station. Two buses leave each morning as of summer 2017. Alternatively fly into the smaller regional airport at Xiahe. All flights to and from Xiahe are routed through Xian. From Xiahe airport, bus directly to Diebu, or first to Hezuo then change to Diebu.
Where to stay
There are numerous guesthouses all throughout town. It pays to haggle. Pay RMB100 for reasonable twin room, with nicer options up to RMB160. Some guesthouses will offer dinner and there are three that run restaurants with Black Yak (Hei Maoniu) most often open in off-peak months. There are also two more restaurants below town.