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  Dunhuang

Gansu | Attractions | Hotels | Tours


major attractions

Crescent Moon Lake
Mogao Caves
Singing Sand Dunes
White Horse Dagoba

 
 

 

Dunhuang is a small oasis town located in the northwest of Gansu province near the Xinjiang border. Dunhuang was once the westernmost outpost of the Chinese empire and during the 1st century BC it became an important trading and military town. The Great Wall once reached Dunhuang and the burning beacons on towers across the desert gave the city itís name which means "blazing beacons".

Silk Road travelers used to stop at Dunhuang to gather food and supplies before venturing further into the Gobi desert. In the 4th century a monk named Li Zun was traveling the Silk Road when he had a vision of Buddhas shining from the cliffside outside Dunhuang. He stopped and carved and decorated a small cave as a shrine. Pilgrims and travelers that passed the spot for the next 1,000 years or so added more caves, shrines, paintings and statues and now the Mogao Caves are famous as some of the best examples of Buddhist cave art in the world.

Dunhuang today is a relaxed place to spend a few days with plenty of restaurants and cafes to unwind in. Trips out to the sand dunes, the beautiful Crescent Moon Lake and camel riding provide a glimpse into the life of the trading caravans in centuries gone by. Night markets make for lively evening shopping and many travelers claim that this a true oasis in all senses of the word.

 

 
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