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Dunhuang Travel Guide

Dunhuang is a popular tourist destination located in Gansu Province, also a famous historical city which has a glorious history of more than 2000 years. It was called as Sha Zhou (Town of Sand) because of its vast lands of gobi and desert. Around in 111 BCE, the great emperor of Hang Dynasty – Wudi established Dunhuang as the northwestern defensive city of Hexi Corridor to protect against the Xiongnu. Since then, Dunhuang had been played a very important role in the Chinese history. Its strategic location that being the gate to the western and northern regions made Dunhuang a trading center as well as an important meeting place for different culture. Tourists and caravans from China, Middle Asia, and Europe traveled to Dunhuang, or trade here. A traditional route of the Silk Road went past Dunhuang from Xi’an, and then led to the Western countries via the current Xinjiang Province.Situated at the intersection of Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Xijiang Province, Dunhuang has an average altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) with the magnificent Qilian Mountains to the south, the vast Taklimakan Desert to the west, the meandering Beisai Mountains to the north and the towering Sanwei Mountain to the east, whose topography lowers from south-west to north-east, and the Dunhuang oasis is sustained by the Dangxiang River. The boundless desert and the vast oasis form the unique landscape of Dunhuang.

Dunhuang once commanded a very important strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road along the narrow Gansu Corridor which was extended to the north Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang'ans and Luoyang.Dunhuang is 1,098 kilometers (682 miles) from Lanzhou and 363 kilometers (226 miles) from Jiayuguan, which is convenient for air travel among the three cities. The mother river of Dunhuang, the Dangxiang River, is 390 kilometers (242 miles) in length and has a drainage area of 16,800 square kilometers (6,487 square miles), and runs through the city.

Dunhuang, long ago referred to as 'Sha Zhou' (beautiful desert oasis), was the hub of middle and eastern silk routes in ancient times. The city landmark is an attractive statue, the idea of which comes from the mural in Mogao Caves, a shrine to the culture and arts of Dunhuang. From Mt.Qilian in the south, Mt. Mazong in the north and desert from east to west, the landform of Dunhuang City is a declining basin-plain from west to northeast, high in the north and south, and low in the middleThe western cities of China, especially those in the desert, are known for their sandstorms, so tourists should protect themselves with glasses, hats and gauze kerchiefs, etc.In ancient times, Dunhuang was the center of trade between China and its western neighbors. At that time, it was the most westerly frontier military garrison in China.

The Mogaoku (Mogao Caves ) is located below the Minshanshan (Singing Sand Dunes ), 25km southeast of the city of Dunhuang. The attraction site of the Crescent Moon Lake and the Singing Sand Dunes are located 7km south of Dunhuang City. The Dunhuang Railway Station is located 12km in the northeast of Dunhuang and Dunhuang Airport 13km in the east of Dunhuang. Yadan National Park and Yumenguan Pass (Jade Gate Pass )are two gems near Dunhuang. The weird eroded desert landscape of Yadan Park is 180km northwest of Dunhuang in the middle of the awesome zone of the Gobi Desert. On the way to the Yadan Park, you will pass by the Yumen Pass, the ancient military station, 102km from Dunhuang. Yumen (North Pass) and the South Pass (Yangguan Pass ) were both the former ancient military passes, part of the Han dynasty series of beacon towers that extended to the garrison town of Loulan in Xinjiang.


Dunhuang Guide
Dunhuang Travel Map
Dunhuang Cuisine
Dunhuang Opera Show
Dunhuang Interesting
Dunhuang Hotels
Dunhuang Travel Tours
Dunhuang Scenic Spots
Mogao Grottoes | Mingsha Mountain & Crescent Spring | Dunhuang Museum | Yadan Geological Park
Yumen Pass | Yulin Grottoes | Shazhou Night Market