Guang Yuan

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

No.23 Ming Shan Raod,, Dun Huang City,, Dunhuang,
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100%

Satisfaction Excellent
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Average
100%
2
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Value Score Great Value!

Costs 38% less than similarly rated 3 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families100
  • Couples100
  • Solo0
  • Business100

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Fairies at Mogao Grottoes, Gansu, ChinaFairies at Mogao Grottoes, Gansu, China

SanlongshaSanlongsha

Crescent Moon LakeCrescent Moon Lake

Travel Tips for Dunhuang

Statues in Mogao

by SirRichard

These painted statues are relly impressive. You can still see the colours on them, though they were originally painted in much brighter colors!

Some of them represent Buddhas, some Devils, Angels....

More History of the Mogaokou - Part I

by mke1963

The Thousand Buddha Caves started life as one simple cave, with one unknown artist painting an image of Buddha on the wall in AD366, during the Northern Wei dynasty. Legend has it that a monk set off to walk between Minshashan and Sanweishan, and on his walk the setting sun seemed to create golden rays like tiny Buddhas; he deemed this auspicious and he started the first cave in the gorge to the east of Minshashan, 25km south-east of Dunhuang. The 20 metre cliff sits above a seasonal river, the Danquan, which issues out onto the gravel plain here. Above the cliff, the great sand dunes hover dangerously, steeply banked up above the precipice. Along the dry river bed, tamarisk, poplars and willows grew, then as now. To the south and east, the stark, bare hills rise silently and ominously: this is not a friendly landscape.
A second monk, known to have been called FaLiang, built a second cave and after he constructed and decorated his cave, he and the first monk founded a temple, known later as the Xiankongsi.
The large oasis of Dunhuang, known as Mogao then Shazhou (The Sand Town) much later, before finally taking its current name had been settled for many hundreds of years, but it was the flourishing of trade between China and tribute states to the west that brought vigour and the outside world to this and a hundred other oases in Central Asia. Dunhuang was a minor stop on the Silk Road, with Anxi, several days travel east a more substantial desert port. It was at Anxi where the Silk Road split, with the northern route heading off towards Hami with the southern route pushing across to Dunhuang, across the fierce Kumtag Shamo desert and along the southern fringes of the Taklimakan, keeping the Altun Shan in sight even further south.

Weathering the unexpected

by SallyM

"The Sandstorm"

As we set off for the Mogao caves, we noticed an orange haze on the horizon. It gradually grew nearer, and our guide explained that it was a sandstorm. She told us that there were usually around 4 sandstorms during April, but none in July. When the storm hit us, it was like an orange fog, with very poor visibility.

At one point, our car had to leave the road as there was a diversion around some roadworks. Mary explained that this was where a bridge was being replaced. It had been washed away by floods a couple of weeks earlier, trapping tourists at the caves for three hours. The workmen were still busy, despite the sandstorm.

When we arrived at the caves, we found that they were closed because of the sandstorm (both to protect the paintings and for safety reasons). We waited in the gift shop for an hour or so (bought some postcards of the caves in case we didn’t get to see them at all), but it became clear that the storm wasn’t going to recede in a hurry, so we had to return to our hotel and hope the storm died down by the next day.

In the morning the sandstorm had abated and we were finally able to visit the Mogao Caves. Our guide told us that it would be better to visit in the morning as rain was forecast for the afternoon, although there was not a cloud in the sky.

The landscape looked quite different without the sandstorm. The caves were beautiful, and easily accessible by concrete steps.

That afternoon, shortly before we left the hotel to go to the station, the wind got up again. Had the sandstorm returned, or was the forecast rain on its way? As we got into the car, it appeared to thunder. By the time we reached the station, it had indeed started to rain.

As the train travelled through the desert towards Daheyan, we could see large puddles forming.

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