Dunhuang Travel Guide

  • Dunhuang
    by Bob_Shan
  • Dunhuang
    by Bob_Shan
  • Things to Do
    by Bob_Shan

Dunhuang Highlights

  • Pro
    victorwkf profile photo

    victorwkf says…

     Very famous historical site in China 

  • Con
    leigh767 profile photo

    leigh767 says…

     So cold that parts of your body you didn't know you had will ache. 

  • In a nutshell
    caseywong profile photo

    caseywong says…

     The start of the Silk Road to Kashgar... 

Dunhuang Things to Do

  • Hecang City

    The "Barn" at the river bank. some 11km away from Yumen gate, as storage of military suppliers and food.

    more
  • Suoyang Ruin

    The ruin of an ancient fortress, once the most developed city in the area with highly matured infrastructures. Today you don't see much left.

    more
  • Yulin Caves

    Grottoes in an giant earth valley, where Yulin river is flowing through. It is smaller than Mogao Caves but contains some of the oldest frescoes.

    more
  • Dunhuang Yardang National Geopark

    A fantastic landscape and the Chinese version of US's death valley national park. I couldn't search for proper language to describe my experience, just look at the picture, it is not even 1/10 of you may experience with your own eyes. Beside the regular tourism bus route, highly recommend to take the off-road SUV for an extensive journey in the...

    more
  • Dun Huang night market

    A large market selling all kinds of food, handicraft, and entertainments, very exotic. Local people are joined with ethnic Hui, Xinjiang, Tibetian, and Mongolian. For local food, recommend those made from rice and noodle and lamb.

    more
  • Mo Gao Grottoes

    Painstakingly built over a span of 10 centuries (a 1,000 year long project!), the Mo Gao Grottoes are truly a feat of devotion and imagination. The grotto construction began in 366 AD. Legend has that it all started when a monk by the name of Yue Zun dreamt of 1000 golden Buddhas one night and decided to, quite literally, make his dream come...

    more

Dunhuang Hotels

See all 45 Hotels in Dunhuang

Dunhuang Restaurants

  • Not sure about the camel hump...

    We ate in the hotel’s Chinese restaurant a couple of times and the food was very good. Dishes we tried included: shredded beef; duck with green peppers and broccoli with bacon; minced lamb and spring onions with pancakes; chicken and peanuts and stir-fried strips of potato - all washed down with an endless supply of jasmine tea. Some of the other...

    more
  • The night market

    The night market is a great place to hang out and eat in the late evening. A hundred - mainly Hui - street cafes are set up, with every one of them vying for your trade. Beer and soft drinks are ice cold and the food is piping hot, straight off the skewer.There are tourists - what do you expect in Dunhuang? - but many more locals along to exchange...

    more
  • Restaurants at the Dunhuang Hotel

    Both the main restaurant and the small Japanese restaurant at the Dunhuang Hotel are highly recommended. Especially - sigh - for 50-course banquets involving lots of baijiu. However, do take care as we discovered that we had eaten dog one evening. Some people aren't bothered by this, but it could ruin some people's holiday!

    more

Dunhuang Nightlife

  • o00o's Nightlife Tip

    the sunset of Gobi dessert, the wind blow stronger at night and it may turn cold, don't forget to bring a jacket with you.

    more
  • o00o's Nightlife Tip

    the sunset of Gobi dessert the sunset of Gobi dessert, the wind blow stronger at night and it may turn cold, don't forget to bring a jacket with you.

    more
  • Dunhuang Hotels

    45 Hotels in Dunhuang

    2 Reviews and Opinions

Dunhuang Transportation

  • Hire a TAXI

    Hire a TAXI is the most convenient way to travel around. The cost is CNY 450 for a day within 200 km, including highway tariff and parking. You could negotiate with every TAXI drive and pick one that make you feel the most comfortable. During my trip, we had a great driver, he has a lot of knowledge about all the tourism attractions, familiar with...

    more
  • Go by plane!

    If you, like most travellers, arrive to the Dunhuang area first by passing through Lanzhou city (capital of Gansu province), consider flying a plane to Dunhuang for the main sightseeing.I went from Lanzhou to Dunhuang by car and took a plane on the way back. The difference is HUGE and can be boiled down to two factors:1) Trip by car is loooong-- at...

    more
  • Long-Distance Buses

    Bus Dunhuang -- Jiayuguan takes about 5-6 hours depending on how much stopping the driver does along the way (toilet/meals). Our ride took 6, lunch break at Guazhou long-distance bus station -- do NOT pay to use the toilet there, the woman sitting there isn't collecting money for the toilet, but if you give her money she'll take it anyway!- To...

    more

Dunhuang Shopping

  • For Postcard-Collectors & Philatelists

    There's a China Post at Mogao Grottoes. Main "value" is the unique commemorative chops available. You can get a commemorative chop on your Mogao Grottoes entry ticket and postcards. Make sure the date is correct, because mine wasn't...! :( Free for the Mogao Grottoes entry tickets and postcards bought from this China Post; 1 RMB is charged per...

    more
  • Clothing and other supplies

    Other than food and souvenirs in the nearby night market, there is a wholesale market handy in the eastern part of town behind the small foodcourt.It's partly under cover and is a useful place for additional clothing in winter or a spare T-shirt or two in the summer. It is also the place to buy camping essentials, such as knives, pans, water...

    more
  • Night market

    The night market in Dunhuang is where Dunhuang comes out to play at night, with several hundred shops open until after midnight; in the pedestrianised street outside vendors sell fruit, vegetables, nuts, antiques, souvenirs, books, maps, curios and anything else you can imagine.Here it's not the bargian that counts but the friendly chat from the...

    more

Dunhuang Local Customs

  • o00o's Profile Photo

    by o00o Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No photo was allowed inside the MuoGao Grottoes, but....





    white hourse tower outside the Mogao Grottoes

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Dunhuang Warnings and Dangers

  • Possibility of Washed-out Bridge at...

    If it rains, be warned that you might be walking 1.5-2 hours in the desert to get from Mogao Grottoes to the shuttle buses or any other form of vehicular transport! That was what happened to us. The river at Mogao Grottoes was a raging Milo-looking mess and the bridge was washed out, we had to walk a long way to get to the public buses to get back...

    more
  • Beware sandstorms!

    Sandstorms are very unpleasant (like thick orange fog with added grit and strong winds), and should one occur, all doors and windows have to be closed, and the Mogao caves will be closed to visitors (to protect the cave paintings from the sand, and also for the safety of the visitors). We were told that sandstorms generally only happened in April,...

    more
  • Awful guide books!

    If you want to buy a guide book locally, note that the big book (“Dunhuang and Silk Road” by Sea Sky Publishing House – with a buff coloured cover) is unintelligible. It is written in English, but the language is so difficult to follow that it is basically useless. If you don’t believe me, try understanding this short piece (about the Sleeping...

    more

Dunhuang Tourist Traps

  • ellyse's Profile Photo
    Archway 4 more images

    by ellyse Updated Mar 6, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Actually a film city built by the Japanese. Shazhou (Sand City) is one of the old names of Dunhuang. Admission is 30 RMB (no student price). Guides in Shazhou Ancient City are close to useless, though they don't take the prize for being the most useless guides we've encountered on this trip.

    Unique Suggestions: The view from some of the buildings and city gates (especially the main gate) are quite worthwhile, especially at sunset.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Dunhuang What to Pack

  • Your warmest clothes, please!

    If you're travelling to Dunhuang during the winter months, remember that there is no such thing as "underpacking"! Bring your warmest, warmest long johns, down jackets, ear muffs, socks-- then borrow your Aunt Mildred's/Uncle Vinnie's set of winter clothes too!If possible, purchase battery-operated mittens and socks because temperatures can dip...

    more
  • No need to bring a torch

    In Mogao Cave, you can rent a torch. The torch you bring yourself is usually not as powerful as the torch they provid. In order to see the paint, you need very powerful torches, the best way is to rent one. Take care of your camera on MingSha hills. If they fall into the sand, they will be damaged.

    more
  • "Tourist" money

    When I visited Chine there was 2 kinds of money:1.- The normal YUAN, used by the locals.2.- The RENMINS or "tourist money", used only by tourists.With this last one you could buy things in "Friendship Stores" and was the only one you were "officially" allowed to change.But of course there was black market, so U changed yuans to pay in restaurants,...

    more

Dunhuang Off The Beaten Path

  • Sand Storm

    Not your typical OTBP activity, but it's interesting to be caught in a sand storm. Out hiking one day on the dunes, we watched a wall of grey envelope the city. We were at the top of a dune, on a ridge. Sand blew up the face of the dune, hitting only our legs- fortunately for us, we were high enough that it didn't get much above our knees. The less...

    more
  • The old city walls

    There is a tiny section of Dunhuang's original city walls and a watchtower on the way out of town towards Yangguan and Yumenguan.Sadly it is in a very poor state, and the area is used for dumping household rubbish now.GPS coordinates will follow, but unfortunately my brand new GPS receiver has packed up and I can't access any of the data! Grrrrrr....

    more
  • Yardang Geological Park

    Interesting geological formation in the Gobi. Also where Hero (starring Jackie Chan) and other movies were filmed. 10 RMB admission (off-peak price, no student price for off-peak) and another 20 RMB for them to drive you into the park in a minivan (compulsory). It's just a huge pity that the guide wasn't too forthcoming with any more talk other...

    more

Dunhuang Favorites

  • Mogao Grottoes

    Although you're very restricted in your movements (can only follow the guide wherever she goes, and you can't choose which caves you want to look at on the tour), that wasn't an issue for us. Read up as much as you can before you go; the guide actually directed most of her commentary and other chatting at the 3 of us as she overheard me talking...

    more
  • Gobi Desert

    The Gobi Desert is all around Dunhuang. The place is a real oasis in this desertic endless landscapes, a bit monotonous but fascinating...

    more
  • Paintings on silk

    Being in the Silk Road, it was easy that silk would become part of the artistic materials used in Mogao.You can find some marvellous detailed paintings on silk, with beautiful colors. Here is depicted a nobleman of those days, with delicate dressings that suggest an atmosphere of luxury and refinement....

    more

Instant Answers: Dunhuang

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

81 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Dunhuang
Great Wall-- Jia Yu Guan Pass
Things to Do
Mingsha Dune and Crescent Lake
Things to Do
Mogao Caves
Things to Do
Mogao Caves
Things to Do
Best Way to Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang Train Station
Transportation
Mogao Grottoes
Things to Do
Dunhuang Train Station
Transportation
Singing Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Lake
Things to Do
Souvenirs, books and tat
Shopping
John's Information Centre
Restaurants
The open-air food court
Restaurants
A street of famous resturants
Restaurants
Bike to Mogao Cave
Transportation
Day 9 - LanZhou
Things to Do
Day 8 - JiaYu Guan
Things to Do
Day 7 - MingSha hill
Things to Do
Day 7- MoGao Cave
Things to Do
More History of the Mogaokou - Part III
Things to Do
More History of the Mogaokou - Part II
Things to Do
More History of the Mogaokou - Part I
Things to Do
Mogaokou - Practicalities
Things to Do
Mogaokou - The Mogao Caves - Part III
Things to Do
Mogaokou - The Mogao Caves - Part II
Things to Do
Mogaokou - The Mogao Caves - Part I
Things to Do
Bad road conditions = Motion sickness
Warnings and Dangers
Jade Gate Pass
Things to Do
Driver recommendation: Mr Huang Zebing
Transportation
New rail link to Dunhuang
Transportation
Sand Dunes
Things to Do
Getting to Dunhuang by air
Transportation
Dunhuang Airport
Transportation
Moon Cresent Lake
Things to Do
Minsha Hills
Things to Do
DUNHUANG : MOGAO CAVES
Things to Do
DUNHUANG : NIGHT MARKET
Restaurants
DUNHUANG : MINGSHA SHAN & CRESCENT-MOON LAKE
Things to Do
DUNHUANG : YA DAN DI MAO
Off The Beaten Path
Tea
Shopping
Chinese pharmacies
Shopping
A Horse Shoe
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Dunhuang

View all Dunhuang hotels