Very famous historical site in China
So cold that parts of your body you didn't know you had will ache.
The start of the Silk Road to Kashgar...
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
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
One of the oldest and the best hotel in Dun Huang. Build in 1995, rated 4 starts. Very interesting...more
Excellent four-star hotel very close to the night market. The rooms were enormous and very well...more
Dunhuang has no 5-star hotels; Grand Sun Hotel, as one of only two 4-star hotels in Dunhuang, lives...more
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 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
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
6 Reviews and Opinions
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
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
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
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
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
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
No photo was allowed inside the MuoGao Grottoes, but....
white hourse tower outside the Mogao Grottoes
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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