Dunhuang is an ancient desert staging post on the Silk Road,
rich in culture, relics and natural scenery. It's the
best tourist destination in Gansu Province. Dunhuang
was the gateway to Xinjiang for those on the Silk Road taking
the south route around the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar, and a
must-do detour for tourists on the northern route via Turpan
The top attractions around Dunhuang are:
1. the Mogao Grottoes, the greatest treasure trove of Buddhist
statues and murals in the world,
2. the Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring, all the
beauty of desert and oasis scenery a stone's throw from the city,
3. the desert forts of Yangguan (Yang Pass) and Yumen Guan
(Yumen Pass), which, though not strictly part of the Great wall,
were part of the Chinese Empire's extreme western defences.
Though Dunhuang has an airport 15 km (10 mi) from the city center,
a train journey would offer an unforgettable scenic experience. The
nearest station is an hour by coach from Dunhuang. Consider
exploring the Silk Road by the Shangri-la Express, a luxury train
running from Beijing to Urumqi.
However, the road from Jiayuguan, the western end of the
Great Wall and nearest major place to Dunhuang, is 400 km (250
mi) long, a coach journey of several hours. Not recommended!