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.
The Mogaoku (Mogao Caves ) was located under the Minshanshan (Singing Sand Dunes ), 25km southeas of the city of Dunhuang. The attraction site of the Crescent Moon Lake and the Singing Sand Dunes was located 7km south of Dunhuang City. The Dunhuang Railway Station was located 12km in the northeast of Dunhuang and Dunhuang Airport 13km in the east of Dunhuang.
New hotels in Dunhuang were popping up to meet the increasing number of tourists coming from home and broad.
All the hotels were located in Dunhuang city, not at the Mogao Caves area. This time we were arranged to stay at Grand Sun Hotel Dunhuang ( add: 5 Beilu, Shazhou Tel; 0937 -8829999 ), one of the best hotels in Dunhuang. Other nice hotels include Dunhuang Hotel ( add:14, Guandong Lu Tel: 0937 – 88220088 ), Dunhuang Shazhou Sunny Hotel ( add: 31, Guanzhong Lu Tel: 0937 – 8850001 ), Dunhuang Shanzhuang ( add: Guoyue Lu Tel: 0937 – 8882088 )…
In the market, you would see good dried fruits, and nuts ( including dates, raisins, walnuts, apricots…). You would alo discover many souvenirs. If you felt hungry, the market would not let you down.
If you travel on a large group, your group have to make a reservation in advance. Individuals and small groups do not need a reservation for entering Mogao Caves. But all visitors must be escorted by a guide offered by the Dunhuang Academy. High season tickets are around US $25, the two hour guide service available in major languages.
Photography is not allowed inside the caves. The standard admission only allows you visit a dozen cave temples, including the Cave No.96, the iconic nine story pagoda with the colossal 35.5m tall Buddha, the third largest in the world.
It is worth visiting at least two cacess. Aroud 30 caves are open to the public at any one time of the 429. Murals and sculptures bring us much enlightment on the ten centuries of culture at the crossroads of East and West.
Tip: Hassle-free Dunhuang Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Dunhuang Guided Tours:
Dunhuang Excursion Day Tour from US$ 89 p/p
Dunhuang 4 Day Tour from US$ 159 p/p