In some Silk Road tour packages you may see Hexi Corridor. For a Silk Road tourist making it clear will help you plan your tour better.
Hexi Corridor (the name means Corridor lies to west of Yellow River) was named so because it lies to west of Yellow River and between two mountain ranges. Most part of the corridor is in Gansu Province and so it is also called Gansu Corridor. Staring from Wuqiao Mountain Ranges and ending at Yumen Pass (Jade Pass). The corridor is 1000km long from east to west. To south of the corridor stands the Qilian Mountain Ranges which has the altitude of 4-5km. The major cities in Hexi Corridor are Wuwei, Zhangye, Dunhuang, etc. And the highlight attractions of the corridor are Yulin Grottoes, Yadan Ghost City, Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Lake, Echoing-Sand Hill, etc.
In the early Han Dynasty in over 2000 years ago, Hexi Corridor was the nomadism territory of Huns. When Mr Zhangqian traveled to Central Asia for the first time, he was captured by Huns for over tens years in Hexi Corridor. After he escaped from Huns he continue his way to Central Asia. On his way back to Chang’an, he was captured by Huns again in Hexi Corridor. Why he travel through Hexi Corridor for the 2nd time as he already knew the corridor was dangerous to him? It is because Hexi Corridor was the only path that connecting China and Central Asia. Till toady Hexi Corridor is the must-pass route for all the trains from central China to Xinjiang.
Due to its vital importance in ancient time Chinese government and minor ethnic governments fought frequently in attempt to control Hexi Corridor. Nowadays Hexi Corridor is the important foodstuffs growing area in Gansu Province. Through out the Hexi Corridor, melting snow water irrigates many oases hence oasis farming are quite successful here.
Taking a train to travel through the Hexi Corridor and get of the train in the Silk Road cities to see cultural relics and unique Gobi and oases scenery. That would contribute much to ones Silk Road tour.