Dunhuang is a city in northwest of China. It has always been an important town on the silk road and is a nationally historic and cultural city. Located at the confluence of Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang province, which makes Dunhuang a joint place for the trades and dealings in ancient time. And it has become a hot destination or transfer stop in silk road tour.
What visitors can expect in Dunhuang? There are seven sought-after attractions for exploration.
This desert wonder locates around 5 kilometers in the southwest of Dunhuang city, with a length of 109 meters, and width of some 25 meters. Since old days, it is a miraculous phenomenon that the sand does not fill the spring, and the spring does not dry up. Earlier in the Han dynasty, the Crescent spring has already been a hot tourism attraction. There are four wonders in the Crescent Spring: the shape of crescent moon keeps intact as ever. The clear spring flows in a tough environment. The sand can never drown the spring down. The old fish food in ancient pond is not old.
A legend says that during Han dynasty, when the Han army fought the Huns, the strong wind rose suddenly and the overwhelming yellow sand in the air buried two militaries and horses in the sand. Therefore The sound was the cry of two armies and the hissing of the horses.
Sand echoing means the sand can make a sound. Influenced by climate and geographical factors, which causes sand grains to vibrate in the wind, and spin in the air. The surface cavity forms “empty bamboo” effect to produce a buzzing sound. The Echoing-Sand hill is shining like a golden hill, which together with the Crescent Spring is like twin sisters in the gobi desert.
Magao Gorttoes is also called Thousand-Buddha Caves, located on the cliff wall at the eastern foot of Echoing-sand Hill. There are 735 caves in existence. The caves are great comprehensive art that integrates architecture, colored sculpture and murals. The largest cave is over 200 square meters in contrast the smallest one is less than 1 square meter. Housing a total of 2,415 clay colored statues and 45,000 square meters of murals, Mogao Grottoes is the largest and richest Buddhist art treasury in existence.
It is located about 80 kilometers northwest of the Yumen Pass of Dunhuang, and about 15 kilometers long from east to west and 2 kilometers wide from north to south. When the wind blows, the haunting sound just like the ghost’s voice, thus got the name of “devil city”. The special landform is a result of natural wind carving and sand cutting with geological changes.
Yumen Pass Relics
Yumen Pass is the throat of silk road leading to the north of Western Region. The establishment of Yumen Pass started from the time of Emperor Wudi of the western Han dynasty, with a history of more than 2,000 years. A well-known poem wrote by an outstanding poet in the Tang dynasty makes this place famous through the ages. “Advise you to drink a glass of wine, no longer see your friends out this pass”.
Situates in the 25 kilometers southeast of Dunhuang city, three peaks of the mountain stand against each other, and the main peak is opposite to Mogao Grottoes. Climb up to the mountain to glimpse the root of Mogao Grottoes. There are temples and palaces in the area, such as memorial arch, the Queen Mother Palace, Guanyin temple, the Dragon King Temple and so on. There are also music hall, various inscriptions and statues on the distant mountain.
The architectural style of the ancient city has a strong feeling of Western Region. The city opens three gates: the east, west and the south. The inner city mainly consists of five streets, and the street in both sides are studded with Buddhist temples, pawnshops, warehouses, restaurants and wine shops.