Travel in Dunhuang


1. Mogao Caves (莫高窟)

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Mogao Grottoes or the Caves of A Thousand Buddhas, are set into a cliff wall of Echoing Sand Mountain about 25km southeast of Dun-Huang, the oasis city in the Gobi desert. This honeycomb of caves was constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, and represents the height of Buddhist art and the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

During its heyday, the cave complex had thousands of caves, and today, a total of 492 grottoes, 45,000 square-meters of murals, 2,400 painted statues and over 250 residential caves remains. Almost every grotto contains a group of colorful paintings of Buddha and Bodhisattvas and other religious paintings, or social activities of different dynasties. The caves carved on the cliff wall provide voluminous research material for the study of all aspects of Chinese medieval society, in areas such as religion, art, politics, economics, military affairs, culture, literature, language, music, dance, architecture and medical science. The rich culture and art unearthed in the caves has even given birth to a new field of study, called "Dunhuangology"!


2. Mingha Sand Dunes (鸣沙山) Crescent Moon Spring(月牙泉)

Mingha Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring lies in Dun-Huang, which is one of the 40 Top National Natural Scenery Zones of China. Especially, Mingsha Sand Dunes, situated 6 km southwest away from Dun-Huang Town, is stretching for more than 40 km's long and more than 20 km's wide. According to the historical recording such as “the Book of Later Han dynasty”, the reputation of Mingha Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring in Dun-Huang could be traced back to about 2 thousand years ago, when it had been regarded as a spectacular sight in Tenggeli Desert.

Crescent Moon Spring lies in the arm of the dunes at the foot of Mingsha Hills, extending for 118m from west to the east but only 25m from south to the north. As it looks very much like a new moon hence it is named Crescent Spring. Despite being surrounded by the sand hills, the Spring has never been covered by quick sands and kept clear perennially. Featuring the quite pretty scenes, it neither overflows after rain nor dries up after drought. It is really a wonder that the sands and spring lake coexist together for thousands of years.




3. Yardang Landform(雅丹地貌)

A yardang is a streamlined protuberance carved from bedrock or any consolidated or semiconsolidated material by the dual action of wind abrasion by dust and sand, and deflation which is the removal of loose material by wind turbulence. Yardangs become elongated features typically three or more times longer than wide, and when viewed from above, resemble the hull of a boat. Facing the wind is a steep, blunt face that gradually gets lower and narrower toward the lee end. Yardangs are formed by wind erosion, typically of an originally flat surface formed from areas of harder and softer material. The soft material is eroded and removed by the wind, and the harder material remains. The resulting pattern of yardangs is therefore a combination of the original rock distribution, and the fluid mechanics of the air flow and resulting pattern of erosion.