Dunhuang, at the extreme western point of the Hexi corridor in Gansu Province, was sometimes the crossroads for the northern and southern Silk Routes, and is a major stop along the Chinese leg of the Silk route today.
Dunhuang is a famous national cultural city of historical significance, and top tourist city of China. There are a number of interesting sights around it, such as Mogao Grottoes, Mingsha Sand Dunes, Crescent Moon Lake, Yangguan and Yumenguan passes, and modeled Shazhou Town of Song Dynasty, etc.
Mogao Grottoes, some 25km southwest of Dunhuang city, were carved on cliff between 4th and the 14th century. This thousand Buddha cave complex is arguably the most spectacular and the finest in the world as a world art treasure house. There are 491 caves, in which 45000 sq. m of murals are still well preserved. Mogao Grottoes is a world ;t world cultural legacy protected by UNESCO.
The mural of Mogao Grottoes reflects the happy life in Buddhist paradise. This painting of flying devils and Bodhisattva is the most spectacular.
Minsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Lake form an interesting sight in Dunhuang with huge rolling sand dunes surrounding a pretty lake. Cable and French report that "The skill of man made the caves of the thousand Buddha, but the hand of God fashioned the lake of the crescent Moon," which forms a wonder of desert. It's great fun to climb this singing sands. It's a bit as this is hard but well worth the effort. a good place just to relax and explore slowly.
Yumenguan pass is over 100km away from the town, opposite the Yangguan pass. Yumenguan is the famous "Jade Gate", a pass at the Han Great Wall, through which travelers heading west across the Lop desert would pass after leaving Dunhuang.