Yadan National Geological Park

Yadan National Geological Park also known as Ghost City due to the strange noise when there is a wind. It is situated 75 km west of Yumen Pass or 180 km northwest of Dunhuang. It is a physiognomy landscape formed by Aeolian erosion. If you are fan of natural landscape, it is one of the places must see.

Yadan National Park stretches 25 km in length and 1-2 km in width with about total covered an area of 50 square km. The area was once a stretch of highlands with cracks, after the function of wind erosion for years, the park formed with the appearance of ruined ancient city.
Tips:The Yadan National Park is located in the Gobi desert; weather is hot during summer and bit cold during winter. It is windy with bad sandstorms. It is advised to bring enough water, sunglass and clothes.

Yumen pass

It is located 80 km Northwest of Dunhuang. It was the strategic pass on the ancient Silk Road. It was named as a Yumen pass (Jade Pass in Chinese) because of Hotan Jade from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was transported from this pass.

It used to be the pass the Caravan’s on Ancient Silk Road in 2000 years back used to pass. Yumen pass is a small square castle standing in the east west of desert. The view of the vast golden dunes of the Sing Sand Mountian to the south are the highlights of the trip. There are not much to see other than castle.

Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)

Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)
Mingshahan (Echoing-Sand Mountain)

The Echoing-Sand Mountain is also a popular site drawing many local and foreign tourists in Dunhuang. The sand dunes get its name from the sounds produced by the wind, ranging from a roar during strong winds to sweet musical sounds during a light breeze.

The mountain is just like a golden dragon winding its way over the horizon. The Echoing-Sand Mountain begins at the top of Mogao Grottos in the east and ends at the Danghe Reservoir in the west, stretching for over 40 km in length and 20 km in width. The sand has many colors ranging from yellow to white.

Crescent Lake

2
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake is an amazingly blue colored lake between two huge sand dunes of Mingshashan in the Gobi Desert. It is located 6 km south of Dunhuang city. The lake is 200 meters long from east to west and 50 meter wide from south to north with average 1.5 meter water depth.

Crescent Lake is an amazingly blue colored lake between two huge sand dunes of Mingshashan in the Gobi Desert. It is located 6 km south of Dunhuang city. The lake is 200 meters long from east to west and 50 meter wide from south to north with average 1.5 meter water depth.

Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes is also known as “Thousand Buddha Caves or Mogao Caves”  which is located 25 kilometers southeast of Dunhuang. It is 1600 meters long from south to north and stacked to five stories building.

It contains 45,000 square meters of murals, 2415 painted statues, and 50, 000 manuscripts written in many languages. Initially, there were 1000 caves, but only 492 caves still standing. Today only 30 caves are open for tourist to visit, and rest are closed for preservation.
Tourist can visit the earlier works of Indian Buddhist Art and latest are the works of locals. The smallest statue is merely 2 cm while the largest is 34.5 meters high.  The cave also vary in size, smallest is head’s space while the largest is from foot of mountain to top of mountain. It is the largest and most comprehensive grottoes house in China and in the world.
According to historical records, Mogao Grottoes construction work started in 366 AD,  and reached to its peak during   Tany Dynasty. One thousand caves had been carved and painted by 14th centuries. The caves divided into south and north section. The main part of Mogao Grottoes located on south section where the monks carry out the religious activities. The caves on south section each contains wall painting or sculptures. According to historical records, the northern section is for monks to live, cultivate them to the religious doctrine and bury the dead peers. This section contains only 5 statues.
The Mogao caves were sealed and abandoned sometimes in 14th century. It was accidently discovered by Taoist monk Wangyuanlu in 1900. He realized the significance of the site and started to work on excavation and restoration of cave.
Some of the relics found from here was taken away by foreign archaeologies. Part of what was taken away from here can be seen in British Museum and the Louvre Museum. Also Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and The Academy of Science in St. Petersburge and China National Library in Beijing.
In 1961, it was listed under the protection of National Cultural Relics by State Council.  In 1987, the Mogao Grottoes was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Other well-known Stone Grottoes in China are; Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, and Maijishan Grottoes in Tianshui.