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Silk Road Passes (Dunhuang)

In the arid desert, the ancient paths of the Silk Road keep their footsteps for you. Not only that, but nature has created its own geographical phenomena, such as Yardang, for the curious and adventurous. Traversing the desert, a mysterious city and caves are hidden in the evening light create a world of fantasies awaiting your discovery.

Things to do +

▲▲▲See Jade Gate (玉门关):

One of the vital ancient passages of the Silk Road and, in fact, the only one that linked Central Asia and China. Here, it is very interesting to take a bus tour to travel around the Jade Gate, lasting about 2 hours.

Jade Gate entrance fee for adults is 40¥ per person.

Bus to visit the area around the Jade Gate:  50¥ per person.

 

▲Visit Sun Gate (阳关):

Another of the ancient Silk Road passes is a mountain pass, established as a border defense post.

In the case of the Yang Gate (Sun Gate), taking a cable car up to see the scenery is not a bad idea. However, many tourists choose to dress up in traditional Chinese Hanfu and enjoy the scenery to travel back in time.

Admission for adults is 50¥ per person. In the case of online purchases, it is 10¥ cheaper.

 

▲▲▲Go into Yardang(雅丹) and watch the sunset:

This geographical feature was created by nature centuries ago, formed by elevations and rock formations that do not follow any patent, and therefore offer a unique landscape. Dunhuang is where you will be able to see the most complete views of this geographical phenomenon.

If you fancy a ride on the tour bus, you can visit the 4 different observation platforms, although the visiting time for each platform is limited to 15-35 minutes depending on the platform.

For the adventurous, it is recommended to visit the “Ghost City”, so called because it is a place that, with the blowing of the wind, creates mysterious and eerie sounds similar to the roars of beasts. Its name is also due to the fact that the ground, being covered with magnets, means that compasses do not work at all.

Once dusk arrives, the sunset together with the rocky elevations creates a unique image that is not to be missed.

Entrance fee for Yardang and Ghost Town: the price is about 50¥ per person. If you decide to take the tour bus, the total price is 120¥.

 

▲▲Visit Yulin Caves:

Crossing the desert, once the Tashi River appears before your eyes, you will have reached the Yulin Caves. The ability to create caves of this style in such an environment is incredible, and all the wall paintings and infrastructures of the site have been well preserved over the years. In each of the caves, religious images of different Chinese dynasties, such as the Qing and Tang dynasties, are depicted, which the guide will explain in more detail. The visit must be guided and must be done on the same day of the purchase of the tickets.

Entrance fee for Yulin Caves: the price is 55¥ per person (including the price of translated explanations). However, for visiting some specific areas the price would be higher.

How to get +

It is highly recommended to hire a car to reach all destinations in western Dunhuang as it is far from the city centre. Not only that, but as most of the sites are located in the desert, the difficulty of getting there is greater. This is most clearly reflected in the case of the Yulin Caves, which can only be reached by car.

The price is around 450¥ per day, depending on the car and the time of year you hire it, and can be arranged through tourist agencies or by asking local taxi drivers.

Travel tips +

During the visit of the Ghost Town, it is advisable not to walk freely in the area, as there are some empty places without people and there is a chance of getting lost.

 

Useful contacts +

Enquiries, complaints or other assistance at the Yang Gate destination: 0937-883-3089

Contact for complaints: 0931-882-6860

Dunhuang tourism website contact: 0937-885-1516, 0937-885-1518, 0937-885-1568, 0937-885-1578 (24h).