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Dunhuang

If you have a dream of a trip back in time, Dunhuang will be the perfect city to bring your dreams to life. The amazing and moving sights carved on the walls of the Mogao Caves, which are more than 17 centuries old, will surely make your experience unforgettable. Here, the variety of natural landscapes will allow you to enjoy the lake, the desert and the dunes at a close distance and, not to mention, always served with the best local gastronomy.

How to get +

Flight:

Dunhuang has its own airport: Dunhuang Mogao International Airport. Stopovers are usually available in Lanzhou or Xi’an, where you can choose to change your transportation mode and reach Dunhuang by train if it is more convenient.

Train:

this is a fairly cost-effective and quick method of travel on almost all trips. As Dunhuang is on the Xibei route, tourists often take the high-speed train to visit Dunhuang along with other cities. For example, there is a faster direct line from Lanzhou to Dunhuang.

Car:

Many travellers often choose to drive their own or rented cars, travelling all the way from Qinghai to Dunhuang on the Xibei route. The roads are normally not very hilly or difficult to drive on.

Travel tips +

Transport:

It is strongly recommended to rent a car with a driver to travel around Dunhuang, as it allows you to, for instance, spend more time at a destination, take photos, avoid crowds on public transport, etc. It is very important to rent from official or reliable websites, such as well-known tourist intermediaries, whose price will be around 500-1200 yuan per day, depending on the type of vehicle and the time of the year. If  occasionally take a taxi with a reliable and friendly driver, you can even ask  about the possibility of hiring him for a few days to guide you during your trip.

 

Tickets:

In the case of the Mogao Caves, they must be purchased in before your visit, while the other sites do not have to be bought in advance, but it is always advisable to have the tickets beforehand, just in case.

It is noteworthy that, in periods of low tourist demand (November-April), some tourist attractions offer 50% off tickets and there are more opportunities to enjoy the destinations to the fullest because there are not so many tourists.

 

Weather:

The temperature difference between day and night is usually large, so it is advisable to prepare sufficient, appropriate, comfortable and beautiful clothing (for those who love taking photos).

It is recommendable to visit Dunhuang in autumn, as the temperatures in winter are often quite low (reaching -10°C) and in summer it is usually extremely hot.

Gastronomy +

Flour-based recipes are very typical in northern China. In Dunhuang, noodle dishes are very abundant, and donkey meat is one of the most unusual and tasty dishes in the local cuisine.

Stuffed bread with mutton (羊肉焖饼): is one of the most typical dishes in Dunhuang and is used to welcoming guests. It consists of a mixture of wide noodles with lamb, which creates a perfect combination with the addition of other ingredients such as garlic, pepper, ginger, etc.

Yellow noodles with donkey meat (驴肉黄面): this is a mixture of two dishes, which are a donkey meat dish as a side dish and the handmade yellow noodles as the main dish. As it is typically said in Dunhuang, donkey meat is the most delicious. This dish is usually prepared with a specific Chinese sauce, combining with various spices to give a unique flavour.

Apricot soda (杏皮水): It is a very common soda which uses a local delicacy called Liguangxing for its raw material and is made from dried apricot, hawthorn and loquat meat. It has a sweet and sour taste after being cooled and is very refreshing, which can be found almost everywhere in the streets of Dunhuang.

Accommodation +

Among all the common accommodation options such as hotels, rented houses and hostels, Dunhuang offers unusual desert experiences with unique accommodation such as camping in the desert. Below are some of the options to consider:

Dunhuang Season Boutique Hotel: located in the east of Dunhuang, it is very close to the main tourist attractions in the eastern part of the city.

Booking can be done through an intermediary such as Booking.
Customer service telephone number: 0937-860-0788.
Address: 8 Mingshan Road, Dunhuang, 736200, China.
Average price per night per person: 80-250¥, depending on the time of year.

 

Dunhuang Vivian desert camping: near the Mingsha Dunes and the Yueyaquan, you can choose to stay at a campsite with this equipment and see the beautiful starry sky at night. Although it is open-air, there is a restaurant, 24-hour reception service and an amazing barbecue offered by the campsite. You can also go hiking around the area.

Reservations can be made through intermediaries such as Booking.
Address: Mingshan Road, near Mingsha Dunes Scenic Area, 736200, China.
Average price per night per person: 200-250¥.

 

Dunhuang Grand Soluxe Hotel: five-star hotel located near Shazhou Market and the relics of the ancient city of Dunhuang.

Reservations can be made through an agency such as Agoda or the hotel’s official website.
Address: 1339 Yangguan Middle Road, 736200, China.
Average price per night per person: 300¥ or more.

Useful contacts +

Public Safety Bureau: 0937-886-2000

Dunhuang Hospital: 0937-885-9081

Tourism bureau: 0937-882-1303

Gansu Tourism Website Contact: 0931-887-3901