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Overview

Amid a land awash in history, it is the landscapes that make Dunhang truly outstanding. Spend a morning at the Mogao Caves marvelling at the thousand-year-old Buddhist art that fills the grottos. And discover the true meaning of ‘desert oasis’ while exploring endless sand dunes and the stunning Crescent Lake.

Trip Highlights

The Dunhuang Deserts

Explore the UNESCO-Heritage Mogao Caves

See incredible, thousand-year-old Buddhist murals and sculptures housed in hundreds of man-made caves.

Experience the beauty of the desert

Travel to a remote corner of China where sweeping desert landscapes are punctuated by lakes and sand dunes.

Discover a true desert oasis

Learn about the history of Dunhuang, a vibrant trading town set amid a vast stretch of desert.

Itinerary

1

Dunhuang

Estimate distance and journey time: Jiayuguan city Wei/Jin Tombs (approx.20km): 40min. JIayuguan– Dunhuang City (approx. 360km):5h; by flight 50min Crescent moon lake/Mingsha- Dunhuang City (approx. 5.1km): 14min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Dunhuang, which translates to ‘Blazing Beacons,’ is a former garrison town situated on stunning oasis on the edge of a vast desert. The town was named after the rammed earth towers which were set alight to warn of nomadic attacks. 

Upon arrival to Dunhuang airport, a driver will be waiting to provide transport. Before heading to the hotel for check in, pay a visit en route to the Mingsha Mountains, where massive sand dunes can reach 300 meters. Continue with a visit to Crescent Moon Lake, a natural spring, before ascending one of the area’s highest dunes to catch a dramatic sunset.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the region by choosing to board one of the gliders available at the park. Service provided on site at additional cost.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Take a jeep to one of the region’s highest dunes continued by a walk to peek over the ocean of sand. Service provided on site at additional cost.

After the day’s explorations, pay a visit to the vibrant night market with local food and crafts. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the local atmosphere before being transferred back to the hotel.

Overnight in Dunhuang.

2

Dunhuang

Estimate distance and journey time: Dunhuang City – Mogao Caves (approx. 25.6km): 42min Mogao Caves –Yadan National Park (approx. 176km): 2h *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

After breakfast at the hotel, a transfer will be provided to the UNESCO-celebrated Mogao Caves. The site is known for its murals and frescos, which are fine examples of Buddhist art covering a span of 1,000 years. The caves are also known for the giant Buddhas which are tucked inside the expansive caves.

Note:  Please note that access to the caves is restricted to 100,000 visitors/day. Personal registration must be completed for the visit at least 11 days prior to visiting (preferably 2 weeks in order to assure a successful booking); it will not be possible to modify the date later.  

Visitors are required to bring their passport for security check upon their visit to the monument.

Foreigners are allowed to visit the Caves only during the morning.

After the cave visit, lunch will be provided in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to Yadan National Park. The formations of the park developed from 700,000 years of natural wind erosion; they have been recognized as the largest in China.

In order to guarantee a special experience, the visit will be conducted by private jeeps to cover more of the desert. Walking paths are available to freely explore the area.

Returning from Yadan National Park pass by the remains of the Han Great Wall, still visible on the side of the white road.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: For dinner, enjoy a simple but fascinating barbecue on the dunes. There will be an option to explore the dunes on foot. Quads are available on-site at an additional cost.

Overnight in Dunhuang.

3

Dunhuang - Departure

Spend the morning enjoying breakfast on a terrace overlooking the desert’s dunes before continuing on to the following destination.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner).
  • English speaking guide (no shopping basis rates) (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Visa for China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.
  • All the services indicated as available on site at additional costs

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