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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dunhuang Introduction

Dunhuang is a city on the old Silk Road. It is in Gansu Province in north west China. The city was founded by Emperor Wudi of the Han dynasty in 111 BC at the cross roads of two trading routes on the Silk Road, and the name 'Dunhuang', meaning to 'to flourish and prosper,' gives some indication of the town's prominence in ancient China. It is much less important today.
Mogao Caves, (25km from town).  A UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with exquisite Buddhist art and manuscripts. Although the city had an early connection with Buddhism due to the passage of monks traveling the Silk Road, it was not until a monk had a vision of a thousand Buddhas above the desert at Dunhuang in 4th century that the famous caves were excavated and filled with the manuscripts and treasures. Nearby is the White Horse Pagoda, built by a monk from India in honor of his horse, which died in the process of bringing the monk to China. It is not possible to tour the caves on your own and all visitors are assigned to different guides. The tour takes about two hours and about 15 caves will be visited; all the rest are closed. The tours are different from group to group with every group visiting the main caves.

Sand Dunes , (Next to Crescent Lake). Worth a trip. If you're not interested in seeing the lake from up close and just want to walk among the dunes just follow the fence to the right from Charlie Jongh's Dune Guesthouse. After a couple of minutes you will find an open gate and a path leading up to the dunes. From the top of the one on the left, you can see the lake.

The famous Mingshashan—Yueyaquan National Park with Mingsha (Humming Sand) Hill and Crescent Moon Spring are found south of Dunhuang while to the north there is Jade Gate Pass (Yumen Guan) and Sun Pass (Yangguandao), last Han outposts on the Great Wall of China.

Huyang Forest , (20km from town). It consist of a small forest of rare poplares (Populus Divesifolia). Some are more than 600 years old. Can give an opportunity for a walk far from town.

White Horse Pagoda, (3 km west from town center.). The construction of this 12 meters stuppa has been ordered by Kunarajiva, a Buddhist translator, in 384. 

Piper bounce statue . Rebound Pipa statue is the symbol of Dunhuang, is located in the urban circle Flower Island Center, bar, and an even Highway South Road intersection in this. The statue through about 5 meters high, very graceful indeed, plump body, dance a benevolent and kind countenance, focus on the right leg, left leg lift back toward the front, Pipa behind the palm faces on the rebound.

May you have more tips about Dunhuang after you read this article. And if you have a chance to come to China, Dunhuang would show you the oldest cultrue of China.

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