As the location of the world famous Mogao Caves, Dunhuang has become the biggest highlight on the ancient “Silk Road”, and meanwhile, it’s a vital dividing point of the Southern (to Kashgar) and Northern (to Yining) Silk Road Routes extending farther to Xinjiang. Tracing the southern route, visiting major destinations like Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi and Kashgar, sightseeing spectacular landscapes, experiencing unique regional ethnic culture and customs, learning about the profound and glorious past history, the journey is a wild adventure which will stimulate your body and soul and refresh your impression of Northwestern China. To get to Kashgar in southern Xinjiang from Dunhuang, you may take a connecting flight, a train or long-distance bus. Which is the most recommended way to get from Dunhuang to Kashgar? Read on to find the answer below.
Dunhuang (敦煌市) is a county-level situated northwest of Gansu Province. Most importantly, Dunhuang is an intersection of Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang, nearly 600 km from Zhangye and 370 km from Jiayuguan.
Kashgar (喀什市) is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is located in the southwest of Xinjiang, west of Tarim Basin, faces Taklamakan Desert in the east, borders Kunlun Mountain and Ngari (Tibet) in the south and neighbor Pamir Plateau in the west. Kashgar is the westernmost border city in China,about 1,474 km (916 mi) southwest of Urumqi.
Xinjiang borders Gansu in the northwest, and Kashgar is to the due west of Dunhuang, with an estimated distance of about 2,200 km (1,367 mi), nearly 26 hours by car.Dunhuang to Kashgar Transportation Map (click to enlarge)
Currently, Dunhuang has no direct flights flying from Dunhuang Airport to Kashgar Airport, except some connecting flights of different airline companies with a transit in Lanzhou or Xian. Attention that, most of the flights depart in the afternoon and arrive in the afternoon the next morning. The shortest transfer is in Lanzhou, which takes about 1.5 hours.
If you prefer an air travel to get from Dunhuang to Kashgar, you can check the following Dunhuang to Kashgar connecting flight schedule to choose the most suitable flight.
|Departure Airport||Arrival Airport||Dep. & Arr. Time||Flight Time||Stopover City||Layover Duration||Airline Company|
|Dunhuang Mogao International Airport (DNH)||Kashgar International Airport (KHG)||07:35-15:20||about 8 hours||Lanzhou||about 1.5 hours||China Eastern Airlines+Spring Airlines|
|12:30-21:10||about 7 hours 40 minutes||Lanzhou||about 1.5 hours||Sichuan Airlines+Spring Airlines|
|15:30-00:15 (2nd day)||about 9 hours||Xian||about 2 hours||China Eastern Airlines|
|19:10-14:15 (2nd day)||about 19 hours||Lanzhou||about 13 hours||Spring Airline+Urumqi Air|
|23:25-13:45 (2nd day)||about 14.5 hours||Xian||about 7 hours||China Eastern Airlines|
Dunhuang Mogao International Airport (敦煌莫高窟国际机场, IATA: DNH)
Location: Provincial Highway 314, Mogao Town, Dunhuang City, Jiuyuan City, Gansu Province 甘肃省酒泉市敦煌市莫高镇314省道
Transportation: about 13 km, 20 minutes’ to downtown Dunhuang; about 21 km, 25 minutes’ drive to Mogao Caves and Mingsha Mountain (Singing Sand Dunes) & Crescent Lake Scenic Area; 106 km, 1 hour 40 minutes’ drive to Yumen Pass; 75 km, 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive to Yang Pass; about 176 km, 2.5 hours’ drive to Yardang National Geopark.
Kashgar International Airport (喀什国际机场, IATA: KHG)
Location: Yingbin Avenue, Kashgar, Xinjiang 新疆喀什地区喀什市迎宾大道
Transportation: about 11 km, 30 minutes’ drive to Kashgar city center; about 9 km, 20 minutes’ drive to Kashgar Ancient City; around 9.5 km, 25 minutes’ drive to Id Kah Mosque; about 10 km, 25 minutes’ drive to Kashgar Livestock Bazaar (Sunday Market); about 10 km, 20 minutes’ drive to Abakh Hoja Tomb; about 200 km, 4 hours’ drive to Karakul Lake; about 300 km, 6 hours’ drive to Tashkurgan.
There is a Plan B recommended for air travelers. That is buying two sections’ air tickets separately, flying from Dunhuang to Lanzhou or Xian first and then getting to Kashgar, because the two cities offer daily direct flights to Kashgar in northwestern China.
|Flight Route 1||Frequency||Duration||Flight Route 2||Frequency||Duration|
|Dunhuang - Lanzhou||>10 flights per day||about 2 hours||Lanzhou - Kashgar||2~3 flights per day||about 4 hours|
|Duanhuang - Xian||5 flights||about 2 hours||Xian - Kashgar||4 flights||about 5 hours|
Train travelers can get to Kashgar from Dunhuang by train as well. The trains are overnight trains, departing from Liuyuan Railway Station.
Liuyuan Railway Station is located in Liuyuan Town, Guazhou County, Jiuquan City, about 130 km, 2 hours’ driving distance from Dunhuang City.
Dunhuang City to Liuyuan Railway Station:
▶ By Private Car: about 2 hours
▶ By Bus: over 3.5 hours (Dunhuang Bus Station -> Liuyuan Bus Station, more than 10 buses per day)
Tips: Liuyuan Bus Station is very close to Liuyuan Railway Station, only 350m, 5 minutes by walking.
Useful Link: Liuyuan Railway Station Location and Transportation
Railway Length: about 1,747 km/ 1,086 mi
Duration: about 19.5 hours ~ 23.5 hours
From & To: Liuyuan Railway Station (柳园站) → Kashgar Railway Station (喀什站)
So far, there are two overnight trains running from Liuyuan Railway Station to Kashgar Railway Station. Both trains depart in the afternoon and arrive in next day afternoon. They will stop at many stations en route, including Hami Station, Turpan North Station, Korla Station, Luntai Station, Kuqa Station, Aksu Station, etc.
Three kinds of tickets are offered: Hard Seat, Hard Sleeper and Soft Sleeper.
Useful Links: Kashgar to Dunhuang Train Schedules
Please check the below Dunhuang (Liuyuan) to Kashgar (kashi) train schedules with detailed train numbers, departure and arrival time & station, ticket and midway station, etc.
Note: Train information is subject to final confirmation due to the delay of data occasionally.
The direct drive from Dunhuang to Kashgar is about 2,200 km, costing more than 1 full day. No bus is available and really few people spend a day taking the bus travel. If you insist, you can take a bus from Dunhuang to Hami first, and then take a bus to Urumqi from Hami, finally get a bus from Urumqi to Kashgar, which allows you to visit Hami, Urumqi or Turpan en route.
Our Advice: This is the least recommended choice to Kashgar from Dunhuang, because it requires the traveler to know Chinese well, having lots of time and a good direction.
Travel Route: Dunhuang → Liuyuan → (<4.5 Hours' High Speed Bullet Train) → Urumqi → (2 Hours' Flight) → Kashgar
As you can see, there is no non-stop flight and fast train you can take to get from Dunhuang to Kashgar directly. In view of time cost and scenery on the way, most tourists firstly take a high speed train from Dunhuang (Liuyuan) to Urumqi and then fly from Urumqi to Kashgar. It’s strongly advised that you spend sometime in Urumqi, visit famous landmarks like the Heavenly Lake (Tianchi) of Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang Regional Museum, Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar, etc., and get an overall impression of Xinjiang before heading to Kashgar. If time allows, you can explore more natural beauty around Urumqi and in the Northern Xinjiang.
The Dunhuang to Urumqi high speed bullet train takes less than 4.5 hours. Generally, there are 3 bullet trains departing from Liuyuan South Railway Station in the afternoon and arriving at Urumqi Railway Station on the same day.
The air travel from Urumqi to Kashgar is 2 hours short. Each day, more than 15 non-stop flights flying from Urumqi Diwopu International Airport to Kashgar International Airport from 07:00 to 22:00.
Most tourists like to visit the Dunhuang and Kashgar together with Turpan and Urumqi along the Southern Silk Road Route between them. The trip takes more than one week or longer. It's a Silk Road travel route where you can view different types of scenery, culture & history and local customs in Northwestern China.
First, spend 2 to 3 days exploring Dunhuang (Gansu), visit the great Buddhist treasury - Mogao Caves, witness Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake - the oasis in the desert and experience interesting camel riding or camping. Next get to Turpan (Xinjiang), take 2 days to see the Jiaohe Ancient City, Flaming Mountains, taste sweet grapes in vineyards. Then transfer to Urumqi, make a day trip to Tianshan Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountains) and enjoy tranquil lake scenery. Finally, discover the cultural charm of Kashgar for at least 2 days, walk around Kashgar Old Town, visit the Sunday Livestock Market (Kashgar Bazaar), Id Kah Mosque and other famous landmarks. You can view the magnificent Karakul Lake and visit the mysterious Tashkurgan for 2 more days.
Recommended Silk Road Tours with Dunhuang & Kashgar:
☛ 10 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian/Dunhuang/Turpan/Urumqi/Kashgar)
☛ 11 Days Northwestern China Cultural Relic & Desert Landscape Tour
☛ 15 Days Classic Ancient China Silk Road Tour with Bullet Train Experience
If you’re quite interested in the nature and multi-ethnic culture of Xinjiang, you make further exploration in Xinjiang, visit the fairyland Kanas Lake and serene Hemu Village, enjoy beautiful grasslands in and around Ili, adventure in the less-known Lop Nur, Taklamakan Desert, Hotan and other destinations in Xinjiang. Like wild northerst China? You have a lot of destinations to explore with Xinjiang, like Qinghai Lake, holy land Tibet, Hexi Corridor in Gansu - Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, etc.
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Top 3 Dunhuang Kashgar tours chosen by most customers to explore Dunhuang Kashgar in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar
Kashgar / Tupran / Dunhuang / Jiayuguan / Zhangye / Xian / Beijing
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