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1 Day Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Mingshashan Tour $137

Essence of Dunhuang

1

Looking for a worry-free day tour that takes you to explore the best part of Dunhuang? Here is the ideal tour. Our local tour guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel, airport or railway station first in the morning, then take you to start Dunhuang exploration with an enjoyable pace. The morning time, when is less crowded and cooler in the desert area, is to have an in-depth learning and seeing about the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mogao Grottoes. You will not only visit 8 featured caves of Mogao Grottoes, but also watch two interesting and helpful documentary films about Dunhuang, Mogao Grottoes and Silk Road. In the afternoon, you will go to visit the beautiful sand dunes of Mingshashan as well as the peaceful Crescent Lake. Except the desert landscape treat, you can also take part in many optional interesting desert activities, such as camel riding, sand skiing, paraglider, etc. While in the evening, the fascinating Silk Road Show will bring you a lot of fun (optional). What a wonderful day!

Highlights of this tour

  • Visit the No. 1 and No. 2 attractions of Dunhuang in a single day - Mogao Grottoes and Mingshashan;
  • Enjoy the elaborate Silk Road Show in the evening time (optional).

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $137
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Dunhuang
Travel Length:
1 Day and 1 Night
Tour Code:
CD-DHT-01
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Morning: Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center / Mogao Grottoes

After breakfast, drive about 10 km from the Dunhuang city to visit the modern Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes.

Mogao Grottoes is famed as the "Louvre of East" which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters mural paintings and 2100 colorfully painted statues from which you can trace the development of Chinese art over 1600 years from one dynasty to the next because each dynasty built own caves to record its own features. There are about 40 common caves opened to the public. In the tourist area, you will be divided into groups by different tour guides who will accompany you to visit 7-8 caves among them with great introduction. After that, if you want to visit more other caves, you can do it by yourselves or follow other tour guides. Besides, there are 10 special caves (with extra fees) available for your extensional visiting.

Useful Tips: 1) It is necessary to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days; 2) It is not allowed to take photos inside the grottoes.

Watch a documentary film in the Dome Theater of Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center Mogao Caves
Afternoon: Echoing Sand Mountains / Crescent Lake

In the afternoon, you will go to visit the magic Echoing Sand Mountains and Crescent Lake which are located in a same scenic area. In the sunny days, the sand mountains echo like Orchestra music even if there is no wind. If you slide from the sand mountains, you can hear the echoing sound clearly. There are many exciting activities for you to try (at your own expense), such as sand skiing, viewing from glider helicopter, motorcycling, etc. Riding a camel through the desert is very popular.

You will also visit the beautiful Crescent Lake which is surrounded by the Echoing Sand Mountains. Crescent Lake is a stunning oasis with some well decorated traditional Chinese architecture, some trees and flowers and a lake that has never dried up and shapes like a crescent moon.

Useful Tips: in the summer, travelers can stay up to late night around 21:30 to enjoy the cool time and beautiful sky of stars. It's usually very hot during 12:00~15:00. You can enter the park later when it is not that hot.

Crescent Lake has been a famous attraction for more than 1200 years Riding Camel at Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains)
Evening: Silk Road Show (optional)

This evening, you will be brought to enjoy the fascinating Silk Road show - Silk Road Flower Rain which is a relaxing show of Chinese dance drama inspired by the murals in Mogao Grottoes, telling an impressive story of a talented mural artist working in the Mogao Caves, his beautiful daughter and their meeting with the Persians merchant Eruse. During their journey on the Silk Road. The performance itself is a feast of unparalleled visual beauty with impressively elaborate dances performed by professional dancers wearing stunning costumes and an incredible set design.

After the show you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Notice: the Silk Road show is only performed during April ~ October.

Enjoy the fascinating Silk Road show - Silk Road Flower Rain

Recommended Add-on Options

+1 more day to western Dunhuang to visit Yandan Geopark and Yumenguan

A full day to explore the remote wild Gobi desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites in western Dunhuang, including Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass as well as an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road, the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time, Yandan National Geologic Park which also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert and Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.

Yardang National Geopark Looks Like A Fleet from Aerial View
+2 more days to Jiayuguan with an excursion to Yulin Caves

Jiayuguan Pass is about 370 km away from Dunhuang. It used to be the starting point of the ancient Great Wall built during Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), also the most important military defensive project guarding the far northwestern area of China because of its strategic location at the narrowest point of the western section of the Hexi Corridor which had been the vital defensive frontier since Han Dynasty (BC 202—220). 

You can travel from Dunhuang to Zhangye by car. Most classic itinerary is to leave Dunhuang in the morning, then drive about 4~5 hours to Jiayuguan with an excursion visit to Yunlin Caves, which is the "little sister" of Mogao Caves. In Jiayuguan, you can spend either a half day tour or a full day visiting Jiayuguan Fortress, Hanging Great Wall and other sites in the region.

Jiayuguan Fort

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >

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  • +1 more day to western Dunhuang to visit Yandan Geopark and Yumenguan
    +2 more days to Jiayuguan with an excursion to Yulin Caves

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