[Breaking News] 1) The brisk Summer is approaching. Here are the Best Summer Holidays » 2) Promotion deals! check out the most recommended China Tours for Expats »

Silk Road Show

Top Dunhuang Silk Road Shows - Best Show in Dunhuang 2022

Rich in history and culture, the magic land, Dunhuang has conceived many classic and exotic silk shows. So far, there are three popular silk shows: Silk Road and Flower Rain, Dunhuang Grand Ceremony, and Encore Dunhuang. After your traveling during the daytime, it is a great enjoyment to watch a Dunhuang Silk Road Show, so how do you choose one out of the three?

The Silk Road and Flower Rain is the most recommended show for most common visitors, while each show has different features and highlights, and the followings are detailed information about Dunhuang Silk Road Shows to help you make your preferential choice.

Silk Road Show

Location Map of Dunhuang Theaters


Silk Road and Flower Rain 丝路花雨

• Value: ★★★★★ • Performance: ★★★★★ • Technology: ★★★★

The classical Chinese dance show "Silk Road and Flower Rain" tells a touching tragic (fictional) story of a talented fresco artist working within the Mogao Caves, whose beautiful daughter is kidnapped by bandits and sold into slavery as a dancer. With its unique artistic style, it brings the magnificent and colorful Dunhuang frescoes onto the stage and vividly represents the profound Dunhuang culture and the prosperity of the ancient Silk Road. The performance itself is a visual spectacular of unparalleled beauty, with stunning costumes, impressively choreographed dances, and an incredible set design. 

It has been successfully performed probably since 1979. The stage was decorated with elements of the Tang Dynasty and the Silk Road as well as Dunhuang frescoes. "Silk Road and Flower Rain" has visited more than 20 countries and regions successively, and its performance is highly praised, known as "the model of Chinese national dance drama". The Silk Road and flower rain has performed about 3000 times since its first appearance, with more than 4 million people watching. There were even performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 60th National Day in 2009, and the 10th World Expo.

This is a six-acts show with both prelude and Epilogue. The story-line is surprisingly complex and really tugs at the heartstrings, which often left a few people in tears by the end of the show.

Silk Road Show

Silk Road and Flower Rain 丝路花雨

Silk Road Show

Silk Road and Flower Rain 丝路花雨

Prelude: A Persian merchant got caught in the sandstorm, and the talented fresco artist Zhang and his young daughter save him from the desert. However, the little young girl, Yingniang was kidnapped by a bandit Douhu.

Act 1: After being kidnapped, Yingniang grew up to be an excellent dancer slaved by the bandit and she finally meets her father in the process of her performing.

Act 2: Even they got reunion after years, the bandit still want to occupy Yingniang. Therefore, his father entrusted her to the Persian merchant to bring her away, for which he got imprisoned in the Mogao Caves where he painted a lot of murals inspired by her daughter’s dance.

Act 3: The governor of the Hexi region came to visit the cave and got surprised by the beautiful murals and he released the painter Zhang after asking the causes.

Act 4: 3 years later, there is a diplomatic banquet in Dunhuang, and the Persian merchant was invited. He brought Yingniang back to her home country.

Act 5: The bandit got to know it and planned to rob and kill them on their way. However, Yingniang’s father, the painter Zhang heard about it. He failed to reach his daughter and the merchant and died on his way but the message was delivered. Yingniang was heartbroken and decided to fight against the evil.

Act 6: At the diplomatic banquet, the bandit presented the goods and offer them to the governors expecting to get a promotion, while the Yingniang disguised as a dancer with the Persian team appeared at the banquet. After her dance, she told the governors all the crime the bandit has committed and he got judged and arrested for all his sinful deeds.

Epilogue: At the end of the banquet, the envoys along the Silk Road from 27 countries said goodbye one by one.

Duration: 80min (20:30 - 21:50)

Ticket: CNY 368 (Ticket A); CNY 328 (Ticket B), CNY 298 (Ticket C); CNY 238 (Ticket D); CNY 588 (VIP Ticket)

Location: Dunhuang Grand Theatre, 2713 Wenbo East Road, Dunhuang City, Gansu Province甘肃省敦煌市文博东路2713号敦煌大剧院 

How to Get There: The theatre itself is located quite far away from the city center, so you'll need to take a taxi there, and the taxi fee is about CNY 20. Besides taking a taxi, you can also take the Dunhuang sightseeing bus departing from the Mogao Caves Ticket Reservation Center in the downtown at 7:00 pm and pass by the Dunhuang Museum and finally reach the Theater at 8:00 pm. After watching the show, you can take the bus back to the downtown area.

Tips: The theater is very large, but there are plenty of staff on hand to help you find your way so long as you show them your ticket, please get there at least 20min before the show starts.

Silk Road Show

Dunhuang Grand Ceremony 敦煌盛典

• Value: ★★★★ • Performance: ★★★★ • Technology: ★★★★★

Dunhuang grand ceremony is a live outdoor performance with a story-line of a touching love story, which reproduces the historical and cultural features of Dunhuang through the performance of actors. The performance is mainly divided into six acts. Dunhuang Grand Ceremony is an outdoor show with Incredible use of technology (3D effect and rotatable seats) and impressive Chinese style dancing which tells a Silk Road story about a young princess and an artist who runs off together. The costumes and choreography are superb and blended perfectly with the music.

The whole audience rotates with the performers which gives a unique experience. Even though hardly any English is spoken during the show, it is still very enjoyable. Since it is very near to the Dunhuang Silk Road Hotel within easy walking distance, if you are in Dunhuang and around the Echoing Mountain and Crescent Lake Area, do not miss the show.

Silk Road Show

Dunhuang Grand Ceremony 敦煌盛典

Silk Road Show

Dunhuang Grand Ceremony 敦煌盛典

Prelude: The silk road was opened. A young princess from China was about to send to regions for political marriage. However, on her way to the west country, she fell in love with a fresco artist.

Act 1: The painter escorts the princess with other servants and camels walking along the Echoing Sand Mountain.

Act 2: The young princess sneaks out to the Dunhuang night market to meet her beloved young painter and decided to elope together.

Act 3: Their plan got exposed and the princess was brought back to the palace. The painter stayed in Dunhuang and expressed his affections for the princess into the murals in the Mogao Caves.

Act 4: After his work, he saw a moon emerging from the spring in the desert and his lover was like in the beautiful moon by the side of the crescent lake.

Epilogue: The moon is shining all over the desert. The bonfire was set in this land. Dunhuang is just like a dreamland.

Duration: 70min (21:30-22:40)

Ticket:CNY 318 (Ticket A); CNY 288 (Ticket B); CNY 238 (Ticket C); CNY 588 (VIP Ticket)

Location: Dunhuang mountain villa, Dunyue Road, Dunhuang City, 200m inward 敦煌市敦月路敦煌山庄向内200米

How to Get There: The site is very close to Crescent Lake Town, 4 kilometers away from Dunhuang city. You can always take a taxi from Dunhuang downtown to get there or get on the Bus 3 from Shazhou Market Stop (沙洲市场) and get off at Dunhuang Silk Road Hotel Stop (敦煌山庄). It takes about 10min bu taxi and about 30min by bus.

Tips: You may need to get to the theater 20 mins earlier before the show to deposit your bag and check the tickets. It is suggested that you can go to the Mingsha Mountain (Echoing Sand Mountain) in the afternoon, and enjoy the sunset and watch the show here by the way you get back to the downtown area. Since it is an outdoor show, the actual performing time may be subject to change depending on the weather condition. It will have a seasonal close-down in winter due to the cold weather, please contact us for the actual performing date.

Silk Road Show

Encore Dunhuang 又见敦煌

• Value: ★★★ • Performance: ★★★★ • Technology: ★★★★★

Directed by the famous Wang Chaoge, the director of the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony, Encore Dunhuang tells stories related to Mogao Caves, and the theater is right next to the entrance of the Mogao Caves. It was a very dramatic and artful portrayal of the historical content in Dun Huang. All the actors and actresses were fantastic and the costumes were awesome and there were also many special effects. The main feature of the show is that the audience can move to different places to follow the performers, and you can take good pictures as the performers draw near to the spectators.

Therefore, expect to be moving from hall to hall and there was action from various angles. There are totally 4 acts and each act follows a different storyline. The way each story was portrayed was dramatic and it was an interesting way to learn real-life happenings in Dunhuang, an important segment of the Silk Road.   

Since the narrator speaks a lot in Chinese, you may not be able to understand what was going on in every act. Despite that, the show is still a great enjoyment.

Silk Road Show

Encore Dunhuang 又见敦煌

Silk Road Show

Encore Dunhuang 又见敦煌

Act 1:The historic figures of the Silk Road come on stage one by one and gather in Dunhuang.

Act 2:The Mogao Caves was rediscovered by the caretaker Taoist Wang Yuanlu and the treasure hunter Aurel Stein from UK.

Act 3:The stories of Cao’s family whose portraits were painted on murals of the Mogao Caves.

Act 4:The stories of the ancient army who guarded the frontier with the narrating of the ancient Chinese poem.

Duration: 90min (Regular Performance: 20:00-21:30; Additional Performances in Peak Season: 22:00-23:30; 16:30-18:00 )

Ticket: CNY 298 (normal seat in off-season); CNY 588 (VIP seat in peak season); CNY 368(normal seat in peak season); CNY 688 (VIP seat in peak season)

Location: Dunhuang mountain villa, Dunyue Road, Dunhuang City, 200m inward 敦煌市敦月路敦煌山庄向内200米

How to Get There:9km away from Dunhuang Downtown (Shazhou Night Market) and right next to the Mogao Caves Digital Exhibition Center, the theatre was a grand glass building that looked like a wave or pyramid structure. There is no direct bus to get there. You can take a taxi to get there.

Tips: You may need to get to the theater 20 mins earlier before the show to deposit your bag and check the tickets. It is recommended to watch the show after your visit to the Mogao Caves.

Silk Road Show

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit
Why Book with China Discovery