Frequently Asked Questions About Dunhuang
When is the best time to travel to Dunhuang?
The best time to visit Dunhuang is between April and October, when temperatures are generally mild and the weather is sunny. During this time, visitors can take advantage of the city’s numerous attractions, including the renowned Mogao Caves, Yumenguan Pass, Crescent Lake, and Echoing-Sand Mountain. During these months visitors can also enjoy camel rides in the desert or even explore some of the nearby monasteries. It is important to note that it can still be quite windy during this time so warm clothing should be packed for a trip to Dunhuang. For those looking for a more relaxed trip however, Autumn is often considered to be an ideal season as temperatures tend to be cooler and there are fewer crowds due to the colder weather.
Which is the best place to stay in Dunhuang?
The best area to stay in Dunhuang is near the Mogao Caves and Crescent Lake. This area offers tourists easy access to two of the city’s most popular attractions, as well as nearby shops, restaurants, and hotels. Staying in this part of town also puts visitors close to the ancient Great Wall of China and other historical sites such as Yumenguan Pass. Additionally, staying in this area provides travelers with convenient transportation options, including buses and taxis which can take them around the city or out into the deserts. For those who want a more secluded experience however, there are plenty of smaller villages located away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dunhuang which offer a laid back atmosphere for exploring the desert and its many attractions.
What are some of the best sights to see in Dunhuang?
Popular attractions in Dunhuang include:
1. Mogao Caves: Also known as the “Caves of Thousand Buddhas,” this is an ancient temple complex composed of over 500 caves and 45,000 Buddhist sculptures.
2. Yumenguan Pass: Located near the Great Wall of China, Yumenguan Pass was once an important trading hub on the Silk Road.
3. Crescent Lake: This crescent shaped lake lies at the foot of Mingsha Mountain and is known for its incredible scenery and stunning sunsets.
4. Echoing Sand Mountain: With shifting sand dunes that can reach up to 150 meters high, this area provides a unique desert experience.
5. Great Wall of China: Located nearby Yumenguan Pass, this iconic structure stretches for thousands of miles and offers stunning views.
6. Monasteries: Dunhuang is also home to numerous ancient monasteries which provide visitors with an insight into the Buddhist culture as well as a peaceful retreat.
7. Camel Rides: The desert surrounding Dunhuang provides a perfect opportunity to explore the area on camelback.
8. Shopping: From souvenirs to antiques, you can find all kinds of interesting items in the city’s many markets.
What are some good places to eat in Dunhuang?
The best places to eat food in Dunhuang include:
1. Mingsha Mountain Restaurant: This restaurant offers a variety of local dishes as well as international cuisine.
2. Laojun Lou Restaurant: Enjoy traditional Chinese favorites at this popular spot, which is conveniently located near the Mogao Caves and Crescent Lake.
3. Little Tibet: Experience Tibetan culture and cuisine with delicious momos, thukpa, and other specialities from the region.
4. 888 Delicacy Street: Located near Echoing Sand Mountain, this street offers an abundance of snacks and street food that can be enjoyed while exploring the area.
5. Noodle Bistro by Yumenguan Pass: Sample some of the famous local noodles dishes at this popular restaurant.
6. Taoist Monastery Restaurant: Enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal in this tranquil setting, surrounded by ancient Buddhist statues and sculptures.
7. Zui Yue Ren Jia: This eatery serves up traditional Chinese dishes such as dumplings, steamed buns, and sweet and sour pork.
8. Dunhuang Night Market: Explore the stalls of this lively night market to sample some of the city’s best street food.
What are some good shopping spots in Dunhuang?
Shopping in Dunhuang can be done at the following places:
1. International Shopping Centre: This large shopping center offers a range of items from international brands as well as local products.
2. Silk Road Market: Here you’ll find traditional handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs such as jade carvings, tea sets, and calligraphy scrolls.
3. Yumenguan Pass Market: Explore the various stalls of this market to purchase unique snacks and items from the region.
4. Little Tibet Area Shopping Streets: Located near Echoing Sand Mountain, these streets offer an array of Tibetan specialties such as handcrafted prayer wheels and singing bowls.
5. Local Department Stores: Dunhuang is home to several department stores, where you can find a range of items from fashion to electronics.
6. Taoist Monastery Market: Take a stroll through this lively market and browse the various stalls for souvenirs, local handicrafts, and snacks.
7. Night Markets: From fresh fruits and vegetables to trinkets and clothes, these night markets are perfect for bargain hunters.
8. Dunhuang Online Shopping Platforms: Many online shops offer products from across China that can be purchased with ease.
What are the best spots to enjoy nightlife in Dunhuang?
Dunhuang has plenty of nightlife options to enjoy, including:
1. Bars and Clubs: From karaoke bars to nightclubs, Dunhuang offers a range of lively entertainment spots.
2. Concerts: Enjoy live music from local bands as well as international musicians at venues such as the Yumenguan Pass Theatre.
3. Music Venues: Experience traditional Chinese instruments or listen to classical Western compositions at these intimate venues.
4. Cinemas: Spend an evening watching blockbusters or art house films in one of the city’s multiplexes.
5. Performances: Take in a show featuring traditional dance performances or enjoy a puppet show at the Shazhou Night Market theatre.
6. Festivals: Celebrate special occasions such as the Dunhuang Spring Festival or the Lantern Festival with parades, music, and fireworks.
7. Events: From art exhibitions to concerts and culinary festivals, there is always something exciting happening in Dunhuang.
What are some nearby day trips from Dunhuang?
Day trips near Dunhuang include:
1. Mogao Caves: Explore one of the world’s most significant Buddhist art sites, located just 25 kilometers away from the city.
2. Echoing Sand Mountain: Climb up this unique sand dune to get stunning views of the desert landscape and experience an array of activities such as camel riding and sand skiing.
3. Crescent Moon Lake: Enjoy breathtaking scenery and take a boat ride on this crescent shaped oasis located close to Dunhuang.
4. Yadan National Geopark: Immerse yourself in the surreal landscapes at this open air museum featuring ancient ruins and sculptures.
5. Yumenguan Pass: Located on the edge of the desert, this ancient fort offers captivating views as well as a museum and leisure activities.
6. Gaotai National Geological Park: Marvel at the lunar-like landscapes of this park and discover its numerous attractions such as natural hot springs and colorful lakes.
7. Yadan National Nature Reserve: Spot rare animals living in the wild while exploring the vast sand dunes of this reserve.
8. Danxia Mountain Range: Appreciate stunning scenery and take part in outdoor activities such as rock climbing or hiking around these crimson colored mountains.