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The DunHuang Desert
KD6EVH
Author: KD6EVH (ID: 21309)
Posted: 2012-08-24 06:40 GMT+00:00
Mileage: 361.55 km
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Tags: Travel, Photography, Grand Tour, DunHuang
Views: 1399
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Dunhuang is the end of the famous Silk Road. As such, it was once a major commerce hub. Today it is well known due to the presence of the Magao Caves (莫高窟), one of Chinas many World Heritage Sites.

Traveling in the opposite direction, away from the Magao Caves takes one into the Gansu desert. My student, who was traveling with me at this point, arranged for a driver to take us on an extended drive to several of the points of interest. There were four of us in the car and travel cost was 100 RMB per person; actually, a pretty good deal.

On the way to the first point of interest, the Thousand Buddha Caves, we passed an old watchtower from when the Silk Road was an active trade route. We then arrived at the Thousand Buddha Caves. In many ways this site is similar to Magao caves, except that it is generally smaller and there are less open caves. Much like Magao caves, photography is not permitted due to concern that the flashes will degrade the paintings in the caves.

From there we continued on to a major fort along the Silk Road, the Jade Gate, and an accompanying section of the wall network within China, the Han Wall. I started having trouble with my camera, which was later repaired in Chengdu. So, from this point on the picture quality is suffering as I was using the camera in my phone.

From there we continued to our final point, the Ghost City. This is a section of desert with unusual wind erosion patterns. The name comes from the odd sounds that the wind makes as it blows through the formations.

After watching the sun set over the Gansu desert in the Ghost City we returned to our driver. He provided fruit and we began the long ride back to DunHuang. It was well after mid-night when we returned; but, the night market was still open and we had dinner before returning to the hostel.

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