What places can I visit on the Silk Road Dream and Dunhuang West Route?

Traveling in Dunhuang generally has two routes: an eastern route and a western route. The attractions on the eastern route, such as the Mogao Grottoes and Mingsha Mountain, are mostly concentrated near the city center and can be easily reached by public transportation. However, traveling on the western route requires much more distance, with attractions like the Yadan Devil City located 170 kilometers away from Dunhuang. Therefore, aside from self-driving, the only options for traveling on the western route are hiring a private car or carpooling.

Dunhuang Ancient City is a "fake" ancient city and a "real" film and television city. In the 1980s, Japanese director Junya Sato built this film and television city for the filming of the movie "Dunhuang". After the shooting, the Japanese originally planned to demolish this place, but the local government decided to preserve it. Even today, many movies and TV shows still come here for filming.
Mogao Grottoes, also known as Thousand Buddha Caves, is located to the west of the Mogao Grottoes, hence it is called the Western Thousand Buddha Caves. The Western Thousand Buddha Caves only have 16 caves, which is much smaller than the Mogao Grottoes, but the excavation may be even earlier than the Mogao Grottoes. The visitation mode of the Western Thousand Buddha Caves is the same as the Mogao Grottoes, led by a guide. Visitors can explore 5 caves here, with ticket prices being 1/5 of the Mogao Grottoes, and the level of delicacy is comparable to the Mogao Grottoes.


"Persuade you to drink another glass of wine, there are no friends when you leave the Yang Pass" refers to this place. Because it is south of Yumen Pass, Emperor Wu of Han named this pass "Yang Pass". It has always been the gateway to the Western Regions, until gradually declined after the Song Dynasty. According to Wang Wei's poem, people of that time also composed the music piece "Three Times Yang Pass". The musical score was lost around the Song Dynasty, and the famous ancient melody we hear today is from the Ming Dynasty.

Yumen Pass

"Yu Men Pass, commonly known as Xiaofangpan City, is the place mentioned in the poem 'Why should the Qiang flute resent the willows, as the spring breeze does not pass through the Yu Men Pass?' It is named after the Kunlun jade stones that entered the Central Plains from here. British explorer Stein concluded from the unearthed documents that this is indeed Yu Men Pass."

devil city

Yadan comes from the Uighur language, meaning "steep earthen mound." It is a type of wind-eroded landform formed in arid regions, which takes on particularly unique shapes under the influence of wind. Some resemble golden lions, some resemble Sphinxes, some resemble castles, some resemble peacocks - truly the impressive work of nature. It took tens of thousands of years of wind and sun to create the spectacular sight we see today. When viewing, it is best to keep a distance and avoid human interference as much as possible.

West Qianfo Cave, a perfect spot to witness the Gobi Desert's starry sky

The night falls quickly, with no light pollution on the Gobi desert. Through the car window, you can see the sky filled with countless stars. The car stops near the West Thousand Buddhas Cave, the last destination of the trip, to appreciate the Gobi starry sky.