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Dunhuang

Travel Toolkit

      Dunhuang Map   Climate   Dunhuang Airport    China's Silk Road

                                                                                                          

      Must-see Attractions:

      Mogao Grottoes       Crescent Moon Spring     Jiayuguan Pass

                                                                               

History

Dunhuang has a long history. As early as the New Stone Age there had been buman beings living on this land. Dunhuang County, which was built in the 6th year of Yuanding of Wu Enterer (111 BC), Han Dynasty, owns a history of over 2,000 years. At the beginning of Western Han, the Huns occupied this area. After his succeeding to the throne, Emperor Wu sent Zhang Qian, a senior official, as an envoy to the Western Regions for the first time in the 3rd year (138BC) of his reign. Then, in the spring of 121 BC, he sent troops led by Biaoji General Huo Qubing to recapture Dunhuang and set up the Yang Pass and the Yumen Pass. In the 2nd year of Yuanding (115BC), Han Dynasty, Zhang Qian visited the Western Regions as an envoy for the second time and opened up the Silk Road. So Dunhuang enter its thriving stage for the first time and developed stop by step into the northwestern military and political center, Besides, it was also an important place for trade and culture, becoming a large metropolis, which connected the people of Han Nationalities with the tribes in the Western China. From Western Han to Western Liang, Dunhuang suffered from chaos caused by wars, and rose and fell for over 400 years.


In 366 AD, Monk Yue Seng opened up the Mogao Grottoes for the first time. And in Northern Wei, they had become very prosperous, then China was unified in Sui Dynasty and as a result the Silk Road was ensured unblocked and the Buddhism in Dunhuang entered a period of great prosperity. A lot of caves, murals and sculptures which were made in Tang Dynasty had reached to a very high artistic level. In the 19 th year of Zhenguan (645 AD), after getting Buddhist scriptures from the Western Regions, Monk Xuan Zang got back to Chang'an via Dunhuang. Dunhuang was occupied by Tubo Dynasty in 781 AD. In 851 AD, Zhang Yi, arich person in Shazhou, convened a lot of people of Han, Hui and Longqiang Nationalities to revolt and then recaptured this land. But in 1036 AD, Li Yuanhao, the leader of Dangxiang Nationality captured Dunhuang. And in the same year, the world-famous "Dunhuang Surviving Works" were sealed up for safekeeping in Mogao Grottoes. In 1036 AD, Dunhuang became a part of Western Xia. And in 1227 AD, the Western Xia was conquered by Mongolian troops. From then on, Dunhuang was under control of them. In Yuan Dynasty, the culture in Dunhuang became unprecedentedly prosperous and the business transaction between this land and Western Regions became more and more frequent.


In 1403 AD, the leader of Dunhuang came over and pledged allegiance to Ming Dynasty. And in 1524 AD, it became a part of Tulufan Kingdom. In the 54th year of Kangxi, Qing Dynasty, the royal troops recaptured Dunhuang. And in the first year of his reign, Emperor YongZheng set up Shazhou Section in Dunhuang and promoted it to Shazhou Guard two years later. He also sent a lot of troops and forced people to go there to plough and sow seeds. Besides, he ordered to divert the water of Danghe River to Dunhuang and divide it into 10 ditches to irrigate the farmlands. As a result, Dunhuang became an oasis in the desert. In 1760 AD, the authorities of Qing Dynasty promoted Shazhou to Dunhuang County. On Sept 28th 1949, it was liberated in peace and on Oct. 7th, the People's Government of Dunhuang County was established. On Sept. 28th, 1987, it was changed from a county to a city and was designated by the State Council as one of the first cities open to foreigners. In 1986, it was named the Famous City of China for History and Culture. In 1992, the government of Gansu Province approved it to be Dunhuang Tourist and Economic Development Region.

Geography

Dunhuang is situated in the very western end of Hexi Passage in Gansu Province, located in the juncture of 3 provinces, namely Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and under control of Jiuquan Region. It is a small basin with a very particular geographical environment, which links the qilian Mountains from the south, the large desert from the west, the Hexi Passage from the east. Deserts, gobi, oasis, mountains and lakes are all shown in this area, and they enhance beauty of each other with fertile farmlands and abundant natural resources. The average height above the sea level in Dunhuang is 1,138 meters. It covers altogether 312,000 square kilometers. The Danghe River, which is originated from the glacier in Qilian Mountains, runs through the whole oasis with endless stream. It is 390 kilometers in length with a runoff of 0.328 billion cubic meters per year. So it can irrigate 300,000mu fertile farmlands.

Climate

Dunhuang is located in the inner land and separated by high mountains far from the humid maritime climate. So it is under control of the dry continental climate. The first characteristic of its climate is the amplitude of sunshine. The average sunshine hours per year can reach to 3,200 hours. It has 150 frost-free days every year, and the average temperature of the year is 9.3 degrees centigrade with 24.7 degrees centigrade in July and 9.3 degrees centigrade below zero in January. The second feature is the aridity and the lack of rainfall. A north-inclined sinking air current constantly surrounds the Dunhuang region. Therefore, this region has always been dry and lack of rainfall with clear days all through the year. The rainfall of each year is only 39.9 millimeters while the evaporation can reach 2,400 millimeters. The third feature is the distinction of four seasons with long winter and short summer as well as the great difference in temperature between day and night. It is just as the saying goes: "to wear a fur-lined jacket in the morning, a yarn-made clothes at noon; to eat the water melon near a stove".

Economy

Dunhuang owns its unique land, sunshine, water conservancy, agricultural by-products, mineral products and tourist resources. Among them, the tourism, agriculture, industry and trade are the four important pillars of Dunhuang. Since the Third Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the municipal Party Committee and the government of Dunhuang have formulated the economic development strategy of being thriving with tourism, stable with agriculture, competent with industry and vigorous with trade. According to the thought of setting the industry as the most important one in order to bring along the other three to get advanced, they speed up the construction of tourist reception facilities and city auxiliary facilities and develop tourist products. They consoled ate the foundation of agriculture, adjust the industrial structure, develop the varieties of the fruits and vegetables, build greenhouses and attach great importance to the highly efficient agricultural industry of three-dimensional planting.
Besides, they also develop the tourist products with unique characteristics of Dunhuang, such as the handicraft carpet, phosphorescent jade made cup, colorful sculpture, statue of Buddha, crystal glasses, crafted camel, calligraphy and painting, stone statue, woodcut and industrial art ceramics. So, the economy of Dunhuang has been developed quickly and exceedingly through establishing markets and accelerating the circulation. In 1996, Dunhuang took the lead in becoming a comfortably off city. The per capita income of peasants reached to 3,027 yuan. The income of its tourism made up 22.4 per cent of the gross national product. Nowadays, Dunhuang is striving towards being an international tourist place and a more comfortably off city.

The Tourism Symbol of the City

Today,  historical city of Dunhuang is a renowned tourist city famous for the Mogao  Grottoes  an obvious pearl on the Silk Road, in Dunhuang   ,Dunhuang is the hometown of flying Apsaras. So the tourist symbol of this city is two lithe and graceful flying Apsarases inlaid in double rings with the words of Dunhuang Tourism both in Chinese and in Dnglish. These words in the double rings symbolize that the international and domestic tourist businesses for Dunhuang help each other forward and develop together in order to make this city world-famous. Flying Apsaras is the Xiangying God in Buddhism and takes charge of welcoming and seeing off the visitors. It symbolizes the profound cultural connotation. The Dunhuang tourism is a high level one in conjunction with culture. The ardent and honest local people of this place will welcome all visitors of China and foreign countries. The slowly up-going flying Apsarases symbolize that the Dunhuang tourism will become more and more prosperous and thriving.

City Symbol

The city symbol of Dunhuang is a white marble-made Buddha statue with an up-side-down pipe, a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard. It was taken from the Cave 172 of the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes. A beautiful, gentle and affectionate Buddha with an upside down pipe symbolizes that Dunhuang is the Holy Land of culture and arts, and its arts have reached the peak of perfection.

Transportation: Dunhuang Airport is 13kms east of the downtown and operates regular flights to Lanzhou, Xian Beijing, Jiayuguan, Urumqi, etc.
Dunhuang has two railway stations Liuyuan station and Duhuang station. There are trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Urumqi and so on.
There are passenger buses heading for Jiuquan, Lanzhou, Xian, Hami, Turpan, Urumqi, Geermu, etc.

Local Specialties: Crystal stone, crystal jewelry, white jade camel, Silky carpet of Dunhuang, statues, ectype of fresco, luminous cup, etc.

Local Food: Pastry Noodles. Stuffing Pie, Shish Kebab, Liguang Apricot, Mingshan Big Date, Ziyangpeach, Fragrant Pear, Limpid Grapes, and Yellow River Cantaloup

Major Attractions:
Mogao Grottoes. is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties. It is a colossal treasure-trove of, among other things, 45,000 square metres of frescos and 2,415 painted sculptures. The discovery of Tripitaka Cave at Dunhuang 100 years ago unveiled one of mankind's important disciplines of learning

Crescent Moon Spring/Singing Sand Mountains: Mingsha Hill offers the best picture-book desert scenery that travelers are likely to see along the entire length of the Silk Road.  Yueya Spring is near the northern foot of Mingsha Hill in the southern suburbs of Dunhuang City. It is shaped like a crescent moon, and its clear water is surrounded by grass. Crescent Moon Spring 120 (5 km is an amazing spectacle of the desert. Dune boarding because of that person-ming, the springs form a lake, surrounded by sand dunes, and resembles a crescent Bay name.Ridge, Goshiki yen slip soft sand, with the full bockii down by the wind and places, such as the old. Crescent Moon Spring  240 meters long, 39 meters wide, two meters water depth , reed, there are numerous springs back iron fish, Qixing grass, due to "Stephen Eigetsu and dust-free", "time immemorial filling sand is not Stephen, Stephen does not dry up dried up" and become a spectacle. sand Crescent Moon Spring Water coexistence, very quiet. "blue sunny days, the United States must Mankind Crescent Moon Spring, Yinshan sand surrounded on all sides, a ripple" barefoot hiking here,riding a camel, you can slide slide sand, traction parachute jump, the sand bath, sand therapy

Yangguan Pass: Yumenguan lies about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Dunhuang. Its name came from the fact that jade from Hotan in Xinjiang entered Central China through this pass.

Yumenguan Wall passing visit, also known as a small side plate Pass City, is the Silk Road leading to the North West strategic pass of the throat. It stands in the northwest of Dunhuang City, a 90 km sand Shek Kong. Guan Town Square was surrounded by well-preserved city wall, yellow plastic  territories, the Northwest 2. Walls as high as 10 meters, three meters wide on the next five meters wide, on the wall, women, under the Road, people can reach the top


DunHuang Yardang Nattonai Geologic Park:(180 km) to visit and tour, and in the vast expanse of the Gobi, the strong northwest wind gone spinning the Gobi surface, leaving only the coarse gray green tablets to the surface showing a blue wave, a khaki-colored blocks of the ancient castle standing on the green on the gray desert, lined blue sky and white clouds.18km's wide. It features the unique and wonderful scenes and landscapes of gobi-desert. The most maganificent view is that you can find the miniaturefor many world-famous architectures such as the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Potala Palace in Tibet, the Arabian mosque, the pyramid and Sphinx in Egypt, the relics of ancient Roman, the beacon towers and so on. It seems as an architectural art museum of the world and delivers many attractions and enjoyments to you. After the shooting of the movie named Hero "here, the spactacular views in this Town of Demons have attracted thousands of visitors,and now it has been an another hot scenic spot in Dunhuang