Dunhuang used to be called Shazhou and is at the western end of the Hexi Corridor. Dunhuang adjoins Anxi to the east, and borders Aksay all the way to the neighboring Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest. There are many tourist attractions in Dunhuang, which is listed as a state historic and cultural city.
The Mogao Grottoes, also known as "1000 Buddha Cave", are located 15.5 miles southeast of Dunhuang City. With a total length of 1 mile, the Grottoes wind their way through the broken cliff at the eastern foot of Mingsba Hill. There are five layers of caves built into the mountain. According to historical records, the Mogao Grottoes were constructed in 366 BC. Today there are 492 caves in which murals and sculptures representing different dynasties have been well preserved. The Mogao Grottoes are listed in the World Cultural Heritage and are rated as key relics under state protection.
Ruins of Yumenguan Pass
Yumenguan Pass is located in the Gobi Desert 54 miles northwest of Dunhuang City. It was built during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty. Its name came from the fact that jade from Hotan in Xinjiang entered Central China through this pass. At that time, the pass provided the only access to the north route of the Silk Road.
Yueya (Crescent Moon) Spring
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. The Dragon Boat Festival is usually celebrated the 5th day of the fifth lunar month and people usually climb up onto Mingsha Hill to view Yueya Spring. This has become a local custom.
Ruins of Yangguan Pass
The Yangguan Pass was constructed in the period of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty on the Gudong River Bed, 43.5 miles west of Dunhuang. It's named Yangguan because it borders the southern part of Yumenguan Pass. As a center of communication to areas beyond China's interior, it was the only strategic pass on the south route of the Silk Road.
Mingsha Hill, also called Shensha Hill, is 3.7 miles south of Dunhuang City. The hill is as high and steep as a cliff. People can hear a roaring sound of the moving sand as the sand is blown down from the top of the hill.
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In east Gansu, known as the "Small South of the Yangtze River," Tianshui is one of the major cities that offer itineraries for travel eastward. Its weather is pleasant with four distinct seasons. The city used to be a hub of the Silk Road, and is recognized as a national historical and cultural center. There are many interesting places, including some holy sites of the Silk Road, and scenic spots, such as Maljishan Grottoes, Fuxi Temple and Yuquan Taoist Temple.
They are situated 18.6 miles southeast of Tianshui. Due to the conical shape, like a stack of wheat, they were given the name Maijishan Grottoes. During the year 713-741, the central part of the cliff collapsed in an earthquake. As a result, it was divided into two parts. Within the 194 caves of the two parts, 7,200 clay sculptures and stone carvings have been preserved, along with more than one third of an acre of frescos.
Maijishan Mountain is a strange peak in the western Qinling Mountains. In autumn it is subjected to continual, fine rain, which creates the wonderful sight of "Maijishan Mountain shrouded by misty rain." It is rated as the best of the eight beautiful scenes in Tianshui.
Wuwei, which was called Liangzhou in the past, is located at the eastern edge of the Hexi Corridor and borders Qilian Mountain to the southwest and Tenggeli Desert in the north. It is an important stop on the way west from Lanzhou. Ancient Liangzhou was a large city; Monk Xuanzang preached Buddhist doctrines here. Wuwei has many places of interest, such as the Eastern Han Tomb in Leitai Temple, Haizang Temple and Tiantishan Grottoes.
The Eastern Han Tomb in Leitai Temple
The Eastern Han Tomb was also named "The Tomb of General Zhang" after a general of the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). He was buried in Leitai Temple after his death. A rare piece of art, a model of the "galloping horse stepping on a sparrow," was unearthed from this tomb.
The Tomb of Princess Hong Hua
The Tomb of the Princess of the Tang Dynasty is 9.3 miles south of Wuwei City. It contains well-preserved colored wooden figurines, camels and horses, as well as silk fabrics. They serve as samples for research in regards to the history of Silk Road.
Zhangye, in the central part of the Hexi Corridor, was known as Ganzhou in the past and is regarded as a granary in this area. Visitors can visit the sleeping Buddha in the Giant Buddha Temple. Visitors can get the feel of the prairie in south Gansu, riding horses and tame deer on the grasslands with the hospitable Yugur people. There are also opportunities to sing and dance with the Yugur people. Mati Temple is near Zhangye in the Sunan area.
source by www.cnto.org