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Discover the singing sand dunes and ancient Buddhist art in this historic Silk Road and pilgrimage destination.

Located on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, in a strategic point along the ancient Silk Road trading route, Dunhuang was once a major centre for cultural exchange, commerce and Buddhist pilgrimage. Such rich history remains evidenced in the nearby ancient passes and Mogao Caves, which number nearly 500 in total and span ten dynasties. Here we find perfectly-preserved Buddhist artwork and statues, dating back as far as the 4th century, which reveal the story of life along the Silk Road in ancient times. They are also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves, in reference to the vision witnessed by a monk and which is said to have prompted the start of the project.

Just outside Dunhuang are the remarkable Mingsha Sand Dunes, better known as the Singing or Echoing Dunes, where you can enjoy a camel ride into the desert. Perhaps the quintessential postcard view is that of Crescent Spring Lake, an idyllic oasis surrounded by the golden dunes and backed by a classic Chinese pavilion. It is particularly beautiful at sunset.

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