Dunes of Dunhuang

Dunhuang is a city in an oasis in Gansu province. Dunhuang is on the border of the Gobi desert and the city is surrounded by amazing dune landscapes. In my hostel I met Kai from America, he had been studying Chinese for 8 months in Beijing. The first day we went to ride camels and climbed the dunes just outside the city. The views were absolutely stunning but because of the harsh sand storming all around us, I could only make a couple of pics without scratching up my lens. The next day we visited the mogao caves. These were a collection of what used to be around a thousand caves dug out of the mountain by Buddhist monks supposedly housing the biggest collection of Buddhist art in the world. Tourists can only visit a few of the caves. My favorite was a giant 34.5m buddha statue carved out of the rock wall, made in the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). But photography is strictly prohibited inside of the caves so I could only make a picture from the outside.

Dunhuang used to be an important stop for travelers, pilgrims, and merchants traveling along the silk road. Now Dunhuang gets most of its income from Chinese tourists but I could still feel a lot of its rich history walking around the city. My next destination will be Beijing, the capital in the North of China.

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© Boudewijn Buitenhek  2020