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It was Europeans who re-opened the road in their search for the ancient Silk Road cities. It happened in the latter part of the last century. These tours can begin very logically in Xian, proceeding via Lanzhou and the Jiayuguan Pass to the Magao Caves of Dunhuang, and then to Turpan, Urumqi and Kashi.

Dunhuang lies at the western end of the Gansu Corridor, called Hexi Zoulang. The name Dunhuang originally meant "prospering, flourishing"-- a hint that Dunhuang must once have been an important city. Its position at the intersection of two trade routes was what made Dunhuang flourish. The coming and going of horse and camel caravans carried new thoughts, ideas, arts and sciences to the East and West.

It is said that in the fourth century a Buddhist monk had a vision of 1000 Buddhas, and began to carve grottoes into the sandstone cliff and fill them with buddhist images. They were abandoned and forgotten in around the 11th century until Stein and other archaeologists arrived to carry away huge quantities of manuscripts, textiles and other art objects. However Magao remains a brilliant trove of statues and wall paintings from the 4th to 10th centuries.

Dunhuang is an important post on the Silk Road with a history of more than 2,000 years. Major scenic spots include the Mogao Grottoes. Mingsha Hill, Crescent Moon Spring, Yumen Pass, Yangguan Pass, Great Wall of the Han Dynasty and the ruins of the ancient Shazhou Town.

Let's start the trip from the ancient Hexi Corridor road...

Mogao Grottoes -- Mingsha Hill and Crescent Moon Spring -- Hexi Corridor

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