Singing Sand Dune
Along the highway you may also see mirages, which led many ancient merchant caravans astray into the "desert of death". In the past ancient caravans from central China to the Western Region stopped at Dunhuang to replenish before they went into the Taklimakan Desert. The caravans coming out of the desert from the other end also stopped there before they continued eastward into central China. Traveling along this way will be a very special and an unforgettable experience.
Dunhuang was also a regional cultural center. The Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Dunhuang Grottoes or the "Thousand Buddha Grottoes", is located on the western cliffs of the Singing Sands Mountains. It is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties.
The city was founded by Emperor Wudi of the Han dynasty in 111 BC at the cross roads of two trading routes on the Silk Road, and the name 'Dunhuang', meaning to 'to flourish and prosper,' gives some indication of the town's prominence in ancient China. It is much less important today.
Dunhuang was very important in history. For many periods of Chinese and Inner Asian history, it marked the western limit of direct Chinese administrative control and military authority. Located near one of the important nodes of the routes across Eurasia, Dunhuang experienced a variety of cultural influences. While the history of Dunhuang and its region has much in common with that in other cities in Inner Asia, part of its distinction lie in the degree to which life in Dunhuang has been documented.
Today, Dunhuang became a famous tourist city, because many famous historical relics about ancient Silk Road and beautiful natural scenery, such as Mogao Grotto, Mingsha Sand Dune, Yumen Pass, Yangguan Pass, Crescent Moon Lake, Thousand Buddhas Cave, Baima Pagoda absorb many traveler from all over the world.