Saturday, November 24, 2007


Sand buggy, originally uploaded by Nice Logo.

We got a night bus from Turpan to Dunhuang, the full moon lighting up the desolate desert landscape. I watched it unfold from my narrow bed until I drifted off. When the bus stopped later that night for an improtu mid desert toilet stop the moon had set and the sky was a wash with stars. It was f f f frrreeeeezing cold.

The main attractions at Dunhuang are the nearby Mogao caves and huge Sand dunes. The caves are expensive (180 RMB) but well worth visiting. Set in a canyon stretching almost 2km, the caves contain over a millennium of Buddhist art. Unfortunately you can’t take pictures inside.

The Sand dunes, or Mingsha Shan aka Shazhou (Town of Sand), near Dunhuang have been turned into a ‘gated’ tourist mecca with sand buggy's, camel rides ... Your supposed to pay around 120 RS to get in ! although its easy to just walk in to the left of the main entrance. The first day we did this with ease and got a sand boogie up to the top, we went the next day with two friends, Jackie from Glasgow and Ben from San Fransisco, but got spotted walking up, by 'The man in Black' dressed in a snappy suit and bombing around on a sand buggy.

More info on Mogao Caves at:

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