Magao Caves

Also known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddha’s, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1000 years. According to local legend, a Buddhist monk, had a vision of a thousand Buddha’s, which inspired the excavation of the caves he envisioned. The number of temples eventually grew to more than a thousand. As Buddhist monks valued austerity in life, they sought retreat in remote caves to further their quest for enlightenment. Among the thousands of items discovered in 1907, by a western explorer, was the world’s earliest printed book, in scroll form.

The Dunhuang Museum

The Dunhuang Museum contains numerous artifacts from the surrounding area.

The Jade Gate Pass

The Jade Gate Pass and South Pass were originally built as military outposts. For the traders travelling back to the Middle East in their caravans, the Jade Gate Pass also marked the start of the northern passage to Turpan, whereas the South Pass was the beginning of the southern route to Xi'an.