Mingsha Hill and Crescent Moon Spring
A sandy hill 250 m high in the southwest of Dunhuang, the Mingsha Hill composed of many sand dunes covers 40 km from east to west and 20 km from south to north. Tourists like to climb up the hill bare-footed. At the hill-top they may have a birdí»s eye view of the sand dunes which encircle a crystal-clear spring shaped like a crescent moon and then slide down from the hill, accompanied by a roaring sound of the moving sand. At the hill foot they may enjoy a slow riding on camelback.
Opening hours: 8:00 to midnight
The Hexi Corridor stretches over 1,000 km from Wushaoling Mountain westward to the Gansu-Xinjiang border over a vast expanse of the desert, oases and gobi. It had been a vital passageway from 2nd c. B.C. to A.D. 13th c., along which Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Zhangye and Wuwei were important political, economic, and cultural exchange centers. Today, the Hexi corridor is a must on the Silk Road tour as tourists heading westward may enjoy a full view of the beautiful scenery and have glimpses of the ancient civilization, the beacon towers of the Great Wall on the gobi, posts on the Silk Road and sheep flocks in the oases and at the foot of snow-capped mountains.
Yangguan Pass and Yumen Pass
These two grand passes of ancient times, Yangguan which is 70 km south of Dunhuang, and Yumen Pass which is 90 km northwest of dunhuang, were important passageways to Central Asia, India and Europe.