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Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

4.6
#1 of 203 in Things to do in Gansu
Examine painted, sculpted, and chiselled Buddhist treasures at Mogao Caves, which represent centuries of cultural exchange between China and other neighboring nations. First used by Buddhist monks as a place for meditation and worship, the cave has attracted many artisans throughout history who gradually turned the holy site into a depository of art. As you approach the cave complex on plank-reinforced roads, notice how stacked, man-made openings reach heights of up to 50 m (164 ft). Inside you can find an abundance of exquisite carved relief murals, clay statues, painted ceilings, and sidewalls, as well as a vast library containing thousands of manuscripts, printed images, and literary artwork. With a daily limit of 6,000 visitors, you have to reserve a ticket in advance. Plan your visit to Mogao Caves and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Dunhuang trip itinerary maker website.
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Tours To Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
826 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The Mogao Grottoes (Caves) is one of the must see places while traveling around Dunhuang China because of its historic and religious significance from centuries old civilizations. The Mogao Caves...  more »
  • These man made caves and grottoes are situated along the ancient Silk Road. Access is strictly controlled so any caves that you particularly want to see must be arranged in advance. Otherwise you...  more »
Google
  • Fascinating area containing lots of cave temples/shrines carved into the mountainside over the centuries. Some very impressive statues inside but no photography allowed. Access to many of the smaller caves is restricted and in any event visiting every one would take several days.
  • We visited in December (week of Christmas). No one goes to Dunhuang during this time because it's super cold. As a result, there were very few people with us. Visiting the caves is limited to 9:30, 12:30 and 2:30 only. It does not matter what time you arrive, you can only visit in those waves. You get to see 8 or 9 caves with the tour guide only (which are provide with your ticket). Each cave is locked with a key so you cannot explore independently (this apparently is only a winter policy). A lot of the other mini museums were closed as well. You do have the option to go to special caves for a price but it was really expensive so we didn't go. Ultimately, go during winter if you don't like crowds but you will have less access.

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