An oasis town surrounded by inhospitable desert, DUNHUANG has been a backpacker favourite for decades, with two main claims to fame. Colossal sand dunes – among the world’s largest, reaching hundreds of metres in height – rise along its southern flank, while the nearby Mogao Caves boast a veritable encyclopedia of Chinese artwork on their walls. The town has become something of a desert resort for visiting these imposing sights, though there’s little to actually see in Dunhuang itself bar the well-presented City Museum (敦煌市博物馆, dūnhuángshì bówùguăn; April–Dec Tues–Sun 8.30am–6.30pm; free) on Mingshan Lu, which houses a small collection of scrolls, pottery and statues that survived the twentieth-century depredations of foreign archeologists.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 Chinese street foods you need to try

7 Chinese street foods you need to try

Thanks to China’s sheer enormity, travelling through the country is as much a tastebud odyssey as it is a history lesson. And eating your way around the stre…

16 Feb 2018 • Aimee White insert_drive_file Article
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
An expert's guide: where to stay in Shanghai

An expert's guide: where to stay in Shanghai

Shanghai has to be a contender for the buzziest city in Asia, a thriving business hub that's brashly modern yet wears its history on its sleeve. Dense with glit…

23 Oct 2017 • Simon Lewis insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right