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Dunhuang Silk Road Adventure Day Tour: Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Moon Spring

Dunhuang, China
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icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Visit the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Mogao Caves on this 8-hour private tour from Dunhuang, a city known for its position along the old Silk Road. With a guide, you'll see an important piece of Chinese Buddhist culture at these grottoes known for their many sculptures and other pieces of art, located near Crescent Moon Spring. Lunch is included.
  • See one of China's most significant Buddhist sites
  • Learn about its long history, dating back to the 4th century
  • See the desert oasis of Crescent Moon Spring
  • Enjoy a private tour for a more personalized experience
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Hotel pickup and drop-off service in Dunhuang
Professional and friendly English-speaking guide
Transportation by private vehicle or minivan
Traditional Chinese cuisine lunch

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Meet your guide at your hotel in Dunhuang city centre

Departure Time

8:30 AM
After hotel pickup in Dunhuang by your private guide, your day trip starts with the drive to Mogao Caves, aka Thousand Buddha Grottoes, about 15 miles (25 km) from the city. 

A complex of 492 temples, the World Heritage site is particularly known for one of its most important caves, the Library Cave, discovered in 1900 to contain religious documents from the 11th century. After your time exploring here, your tour continues to a local restaurant for a simple lunch. 

Then head to Crescent Moon Pool, or Spring, an oasis in the desert surrounded by lush vegetation. The half-moon-shaped spring sits in the shadow of Echoing Sand Mountain, known to "whisper" when the wind comes in at certain angles. Camel riding and sandboarding are often enjoyed here.

Your tour ends with return to Dunhuang for hotel drop-off.
Stop At:  
Mogao Caves
Meet your guide at your hotel in Dunhuang city centre, who will then bring you to the Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. These caves form a system of 492 temples and are located about 25 kilometers southeast of Dunhuang city. One of the most important caves at the complex is the ‘Library Cave”, which was discovered in 1900. The cave contained a large amount of important religious documents which had been sealed up in the cave in the 11th century. Post discovery, the contents of the cave were spread across Beijing, London, Paris and Berlin, to coordinate, collect and study the materials found. This cave is also open to visitors and draws large crowds. Afterwards we will take you to a restaurant for a traditional Chinese cuisine lunch.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Crescent Moon Pool
Following lunch, the tour continues to the incredible Crescent Spring and Echoing Sand Mountain. Crescent Spring is 100 meters long and 25 meters wide, deeper in the east than the west. The spring has been surrounded by desert for thousands of years, and the water here is extremely clear. There’s lush vegetation surrounding the spring and this oasis was a pinnacle for ancient travellers. Its name comes from the shape, which resembles a half moon.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain
The Crescent Spring is surrounded by Echoing Sand Mountain. This mountain is known to ‘whisper’ when the breeze comes in from certain angles, hence its name. This mountain also offers a heap of fun for those who like sand gliding or camel riding. Transfer back to your hotel with the rest of the day on your own arrangement
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Passport name, number, expiry and country is required at time of booking for all participants
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Beijing Variarts Tours Activities Ltd

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.


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Jackie is awesome! I'm so grateful...
Kelly G
, Aug 2017
Jackie is awesome! I'm so grateful for the day she showed me around Dunhuang, the grottoes, the crescent moon spring, and a delicious lunch of local favorites. She pulled out all the stops and I had a wonderful day.

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Product code: 6139P154

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