Jade Gate Pass


The Jade Gate Pass, 78km west of Dunhuang, was originally a military station. Together with Sun Pass, it formed part of the Han dynasty series of beacon towers that extended to the garrison town of Loulan in Xinjiang. Admission includes entry to a section of Han dynasty Great Wall (101 BCE), impressive for its antiquity and lack of restoration; and the ruined city walls of Hecang Cheng (河仓城, Hécāng Chéng), 15km down a side road.

For caravans travelling westward, the Jade Gate marked the beginning of the northern route to Turpan and was one of the last outposts that travellers and banished criminals saw before leaving the Chinese empire. The Jade Gate derived its name from the important traffic in Khotanese jade that thrived along the Silk Road, which passed through here.

Tours that take in the Jade Gate Pass and Sun Pass, usually in combination with Yadan National Park, can be arranged at Charley Johng's Cafe.