Héxī Corridor attractions

Top Choice Cave in Dūnhuáng

Mògāo Grottoes

The Mògāo Grottoes are considered one of the most important collections of Buddhist art in the world. At its peak during the Tang dynasty (618–907), the site housed 18 monasteries, more than 1400 monks and nuns, and…
Top Choice Fort in Jiāyùguān

Jiāyùguān Fort

One of the classic images of western China, this fort once guarded the narrow pass between the snowcapped Qílián Shān peaks and the Hēi Shān (Black Mountains) of the Mǎzōng Shān range.Built in 1372, it was named the…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Zhāngyè

Giant Buddha Temple

Originally dating to 1098 (Western Xia dynasty), this lovely temple contains an astonishing 35m-long sleeping Buddha – China’s largest of this variety and among the biggest wooden reclining Buddhas in Asia – surroun…
National Park in Zhāngyè

Zhāngyē Dānxiá National Geopark

The swirling orange, yellow, white and brown lunar landscape of this national park is the result of sandstone and mineral deposits that have eroded into odd shapes over the course of millennia. These 'rainbow mounta…
Oasis in Dūnhuáng

Singing Sands Dune

Six kilometres south of Dūnhuáng at Singing Sands Dune, the desert meets the oasis in most spectacular fashion. From the sheer scale of the dunes, it’s easy to see how Dūnhuáng gained its moniker ‘Shāzhōu’ (Town of …
Cave in Wŭwēi

Tiāntīshān Grottoes

It's hard to appreciate how massive the 15m-high Shakyamuni Buddha statue at Tiāntīshān Grottoes is until you are at its truck-sized feet and peering up at its outstretched hand emerging from the cliff face. These 1…
Desert in Dūnhuáng

Yǎdān National Park

The weird, eroded desert landscape of Yǎdān National Park is 180km northwest of Dūnhuáng, in the middle of the Gobi Desert’s awesome nothingness. A former lake bed that eroded in spectacular fashion some 12,000 year…
Cave in Mǎtí Xiāng

Mǎtí Sì

Mǎtí Sì translates as 'Horse Hoof Monastery', a reference to when a heavenly horse left a hoof imprint in a grotto. Between the 5th and 14th centuries a series of caves were almost as miraculously built in sheer san…
Historic Site in Dūnhuáng

Jade Gate Pass

The Jade Gate Pass, 78km west of Dūnhuáng, 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 Lóula’n in Xīnjiā…
Historic Site in Dūnhuáng

Sun Pass

This Han dynasty military post was one of the two most important gates marking the end of the Chinese empire along the ancient Silk Road. Today, a dusty museum chronicles some of the site's artefacts, but the real d…