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Mogao Caves, Dunhuang
(4.4/5 based on 550+ reviews on the web)
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. Take a look at our Dunhuang trip generator to schedule your visit to Mogao Caves and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Magao caves are one of the most elaborate and exquisite I've ever seen. The Buddhist wall paintings and sculptures (some 75 meter tall) that they contain are nothing short of spectacular. Its mesm...  more »
  • You have to at least visit Maogao in a lifetime, actually should be three or four times as there are so much to see here, paintings, sculptures, sutras, temples, caves etc. I recommend to visit some o...  more »
  • I visited Mogao Caves in mid Oct 2016 and it was the most expensive attraction throughout my visit in Gansu but I must say I enjoyed it as it is really amazing to view the invaluable cave paintings da...  more »
Google
  • Marvelous place. Sure, like many such attractions, it's expensive and crowded, and the written/audio/human guides in English (where they exist) and even in Chinese are spotty. Also, there's no guarantee which caves you will be allowed to see. That said, there's a reason this place is so famous. The manuscripts alone spawned an entire academic area of "Dunhuang Studies" that continues to contribute widely in research. The artworks are stunning, not to mention ancient. It's a once in a lifetime experience to see such a place firsthand. I'd put up with worse ticket prices, crowds, and waits to see it again.
  • Great place to visit. The local taxi drivers are crazy, but careful!
  • It's not a natural site to visit any more because of the exploitation due to millions of people coming here every year. Visit when it's not busy, not during summer or Chinese new year time. Lots of images on the walls were stolen by the westerners during the 1900s, just in case if you are wondering why it's not complete. Overall a good place to go and feel the history.
  • This is another major Chinese tourist attraction. The large reception building feels like a bus terminal. You will have to share your experience, which I had hoped intimate and intense, with hundreds of noisy local tourists, only interested in taking selfies. The price is outrageous: 240 rmb per person! Give it a miss.
  • Absolutely attractive place.