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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
  • 莫高窟,是從前秦16國開始兩千多年前各代所鑿的千佛洞,總共七百多個,扣除崩壞的還有492個存有壁畫和塑像,但現在開放的大概只有幾十個,這可以說是古代有錢人的佛堂,有錢人會鑿石窟供奉神佛,然後一代代的傳下去給子孫供奉修建,裡面很有趣的是富裕的朝代所建出來的塑像畫像都非常精緻栩栩如生,戰亂比較窮的朝代就很粗糙,壁畫所顯現的是佛國世界的畫面,還有各代當時人民的生活,以及佛祖的生平事蹟和神話,其中有一幅畫...  more »
  • We were first ushered into a dome theatre where the effects and visuals were amazing, explaining how the Grotto came about. Basically the Grotto was built by a Buddhist Monk who had a vision of a thou...  more »
  • The intro to the caves comprises two well made re-enactment videos, all very impressive. Our English speaking guide was really patient and knowledgable about the silk road's history 
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.