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Yumen Pass, Dunhuang

3.1
#2 of 10 in Historic Sites in Dunhuang
Yumen Pass, or Jade Gate or Pass of the Jade Gate, is the name of a pass of the Great Wall located west of Dunhuang in today's Gansu Province of China. During the Han dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), this was a pass through which the Silk Road passed, and was the one road connecting Central Asia and China, the former called the Western Regions. Just to the south was the Yangguan pass, which was also an important point on the Silk Road.Although the Chinese guan is usually translated simply as "pass", its more specific meaning is a "frontier pass" to distinguish it from an ordinary pass through the mountains. Yumen guan 玉門關 and Yang guan 陽關 are derived from: yu 玉 = 'jade' + men 門 = 'gate', 'door'; and yang 陽 = 'sunny side', 'south side of a hill', 'north side of a river,' and guan 關 = ‘frontier-passes’. These were the two most famous passes leading to the north and west from Chinese territory. During the Early Han, "... a defensive line was established from Jiuquan ('Wine Springs') in the Gansu Corridor west to the Jade Gate Pass at its end."It is not to be confused with the city Yumen (玉門, literally Jade Gate) in Gansu, China. Although both are within the same Jiuquan "prefecture-level city" (a multi-county administrative unit) of Gansu province, Yumen Pass is located some 400 km to the west of its namesake city.
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  • Remains of fort where soldiers protected merchants traveling along the silk road. This part of the silk road was where jade was traded. Small museum has been opened.  more »
  • Google map it or look at pics online but definitely not worth the driving time to get there. Spend time and money enjoying the food in this part of China - we found the food here to be the best we had...  more »
  • OK it is not the Jade Gate but a fort that was part of the Gate complex which was very much larger. Still a very evocative and lonely site in the middle of the desert. It has a new museum and visitor ...  more »

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Where to stay in Dunhuang

An oasis in the desert, Dunhuang has a history of providing a place to stay for its weary travelers. Take a look across the city center for some fairly grand hotels, a few more ordinary ones, a couple of stylish boutiques, and a number of hostels and guesthouses, providing budget-friendly simplicity. Riverside locations have particularly attractive views, while accommodations towards the city's outskirts give the feeling of being right out there in the desert, with sandbanks on all sides.
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