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Dunhuang, with its lush green fields and mountainous rolling sand dunes, is one of China's most historic destinations along the Silk Road. Located about 1 1/2 hours northwest of Lanzhou by jet, Dunhuang served as a rest stop for traders and as the gateway through which Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity entered China.

Dunhuang is the home of superb Buddhist art at the nearby Mogao Grottoes. The Mogao are the oldest of China's three monumental Buddhist grottoes. A monk named Yue Zun began the Mogao carvings in 366 AD, and his followers' created more than 1000 statues over the course of 1000 years. Nearly half of the original carvings survive today.



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