Gansu Silk Road Tour is listed as No. 1 of the 12 hot recommendation lines of the National Tourism Bureau of China. It is also the most attractive theme travel line in China. This line links some excellent tourist cities in Gansu: Tianshui - Pingliang - Lanzhou - Wuwei - Zhangye - Jiuquan – Jiayuguan – Dunhuang.
Taking this line, the tourists can enjoy the most representative cultural relics along the Silk Road, the world famous Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, Maiji Mountain Grottoes, the well-preserved Great Wall of Qin, Han, and Ming Dynasties, and Jiayuguan Pass—the first pass in China. In addition, the tourists can experience unique local customs and appreciate the charming western scenery including the Gobi desert, desert oases, glaciers, snow mountains, forest, grassland, sand hills, Danxia landforms, etc..
The main scenic spots:
Mogao Grottoes is located 25 km to the southeast of Dunhuang City. The making of the grottoes began in 366 and continued more than 1600 years. Now preserved there are 492 grottoes, ancient murals of more than 45,000 square meters, and over 2400 painted statues. Mogao Grottoes are a treasure house of human art which combine architecture, sculpture, and painting into one.
Dunhuang Yadan National Geological Park
Dunhuang Yadan National Geological Park is the largest and the most beautiful Yadan Landform Group in China with the most developed geological morphology. The scenic area is 25 km long from the east to the west, and 18 km wide from the south to the north north to south. The modeling of the scenic spot is surprisingly charming, a marvelous creation excelling nature. After the film Hero was shot here, the magnificent scenery has attracted countless tourists. It has become another tourist resort in Dunhuang.
The Scenic Area of Dunhuang Singing Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring (AAAA)
The Scenic Area of Dunhuang Singing Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring is has been well known for its wonderful landscape: “Mountain and spring coexist, sand and water are in harmony." It is honored as One Must-See Beyond the Great Wall. In ancient times, Singing Sand Mountain was also called Shajiao Mountain, also known as dune Holy Sand Mountain. When tourists climb the mountain, the sand roars with the foot falling, hence Singing Sand Mountain. The sand of Singing Sand Mountain is of five colors: red, yellow, green, black and white, which is called Five-color Sand. Crescent Spring is embraced by Singing Sand Mountain and it is so named so because it looks like a crescent moon. For thousands of years, the sand has surrounded the spring, and the spring has reflected the Mountain, like a crystal jade inlaid in the valley of the sand Mountain. “The sand sings when the wind blows; the spring reflects the moon clearly." It is only a distance of 10 meters between the flowing sand and the spring, but in spite of the strong wind flowing, the spring has never been covered by the quicksand. Lying in the desert, the spring water is never muddy or dry up. This kind of geomorphological feature — “Mountain and spring coexist, sand and water are in harmony" — is nothing other than a wonder.
Yang Guan Relics Scenic Area of Dunhuang (AAAA)
Located 70 kilometers to the southwest of Dunhuang City, Yang Guan Relics Scenic Area of Dunhuang is a special scenic area consisting of the historical sites of the Han and Tang Dynasties, natural desert scenery, ecological agriculture sightseeing and the Yangguan Museum. Its characteristic is of cultural value, sightseeing and leisure experience.
The scenic area is home to many marvels and is one of the places in Dunhuang where cultural relics are distributed most densely. It consists mainly of the historical relic sites of more than two thousand years, the natural landscape of desert oasis and modern human landscapes. On Dundun Mountain there stands the Beacon of the Han Dynasty which is the commanding point of the scenic area, known as ”Ears of Eyre of Yangguan”. It is a witness of the history of Yang guan. Yangguan museum is located in the center of the scenic area. There is also the Antique Beach, 800 meters to the south of the Beacon, which is the site where the Yangguan Ruins are located. To the east of the Beacon, there are the old sites of Tangshouchang City and Hanwowa Lake where the Heavenly Horse was unearthed. To the southwest, the southern section of the Silk Road winds into the mountains. In the Deasert Forest Park there are ancient trees towering in the sky and springs gurgling. Climbing high and looking from afar, you can have a panoramic view of the snow-crowned Altun Mountain (Golden Saddle Mountain in ancient times) and the vast Gobi and the magnificent desert. The tomb groups of the Han and Jin Dynasties are dotted everywhere. Along with the magnificent natural landscape of the desert oasis, the scenery there is marvelous.
Jiayuguan Cultural Relics Scenic Area (AAAAA)
Jiayuguan Cultural Relics Scenic Area, the World cultural heritage, is located 4.5 kilometers to the west of Jiayuguan City. Jiayuguan Pass is the western starting point of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. It is with the most spectacular construction of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. It is also the best preserved pass so far and honored as “the first pass in China".
Buddha Temple in Zhangye (AAAA)
Buddha Temple, Located in Zhangye City, was founded in 1098. Enshrined and worshipped here is the Nirvana statue of Shakyamuni, so it is also known as Lying Buddha Temple. It is said Buddha Temple is the birthplace of Kublai Khan, Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty. The Nirvana statue of Shakyamuni in the temple is the largest indoor wood-base clay statue of a lying Buddha in the world]which is 34.5 meters in length and 7.5 meters in shoulder width. The statue is magnificent and the features are natural. It can be called a treasure of China.
Zhangye Horseshoe Temple Scenic Area (AAAA)
There remain 37 caves of cultural relics in the Horseshoe Temple Grotto Group. There preserved are more than 500 precious statues and more than 1200 square meters of murals. Here visitors can also experience the Yugur Minority customs.
Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park (AAA)
Zhangye Danxia landform, formed 6,000,000 years ago, is divided into a northern group and a southern group. The two groups are located in Linze and Sunan respectively, covering about 510 square kilometers. It is the only combined scenic area of Danxia landform and colorful hills in China. It was chosen as one of the seven beautiful Danxia Landforms by National Geographic Magazine of China. In 2011 it was chosen as one of the ten amazing geographical wonders of the world by National Geographic Magazine of the United States.
Leitai Scenic Area (AAAA)
Leitai Han Tomb, where the Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow, the logo of Chinese tourism, was unearthed, is a large brick tomb of the late Eastern Han Dynasty. The Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow, also called Bronze Flying Horse, with its exquisite casting technology, can be called the best work of ancient bronze art in China.
Lanzhou Yellow River Landscape of One Hundred Miles
The design of Lanzhou Yellow River Landscape of One Hundred Miles relies on the beautiful scenery and historical sites on both sides of the Yellow River, combining landscape and cultural relics into one. It is a tourism card of Lanzhou. Visitors can also ride the sheepskin rafts, experiencing the ancient life of “blowing cattle skins and crossing the Yellow River".
Maiji Mountain Scenic Area (AAAAA)
Maiji Mountain Scenic Area includes Maiji Mountain, Immortal Cliff, Stone Gate, Quxi, Jiezi and other scenic spots. Maiji Mountain Grotto, one of the four grottoes in China, is well known for its exquisite statues. It is called the Oriental Sculpture Gallery. It contains 194 caves, more than 7200 clay statues and stone statues, and more than 1300 square meters of murals.
The whole line is 1380 kilometers. Lanzhou – Tianshui: 365 km; Lanzhou – Wuwei: 288 km; Wuwei – Zhangye: 246 km; Zhangye – Jiuquan: 200 km; Jiuquan – Jiayuguan: 21 km; Jiayuguan – Dunhuang: 380 km. To the east of Gansu is Shaanxi and to the west is Xinjiang. The length of the journey can be of any combination. The transportation can be plane, train, or bus.