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Definitely Worth Visiting!

The Dunhuang Western Thousand Buddhas Caves are much smaller in numbers in comparison with the... read more

Reviewed 10 June 2015
Florence B
,
Beijing
Fascinating history not too much to see...

Did this on a silk road tour. Worth the visit but don't expect to see too much - or to be able to... read more

Reviewed 4 March 2016
Shazster
,
Christchurch, New Zealand
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Reviewed 4 March 2016

Did this on a silk road tour. Worth the visit but don't expect to see too much - or to be able to take photos of any of the caves...

Date of experience: April 2015
Thank Shazster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2015

The Dunhuang Western Thousand Buddhas Caves are much smaller in numbers in comparison with the other two Mogao and Yulin but they are worth visiting. They are much closer to Dunhuang so, no need to drive too far to visit them. We got there late in the afternoon and were able to only see a few but we were not disappointed by what we saw. They are situated on the cliff side of the Dang River. However, unfortunately the river is now dried out because of the construction of a dam which controls its flow. Some of the caves at this site are much older than the ones in the other bigger sites. Originally there were more but some were flooded by the river and collapsed. Our guide told us that their location at the end of the road explains the fact that they are older. We saw some beautiful trees with a very interesting-looking bark.

Date of experience: June 2015
Thank Florence B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Not far out of Dunhuang on the way to Yumen Pass in a very sparsely vegetated landscape you will see signage for Thousand Buddha Caves and after turning off the highway a short drive brings you to a deep and broad river gully, where the attraction is located. It doesn't have the majesty and layered historical/emotional dimensions of Mogao Caves but in its own way a sense of timeless human effort lingers in the space. This tinged with pathos of the damage done to it in recent times, for example during the cultural revolution when heads of the Buddha were knocked off their shoulders (Zhou En Lei's protection of Mogao Caves in those times clearly didn't extend to these ones).

The caves are not very numerous but are really worth a look and a nice place to have a picnic. The way the ground literally opens up to the river bed full of trees, unseen from the dry plain above until the last moment, is quite startling. I enjoyed the 2 hours we had there.

Once again and as is common practice photography is not allowed. Flash photography is destructive to ancient art but I am not sure why digital cameras without flash are disallowed , where high iso. capacities make for reasonable low light shooting. No meaningful response to this question obtained when I asked only a surprisingly glacial response about the 'rules'. But it's China, and the way cultural heritage in the area suffered at the hands of European archeologist/adventurers like Pelliot and Langdon Warner is deeply etched into social memory.

Date of experience: May 2014
Thank thefishes2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2016
Google Translation

Date of experience: September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2014
Google Translation

Date of experience: September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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