To Dunhuang, home of Mogao Caves and more
Dunhuang Travel Blog› entry 8 of 17 › view all entries
May 7th, 2008 – by: portia
After I got up this morning, I got a call from our driver, who had just picked up 3 German lady tourists and had handed his phone to one of them so I could speak to her in English. At first she couldn't figure out who I was or why she was talking to me. I explained the tour he took us on the day before, and why I was playing translator.
I went to the bus station, and after a little bit of pool (snookers) by myself, our bus started boarding and we got on our bus for Dunhuang.
The sky was clearer today than yesterday, and we traveled through the desert of Hexi Corridor on a national highway for the most part, which was a very well paved 4 lane highway.
We arrived at Dunhuang city, and the driver we had arranged through the driver in Jiayuguan was there to pick us up. Phil and Julia walked to the nearby hostel where they would be staying, while I took the taxi to a hotel further away.
Since I had the taxi, I went to buy the tickets for our train out of here on the evening of the 9th, only hard sleepers were available, so I had no choice but to buy them, even those were not in the same car! apparently tickets were hard to come by between Dunhuang and Turpan, and the train did not even come to Dunhuang, but to 130km away, at Liuyuan! This means we had to find a way to get to Liuyuan, either by taxi or by bus.
We arranged to meet later at my hotel and go to the Singing sand dunes and Crescent Moon Springs at dusk. However, a dust storm kicked up and pretty soon the dunes were not possible to see from town, and the plan went south from there.
After I checked in and took out my laptop (eeePC), I realized that I had forgotten its power cord in Jiayuguan, and called the hotel there.
After the dust storm kicked up, I knew we had to change our plan, so went into town center to try to find Deats. We found they had checked into a different hostel than what we thought, but we did find them in another one nearby, actually right next to the bus station. They were not in the hostel. After going back and forth a couple of times, it was late enough that the last bus from Jiayuguan had arrived and we met the 3 German ladies again! They did have my power cord, what a relief.
Phil and I eventually connected by phone, and he told me they had met their Swedish friend Hannes, and found out that the ticket to Mogao caves cost 180RMB each, which he thought was too expensive, and he had seen many caves already in China, so they were going to pass the Mogao caves. Well, to me coming to Dunhuang without seeing Mogao cave was impossible. The most important place to see on the Silk Road for me was Mogao caves, so we decided to try to meet again tomorrow evening, and we will do our separate sight-seeing tomorrow. They also wanted to book a cheaper tour to see Yadan geological park and other sights instead of using the taxi I had by then arranged for 700RMB (which included almost 3 days of driving around, and also the 130km to the Liuyuan train station on the last evening).
The 3 German ladies were here to see the Mogao caves too, so I have some new travel partners and spent the next 2 days with the German ladies instead.
we (now the we means me and the 3 German ladies) have a new plan for the morning, and we will see where we end up tomorrow based on the weather. The stars were out when we finished dinner and walked through the courtyard of the hotel. If the weather is good tomorrow we could go to Yadan national geological park and spme sights on the way. Otherwise we would go to Mogao Caves, where the weather would not be an issue.
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Dunhuang Hotels & Accommodations review
Great Hotel on the Silk Road at the ancient city next to the sand dunesThe Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel was the best hotel I stayed at during my trip from Lanzhou to Urumqi part of the Chinese Silk Road. I selected it because… read entire review