And now, time for a bit of culture

Dunhuang Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 24 › view all entries

This morning's project was to get to the Mogao caves. This is a collection of hundreds of caves containing ancient artworks. Their discovery seems to have been the Chinese equivalent of discovering Tutankhamun's tomb. The caves open to the public, are rotated, to preserve them...only 20 of the hundreds being open at any one time. And they really are astonishing. I'd been to some Buddhist art work caves in Sri Lanka, so I'd not been sure about doing it again - but this was so many times bigger and better. one of the caves had a huge seated Buddha figure in. Just his foot, from sole to top, was bigger than me. It was just jaw-droppingly good. Another giant, prone Buddha had  loads of statue people behind. Each one was twice life size, and different from the others.

I spent ages just looking at each face. I'd love to be able to tell you more, but I got there at 10:15, and the next group to be shown round by an English speaker was at 12:00. There was no way I was waiting, so I just joined on to one of the normal Chinese groups and looked, intending to read up on it all later.

I wandered round the indoor food court before choosing my deckchair this evening. Each of the stalls there has a speciality, and a big sign above the door saying what they do. The sign writer needs a bit of help...and awful lot of them specialised in specific types of 'noddles'. More disturbingly, no fewer than three specialised in 'Fried Sheep's Entrails'. I resisted the temptation easily, and took my chair at my favourite chilli barbecue stall outside.

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photo by: Deats