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“Important Silk Road site”
Review of Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves
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Dunhuang Silk Road Adventure Day Tour: Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Moon Spring
Ranked #1 of 46 things to do in Dunhuang
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Gobi desert, the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas feature beautiful wall fresco paintings and more than 3,000 sculptures dating from the forth to the fourteenth century.
San Francisco, California, USA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Important Silk Road site”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

The luminosity of the painted caves after 1300 years of existence. An unrivaled site for over 800 years of well documented Buddhist art in the middle of a desert.

Visited October 2012
Thank JoanneSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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611 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Suzhou, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Superb Mogao Caves”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

The features such as murals and giant Buddha were in excellent condition. We had a very informative and well managed personal group tour by Kathleen who has been on the Magao Caves staff for sometime.

Visited October 2012
Thank BlackBobby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
77 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Looks like a low income housing complex”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The artwork in the caves is stunning. However, the efforts of the government to 'save' the caves has resulted in the outside structure resembling a housing project.
And what's with the Chinese and their paranoia about taking pictures? I wonder if it's just a scam to get you to buy postcards.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank VaguelyVagrant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
232 reviews
179 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Well preserved caves of Buddhist art”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

About an hour's drive out of Dunhuang, the Mogao Grottoes are justly famous for the quality, quantity and good condition of the Buddhist art. There are numerous caves but within the hour or so inside, our guide brought us to 3 smaller caves and the 2 larger ones with the huge Buddhas. Apparently, each cave has variations of the Buddhist art spanning centuries, and you can glimpse how the art evolved through time and the influence of local cultures.

Only authorized guides are allowed and headsets are issued to ensure the noise level in the small caves are under control, which is great. Photography is not allowed once inside the fenced compound and those with backpacks are also not allowed. A side sling-bag is alright though. Inexplicably, large DSLR type cameras are also not allowed but compacts and smartphones are not a problem. There is a locker area to deposit such items. Nearer the entrance, there is a large tourist shop where books and literature about the caves can be bought. This is a major historical Buddhist site showing the route Buddhism took along the Silk Route and well worth the visit in spite of the inevitable crowds.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Tantiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“The best caves!”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We have done slot of these over the years but these are the best. English tours are 10, 12. O,clock. So if you arrive too early do the exhibition centre first, equally do not miss it after your visit and it is really good

Visited September 2012
Thank AcbMei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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