Dunhuang Transportation -- Getting Around

Though embraced by the vast Gobi, Dunhuang still has various transport methods available for your trip.


Downtown Dunhuang is not large, and there are only four city-bus routes running along fixed lines. They start from the urban area and stretch into the countryside in different directions. Buses are mostly of a medium size. They operate between the hours from 07:00 until 22:00 every day. With departures every 15 minutes costing CNY1 for the through trip, bus No. 3 will take you to Echoing-Sand Mountain. Mogao Caves can be reached by buses in front of the Dunhuang Hotel, Silk Road Hotel with a fare of CNY8 per person.
Taxis in Dunhuang
Taxis in Dunhuang

1. City-bus services are not very punctual so it maybe necessary for you to take other transport methods into consideration on your trip.
2. City-bus drivers know Dunhuang quite well. You would usually get correct information by asking them your way.


It is very convenient and easy for tourists to take a taxi in the city. There are many taxies driving around the city, or parking at the airport, long-distance bus station, railway station, hotels and the historic sites etc. The table below shows the taxi rate rules:
Cars with the emission volume lower than 1.6L (0.4gal) Cars with the emission volume higher than 1.6L (0.4gal)
CNY5 for the first 3km (1.9mi) CNY5 for the first 2km (1.2mi)
CNY1.2 for each extra kilometer (0.6mi) CNY1.4 for each extra kilometer (0.6mi)
CNY1.8 for each extra kilometer if a car runs farther than 10km (6.2mi) CNY2 for each extra kilometer if a car runs farther than 10km (6.2mi)
Tip: It usually costs only CNY5 to get anywhere within downtown area since the city is not large.

Many tourists hire a taxi or minibus from the downtown to tour the surrounding attractions. The price is usually negotiable and reasonable. Here are the fees for your reference and they are all for single trips:
To Echoing-Sand Mountain, it costs CNY10;
To Mogao Caves, it costs CNY30-50;
To Dunhuang Airport: CNY30-40;
If hire a taxi to cover Mogao Caves, Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, the round trip fare is CNY100-200.


Rickshaw is an interesting part of scene in the city. Such vehicles run through the streets and lanes making your trip flexible and convenient. You can easily get it in the street directly. Generally, CNY1 for one kilometer (about 0.6 mile)


The city is not large, and you can get around it by bicycle easily and make a close touch with this small city. On Mingshan Road, there are several rental services, the fee can be negotiated, generally CNY1 per hour. 
- Last modified on Nov. 27, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Getting Around Dunhuang
Asked by May from MALAYSIA | Nov. 25, 2019 00:20Reply
How to access Dunhuang attraction places?
Will travel with two persons on 7 Dec-9 Dec. Please advise how to travel those attraction places in Dunhuang- Yadan National Geological Park, Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring, Mogao Grottoes, Dunguan museum?
Answers (1)
Answered by Liam from SINGAPORE | Nov. 27, 2019 17:51

To Yadan National park: You can hire a car or go to tourist center in downtown to take direct bus.
To Mingsha mountain: The common way is to take taxi directly with around CNY20.
Mogao Grottoes: You can take bus from Xiyu Rd Mingshan Rd with CNY8.
Dunhuang Museum: You can take bus No.3 to it or take taxi with around CNY10 if you are in the downtown.
Asked by SY from MALAYSIA | Feb. 28, 2019 03:06Reply
Hi, I am planning a family trip to Dunhuang in Dec.
What would be the best route to fly into DH from Malaysia? I read some says fly into Beijing/Xi'an then take the train? Most of the postings advised against traveling to DH during winter. Is it really that cold? Am wondering if we can still do the Echoing Sand Mountain and the Cresent Moon Pool in such cold weather?

Appreciate your advise. Thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Nathaniel from NEW ZEALAND | Mar. 05, 2019 22:19

Yes, you are advised to take a flight to Beijing or Xi'an first. Then take a train to Dunhuang Railway Station. According to the previous weather statistics, the temperature may range from 5C to 15C. You can still tour around Echoing Sand Mountain and the Cresent Moon Pool.
Have a nice journey!
Asked by Aiman from MALAYSIA | Jan. 30, 2019 12:44Reply
I'm planning to go straight to Crescent Lake from Dunhuang Train Station.
How much normally is the taxi fare?
Answers (1)
Answered by Zion from GERMANY | Jan. 31, 2019 22:34

In general, it costs CNY30-40.
Asked by Mr.Teja from CHINA | Jun. 08, 2009 22:40Reply
When is the best time to visit Dunhuang? Please tell me the train schedule from Xi'an to that city? Xie Xie.
Answers (1)
Answered by Ms.Evelyn from CHINA | Jun. 09, 2009 04:34

The best time to come to go there is in late August and early September. The weather is not so hot. What’s more, this time is the period of the autumn of fruits. Grapes are very good. But during this time, the difference in temperature is big. In the morning, you need a light coat, but in the early afternoon you need T shirt. Within a day, there is only one train from Xi'an. It’s Train K591. The departure time from Xi'an railway station is at 10:56.
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