Dunhuang Transportation -- Getting There
In ancient times, Dunhuang was an important city on the Silk Road. At that time, transportation was of great importance since it connected China with the west in both business and culture. Today, the value of business has diminished along with that of the Silk Road. However, as a popular tourism city famous for its abundant cultural relics, transportation in the city is still important to those who are eager to experience its magnificent sights. Passengers can get to there by air, train and long distance bus.
Dunhuang Railway Station is located 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away form the city center. At present, trains connecting to Jiayuguan, Beijing, Xi'an, Lanzhou and Yinchuan leave from this station. In front of the station square, there are many taxis and minibuses heading for the downtown area. The minibus fare is about CNY3 and the journey to the city center is no more than 20 minutes. Moreover, buses heading for Mogao Caves coming from the Dunhuang Hotel in the downtown area stop in front of the railway station every half hour. You can take these buses to get to the Mogao Caves directly.
Major Rail Lines from the station to:
Before the opening of the Dunhuang Railway Station, Liuyuan Railway Station was the main transfer station for people getting to this city by train. This station is about 128 kilometers (79.5 miles) north of the downtown area. Tourists can travel directly by train to Liuyuan Railway Station from Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Chongqing, Lianyungang, Zhengzhou, Hankou, etc. In the square in front of Liuyuan Railway Station, there are minibuses and taxies which can take you to downtown area. The minibus usually charges CNY30 per person. Taxies or other cars may ask for CNY100 per car. To get to the railway station from downtown, you can take the bus from Dunhuang Long-Distance Bus Station.
1. If you take the taxies or other cars at night, you can bargain with the driver about the fare and usually you'd get some discount.
2. Do not trust the driver who quotes you a quite low price, because if he may raise the price on the way (at the vast and desolate rocky desert), you may have no choice but to pay more.
Tips: Buses to Lanzhou, Xining, Golmud and Zhangye are usually sleeper coaches. There are also sleeper buses, sleeper minibuses and air-conditioned buses. Visitors can confirm the types of vehicles in the bus stations.
To Zhangye: Take a coach from Dunhuang Coach Station. The bus departs at 15:30.
However, the only booking page only has Chinese version. Thus you are suggested to get to the bus station early and purchase the tickets.
1. by train:
take the high speed train at Guangzhou South Railway Station to Lanzhou West Railway Station. Then transfer from Lanzhou West Railway Station to Lanzhou Railway Station. Then take the normal train to the destination.
Or take the bullet train to Xi'an North Railway Station and then take the normal train at Xi'an Railway Station.
2. By air: make a transfer in Lanzhou airport or Xi'an airport to DH airport
3. Air + Train: Fly to Lanzhou airport or Xi'an airport and then change to take the train to there.
Beijing - Shanghai (by air or train) - Xi'an (by air or train) - Lanzhou (by air or train) - Jiayuguan (high speed train) - Liuyuan (transfer for DH) - then bus to DH - back to Beijing (if it is expensive, you can fly to Lanzhou first, then Beijing)