20th May – Jiayuguan to Dunhuang

Today we have a 400 km drive to Dunhuang and Shiraz is the lead car, so instead of Kay sitting in Burgundy with Tony, she offers to sit in the Chinese hire car that is transporting TV Tonny.  This allows TV Tonny to film Tony from inside Burgundy. To make Burgundy look good in the movie, TV Tonny gives it a clean before we leave.

We head out of Jiayuguan on a provincial road that soon turns into a dirt road, due to roadworks, which isn’t too bad.  Our first stop for the morning is at some ancient ruins which was an ancient fort that was setup prior to the fort in Jiayuguan that we visited yesterday.

We continue on the dirt road and our next stop is at a Chinese mosque and pagoda that both sit inside a Chinese style gate.  The pagoda was built as a memorial to a Muslim Silk Road trader who died in this area around 1200 years ago.  The mosque was built some time later next to the pagoda and attracts many Muslims who visit the Mosque and stay in the accommodation that is provided on the site. It has beautiful bright blue & green minarets and gold balls that sparkle in the sunshine.


We continue on the dirt road passing through a couple of small villages with older styles houses & new ones, but the layout is the same.  A gate opens into a courtyard which is either concreted or has a garden and there are 2 buildings in an L shape.

We join the new road that is being constructed, before turning onto the highway that takes us into Dunhuang. We are seeing quite a few new MG’s today. We also pass a monument to the eagle which live in this area.

TV Tonny gets some footage of Tony using his GoPro, while he is driving along the highway.

We pass a few remains of the Great Wall and forts.

There are 2 drivers in the Chinese hire car and neither of them speak English, however they do know a few words, so they teach Kay a few more Chinese words to add to her very limited Chinese vocabulary! They are driving a Chevrolet Cruze.

After we check in to our hotel we head to the singing sand dunes which are only a 2 km walk away. The view from our hotel is magnificent & looks out over the sand dunes.

Today isn’t very windy so the dunes aren’t singing, but they are magnificent.  There are camels taking people for rides to the the top of the dunes, but we decide to walk up the ladder path, but first we visit the crescent spring which is an oasis at the foothills of the sand dunes, where a pagoda has been built.

It takes us a while to climb to the top of the sand dune as we stop to catch our breath and have a drink of water along the way.

The path becomes very steep for the last 1/3rd, but we eventually make it, & it is wan’mei (beautiful) looking out from the top.  The sand dunes certainly seem to stretch a long way.

We wait at the top for sunset and have many photos taken with the Chinese tourists as they’re not used to seeing many foreign tourists in this area.

The sunset is pretty good over the sand dunes and we walk back down at about 9 pm, which is much quicker than the walk up.

When we return to the hotel we have dinner sitting under the stars on the outdoor terrace and enjoy a glass of Great Wall wine with it, which is OK, but I won’t be rushing out to Dan Murphy’s when we get back to buy some.


  1. Have just had a catch up read of the past fortnights posts.
    What an amazing trip you are having, the photos and comments re great, it’s like being alongside you all. Thank you.

  2. it always amaze me how there is green gardens near water in the deserts !!
    drive carefully
    love from us

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