Desert tourism near Dunhuang

Reimagining the Silk Road

Desert tourism near Dunhuang

Gansu, 2004

A familiar image of the Silk Road: While entrepreneurs, tourist companies, and the state have had a more difficult time developing tourism in non-Tibetan parts of Gansu and Qinghai, one exception is Dunhuang. Dunhuang is an oasis of tourism, primarily because it is the site of the Mogao Caves. The caves contain a trove of manuscripts that range in content from philosophy to administration and date from the fifth to eleventh centuries c.e. The majority of documents that touch on religion pertain to Buddhism.