Although Yulin Grottoes is relatively unheard of among travelers, its mural painting is very similar to those of the Mogao Grottoes, and thus is a very good alternative if you unable to visit the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. These murals were painted during the Tang Dynasty, and its theme is every day life of that period, which include farming and hunting activities, weddings, banquet, playing chess, iron-making and dancing. Those paintings vividly depict the life of that time. Paintings in the cave 25, 3 and 29 are the best-preserved and largest in scale.
Yunlin Grottoes were first chiseled during the North Wei Dynasty and expanded over the following dynasties, and formed its final scale until the Yuan Dynasty. There are over 100 painted sculptures, more than 5000 square kilometers of mural paintings, which is 1/9 of those in Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.
41 caves are well-preserved, 30 caves on the east bank of the river and 11 on the west.
Mural paintings in Yulin Grottoes are similar to those of Mogao Grottoes in themes, style and art of painting.
Yulin Grottoes is located on the banks of Yulin River, 75 kilometers southwest of Guazhou County.