Dunhuang Culture Discovery
5-Day Dunhuang In-Depth Private Tour
This exclusive tour provides a multidimensional experience of the history and culture of Dunhuang and the Mogao Caves. Besides a cultural experience, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the austere scenery and landscapes.
- Grasp the opportunity to see the Mogao Caves, which might disappear in 50 years.
- Paint your exclusive mural on a mud slab that is made from the same materials as the Mogao Caves.
- Visit a unique section of the Great Wall that was built with plant stems and gravel.
- Explore Devil City (Yadan landscape) to witness a masterpiece that was created by wind and sand.
Jenny helped explain a lot of historical facts made us appreciate the Chinese civilisation a lot more. Want to know more after leaving.more
Nov 2023, 772lauw
Jenny is an excellent guide, so knowledgeable and easy to talk with. Her driver was also excellent. We spent 3 days together seeing the highlights of Xi'an and dining together. We hit a cold spell so she gave us two neck scarves, which was an unexpected treat. If you come to China, ask for Jenny. Highly recommended!more
Nov 2023, CNN N
Memorable Tour with Susan
Susan gave us a great tour of Xi’an. She has a genuine interest in Chinese culture and history and took us to sites and restaurants where locals go. She was flexible with plans and made some great recommendations and because of that, we did even more than we originally expected. Thank you to Susan for a wonderful experience. Xi’an was definitely one of the highlights of our tour and we will tell everyone about your beautiful and historically-rich city, Xi’an.more
Nov 2023, grei
Awesome Guide and Experience!
We have been travelling through China since the 10th of November. Prior to departing Shanghai, our guide in Xi’an made contact with me to let us know she would meet us at the arrival gate as we took the train from Shanghai, this made me feel super comfortable as we arrived into a completely new city. She let me know the instructions on where to meet her when we get off the train, when we arrived we were greeted by our guide Jenny at the gate.We were then taken to our car, met our driver for the duration of our stay Mr Chu!After arriving at our hotel Jenny helped us checkin and then we dropped our bags off to explore the main square of Xi’an and find some dinner as we arrived in the evening.The next day Jenny met us with our driver Mr. Chu at the hotel reception and took us to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses followed by Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon, Jenny’s knowledge and explanation of both these activities were amazing and we learned so much from her. Later that evening she recommended a traditional Chinese show and dumpling banquet which we thoroughly enjoyed.The second day Jenny took us to the Xi’an City Wall where we were able to ride a bike along the top, we then went to a local house and made dumplings for lunch before she accompanied us to the train station where we were sad to say our goodbyes but very thankful for our time with Jenny and Mr. Chu.We are coming to an end of trip, returning to home to New Zealand. If you need a guide who has a great command of the English language, friendly and knowledgeable then please request Jenny as your tour guide through China Highlights!more
Nov 2023, John M
Great Fun Tour with Mervyn!
Mervyn was a wonderful tour guide for our trip to Xi’an! She showed us the amazing food that the city offers and the important history this city contains. She helped make our trip enjoyable and simple! Thank you Mervyn :)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
A Truly Amazing Experience
An amazing experience. Given China Highlights’ reputation, I had high hopes for the logistics of the tour. The reality, however, far exceeded my expectations. From arrival to departure, and all points in between, the tour was executed with precision. I stood in awe, gazing at the terracotta warriors; my wife and I strolled along the city wall. The warmth and friendliness of the locals were exceeded only by the knowledge, experience and genuine humanity of our guide, Jenny. China is amazing. While the historic sights are world attractions, I found its people to be the greatest treasure. Thank you China Highlights. Thank you Jenny.more
Nov 2023, Mark W
Wonderful time in Xi'an with a great guide
Visiting best museums, tourist attractions areas and historical sites with excellent guidance by Mervyn. She arranged everything in advance for our family so we spent very unforgettable time in Xi'an in three days.If you want to discover more about chinese history i would highly recommend Xi'an tour and my tour guide Mervyn to anyone visiting china.more
Nov 2023, burge c
Wow! Did not know China’s historical depth and culture.
Xi’an is an incredible historical city. Our guide Mervyn from China Highlights was extremely knowledgeable, informative and helpful. Very attentive to our needs and went above and beyond to take care of us. Exceptional service and care from the heart.more
Nov 2023, Tony S
1 day Xi'an tour
Despite my schedule only allowing for 1 day in Xi'an, Mervyn my guide was able to give me a fantastic experience in visiting both the Terracotta Warriors and making time for the old city too since she's hugely knowledgeable and great company. Great visit all round.more
Nov 2023, Voyager816706
Amazing experience in Xian
Xian was just amazing. We had a great tour guide, Jenny. Jenny spoke excellent English. Not only was she friendly, she was flexible too. She was able to reschedule our visit to the Terracotta warriors to the following day due to my hubby not feeling too well. She also helped get flu medicine for him. Very knowledgeable in Qin Dynasty history, she certainly made our trip very enjoyable.more
Nov 2023, Dell
Special thanks to Susan
This is my 2nd time in Xi An, My friend arranged a private tour through China highlight, it definitelymakes a huge difference with a tourguide! China highlight arranges all the tour guides and drivers for four cities for us, so convenient, saved us lot of time . Susan is our tour guide in Xi An, she is very responsible and took great care of us, she is knowledgeable about Xi An’s history, shared many fun stories, very impressive, obviously she loves n so good at what she does! We had great time in Xi An, the Xi A food is very delicious, Susan took us to the restaurant seems all were very popular among locals. Thank you so much, Susan, without you, our trip won’t be as funn efficient.more
Nov 2023, Venture216019
Ken was the best guide in Xi’an!
Ken in Xi’an was the best guide we had during our stay in China. He was super knowledgeable and curious, added a bunch of extra tips and information that really helped us understand what we were seeing and meant we made the most of our free time as well as the time with him. Not to mention his English is perfect! We had the most wonderful time thanks to him!!more
Oct 2023, Inspire03097093187
3 nights in Xi’an City
This museum was unbelievable. Everything I had known from a Western point of view was small in comparison to the vast amount of ceramic sculptures. My guide Susan informed me of the history of the making of the warriors and horses. Susan had a good way to explain the details about each warrior and their social status. She explained the kings desires and even about the farmer’s history that came after; that had an effect on the warriors preservation. I would suggest seeing the panorama short film about the history of the warrior for some more detail.more
Oct 2023, Blake Evans
Susan was our Xi-an English guide and she pick us up from the terminal and send us to the Hotel on the day of arrival. She is a very present, soft spoken, helpful during our stay in Xi-an. She brought us to the Ancient City Wall, Terracotta Warriors / Horses and we have lunch at one of the popular Local Restaurant. We also visited the Muslim Quarter, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum. Susan is very well verse in the history of Xi-an and explain to us about the history of Xi-an.more
Oct 2023, John W
An excellent tour around Xi'an with an exceptional tour guide and chauffeur
I was fortunate to travel to Xi'an and visit the historical sites, (terracotta warriors, the big wild goose pagoda a nd the ancient city wall), and places of interest, (the history museum and the muslim quarter). However, what made the two day tour so memorable was the tour guide, Jenny and chauffeur Zhu. Jenny was fantastic;her historical and local knowledge was excellent, her organisational skills were exceptional.We were able to discuss a wide range of subjects, from my point of view a thoroughly lovely person to be around.Everything ran like clockwork.more
Oct 2023, Richard M
Xian and Lhasa - a trip of a lifetime!
Our Xian tour guide, Sherry, took exceptional care of us, guiding us through a peak travel season and some rain with expertise and patience. We learned so much about China's Xian history through her. In Lhasa we were greeted with Sonam's passion for his Tibetan culture and never-ending smile. Our lifelong dream to visit Tibet was made so much better with his guidance and knowledge. Thank you China Highlights for taking such good care of us and for sharing your amazing country with us.more
Oct 2023, Sharon Townshend
Начало Великого Шелкового пути - древняя столица Чанъань
Это была моя вторая поездка в Сиань, который я полюбила еще в свой первый визит в Китай. И вторая встреча с прекрасной древней столицей Поднебесной сделала это чувство еще глубже и сильнее! Большое спасибо нашему замечательному гиду – Вале, консультанту Стелле и China Highlights! Терракотовая армия потрясает масштабностью и искусностью древних мастеров. Возможность соприкоснуться с частью истории великой империи!more
Sep 2023, Антонина К
Great way to see the city
Private tour with China highlights made seeing Xi'an super easy. We saved a lot of time with a private driver, and our guide Jenny took really good care of us, sending instructions for where to meet once getting off the train and made everything feel really safe and easy. She also accommodated a number of last minute changes to our itinerary without batting an eye. She was very patient, knowledgeable and friendly. It was great having a guide who grew up locally in the area to show us around (which is not always the case, from my previous experiences elsewhere). Would definitely recommend!more
Sep 2023, Stephanie N
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide!
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide! She is extremely informative all the way through. She knows hers stuff and she is also enthusiastic, knowledgeable, personable and very willing to help. The whole day was perfect. A great amount of walking and a lots of physical activity ( hiking) and she was all smiling, accommodating and keeping us informative. She was absolutely the best tour guide we've ever encountered in China. Her English is perfect! Everything was so well organized. Her knowledge of the local culture and history is impressive. Fantasticmore
Sep 2023, pdaroundthewrorld
Our tour guide was Mervyn, and she was amazing! She had great knowledge of Xi'an and the silk road, and we learned so many things we didn't know before. The Muslim quarter is a must-see, with so many streets of food. Terracotta warriors were breathtaking. We did a Hanfu experience and enjoyed walking the city at night in our tang Dynasty outfits. We wish we spent more than 2 days here as there's so much to do. Definitely recommend this tour and will be visiting again!more
Sep 2023, Laura A
Your local tour guide will meet you in the arrivals hall of the airport or at the exit of the train station. After your guide meets you, he/she will escort you by private vehicle to your hotel. Have a good rest and be ready for the next day's adventure.
Shazhou Night Market is worth visiting to experience the local flavor of Dunhuang. If you want to get close to this city quickly, try some local snacks, such as yogurt and nangs (flatbread).
Dunhuang Hotel (4-star)
The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel (5-star)
breakfast and lunch
Mogao Caves ticket booking:
In order to protect the fragile murals and paintings, the number of daily visitors to the Mogao Caves is restricted and your entrance ticket(s) must be reserved on the official website, which is in Chinese.
Tickets are difficult to get hold of, especially during the tourist peak season (July to October). Although we can guarantee tickets at least 5 days in advance, early booking is still recommended.
After breakfast, start to explore Dunhuang at the famous Mogao Caves. First, you will watch two movies to get a rough idea of the history of the Silk Road and the Mogao Caves. Then take the shuttle bus to the original cave area, where a professional expositor will lead you to visit seven caves.
After lunch, you will visit Dunhuang Museum. This museum has a great exhibition of the Silk Road culture, and it has duplicate caves with exquisite murals and statues that you can take photos of.
Tips to Tailor-Make Your Tour:
The Mogao Caves include 735 caves, and 40 to 60 caves are normally open to the public. A normal visit to the Mogao Caves includes seven caves but, if you would like to see some special caves, we can arrange for you to visit some that are not open to the general public.
These special caves are treasures — they contain important murals and statues, and have made a significant contribution to the study of human culture and art .
breakfast and lunch
After the previous day's study of culture, you can test yourself on what you have learnt.
After breakfast, you will visit the Dunhuang Research Academy, a place where you can sit down to listen to the story behind the murals and appreciate the painting skills.
Make your own mural: Choose one of the mural samples and copy it onto a mud slab, which is made from the same material as the Mogao Caves. Take your masterpiece home with you.
Enjoy an organic vegetarian lunch at the academy before continuing your journey to the desert with a visit to the Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Moon Spring. Ride a camel in the desert and imagine what it was like to ride across the desert 1,000 years ago.
Tip to tailor-make your tour:
It is beautiful to see the sunset in the desert in the late afternoon. If, however, you prefer to enjoy cool weather in the desert, you can adjust the visiting time to the morning.
breakfast & lunch
Witness the cultural relics and amazing landscapes near Dunhuang.
In the morning, you will be driven to the ruins of the ancient Great Wall of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). You will see that it was built using layers of desert plant stems and gravel, which is quite different from the bricks used in other sections of the Great Wall.
You will also have a chance to visit Yumen Pass ('Jade Gate Pass'), which was once used as one of the west gates out of China during the Han Dynasty. It has been badly damaged by the shifting sands but still highlights the splendor of this magnificent architectural structure.
In the afternoon, explore Devil City — Yadan National Geological Park. Devil City is famous for its nighttime sounds and vivid rocks in various shapes that look like animals or world-famous attractions. If you want, you can stay there until sunset.
Our Service Includes:
- One-to-one consultancy with our travel expert
- Versatile and knowledgeable local guides
- Your own chauffeur and comfortable vehicle
- Hand-picked hotels to suit your preferences
- Hotel buffet breakfasts and local restaurant lunches
- Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
- The booking of internal transportation per your preferences
- A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling
Transportation to and from Dunhuang
Domestic flights and trains have easy access to Dunhuang. There are daily flights between Dunhuang and the main cities in China, such as Xi'an, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Lanzhou. Please tell us your previous/next destination and we will help you to arrange the transportation.