Dunhuang Travel Tips

Climate and Weather

The best time to visit Dunhuang and the ancient Silk Road is from May through October.

In the depths of Inland China, Dunhuang has a very dry climate. It has four special characteristics. The first is lots of direct sunshine. The second is little rainfall. The annual average rainfall here is only 39.9 mm. The rainfall in summer is 63.9 percent of annual rainfall while winter rainfall is only 7.5 percent. Therefore, evaporation can be a problem in this climate. The third is the climate's four distinct seasons.

Winter and summer have huge temperature differences (annual temperature difference reaches 34 degrees). Lastly, sand storms can be a problem in the Dunhuang, with the wind sometimes reaching speeds of 3m/sec.

Month   Jan Feb Mar Apr  May Jun Jul  Aug  Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average High
Temperature (Celsius)
-1.7 4.3 13.3  21.1 26.7 31.0 32.8 32.0 26.5 18.8 8.1 0.2
Average Low
Temperature (Celsius) 
-15.6  -11.3 -3.4 3.9 9.3  13.5 16.1 14.8 8.2 0.4 -6.0 -12.9

Local Festivals and Folk Custom

Festivals in Dunhuang are multifarious, as so many ethnic groups inhabit the city. Like any other place in China, common traditional holidays like Lunar New Year (The day falls between 22 January and 19 February, varying every year), Lantern Festival (15 day of 1 moon), Dragon Boat Festival (5 day of lunar 5 moon), Mid-Autumn Festival (15 of lunar 8 moon) are celebrated most ardently but the true highlights are undoubtedly the ethic holidays. 

Temple fair on April 8th

Temple fair on April 8th of Dunhuang is the civil traditional festival. Every April 8th of Chinese calendar, the local residents and especially the followers of Buddhism celebrate the died day of Sakyamuni, hold old men and support children, form into groups, come together in Mogao of Hole, Sanwei Mountains and the Leiyin Temple to burn incense and pray, pray saint and worship of ancestors. In this day, people keep in mind toward the Buddha to tell and say pain, sufferings and agony, look for protection, or pray to beg the wealth, or beg to prevent disaster to put out the disaster, or beg the sons, or beg the officers. After doing these, come out the holes and temples, people seem to relieve of a heavy burden, the confidence is doubly. This whole district of holes and temples are full of crowds. Each hole, a light repast stand order, handicraft product store, the literature program performance field, even in the forest, the side of small river, there are numerous visitors. It is uncommon noisy, continue several days and the grand occasion does not die out.

Dragon Boat Match
Annually in front and back of Dragon Boat Festival which is on May 5th of Chinese calendar, there are the “Dragon Boat stanza" and "the Dragon Boat match" of different scale and from in each town and district of whole city, the Stone Dragon Town, Zhaochun District, Wanjiang District, Daoyao Town and Mayong Town etc. The matches are have the largest the scale and special features and very sublime.

Litchi Stanza
The litchi of Dunhuang is called the first article in “Nanling” and “the king of fruit”. The mature moment of litchi is from June to July every year. Each town of whole city holds the litchi stanza one after another. In the period of the festival there are large literary style activities and the business activities etc. The most stirring thing is that visitors and guests go to the litchi park to adopt to taste the fresh litchi personally. It has entirely different humor and wit. The main production areas such as Dalong Town, Liaobu Town, Dalingshan Town, Changping Town, Shijie Town, Shilong Town...etc. have special features.

Other Odds and Ends

Situated in the common boundary of Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Province, the far west of the Hexi corridor west of the yellow river of Gansu Province
Population: about 180,000
Area: 31,200 sq km
Nationalities: Han, Mongolian, Tibetan, Manchu, Kazak, Tu, Hui, Yugu and Korean, etc.
Postcode: 736200
Area code: 0937

Bank: Dunhuang Subbranch of Bank of China
Address: 1/F, Zhongyuan Hotel, in Yangguan Zhong Lu (Middle Yangguan Rd.)
Telephone: Tourists can easily find telephone booths on the main streets and historic sites. The stores, and stalls along the roads also have privately operated public telephones.

Post office:

Dunhuang Post Office
Address: No. 1 on Yangguan Zhong Lu (Middle Yangguan Road)

Dunhuang People' Hospital: 0937-8822137
Address: No.20 in Dong Da Jie (East Street)
Dunhuang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital: 0937-8822396
Address: No. 6 in Shazhou Nan Lu (South Shazhou Rd.)

Fire: 119
Police: 110
Ambulance: 120

Useful numbers:
Dunhuang Red Cross Mogao Caves Aid Post: 0937-8869012
Address: inside Dunhuang Academe new work area
Dunhuang Red Cross Crescent Lake Aid Post: 0937-8825461
Address: inside Crescent Lake Yuequan Pavilion
Tourist Complaint: 0937-8821303
Address: No. 13 in Yangguan Dong Lu (East Yangguan Rd.)

Dunhuang Xinhua Bookstore
Address: Yangguan Dong Lu (East Yangguan Rd.)

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