The city of Donhuang, located in northwestern Gansu Province in Western China was once an important stop along the famous Silk Road. The oasis there made it an important place for traders and travelers to rest up before continuing across the vast desert.
I made my own pilgrimage there recently with my friends Robin and Peter Yin, two brothers who were exploring the area looking for flavors and inspiration for there new restaurant they were planning to open in Shanghai called Lost Heaven Silk Road. Our journey there, however, was a bit more comfortable than those who made the trek hundreds of years ago. We had the luxury of of a small bus equipped with aircon and all the water we wanted.
The sand dunes or Dunhuang are truly impressive. Visitors from across China and around world come here to play in this oversized sandbox. Camel caravans are still a common site but their main function now is to provide tourists with sand dune tours.