Dunhuang is located in the west of Hexi Corridor of Gansu province, covers an area of 31,200 square kilometers with a population of 191,900.
Throughout Dunhuang's history of over 2000 years, it has always served as a critical gateway to the west because of its unique geographical location at the juncture of Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang. As a result, several emperors throughout Chinese history have made improvements of these western fortifications.
However, Dunhuang was also a regional cultural center. The Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Dunhuang Grottoes or the ‘Thousand Buddha Grottoes’, is located on the western cliffs of the Singing Sands Mountains. It is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties.