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After an overnight train and a 2 hour drive through the Gobi desert, we arrived in semi-green Dunhuang. This is a Han Chinese city. We ate lunch in a small cafe, gesticulating and pointing at food on other tables to make our order since no one spoke English. We ended up with a great tasting fish that cost us 50 yuan ($6), a fortune! That's what happens when you order seafood in the middle of a desert. Later in the afternoon we visited the Mogao caves which contain murals and statues dating from the 3rd to 9th century AD. At this place the "foreign devils of the Silk road" (foreign archaeologists) plundered thousands of manuscripts and paintings at the beginning of the 20th century. The plundering done today is at the ice cream stalls and gift shops where everything is marked up at least 50%.
Train ride scenery through the Gobi desert.
We biked to the White Horse Pagoda, built in the 9th century. Being cheap tourists, we circumnavigated the $1.20 entrance fee and snuck around to the back door.
Giant sand dunes surround Dunhuang. We'll climb them tomorrow.