The Silk Road’s ongoing revival through the Belt and Road initiative has aroused great interest in Gansu province, which was an important link in the ancient route. Officials hope to attract more visitors by investing in the restoration and preservation of its historical sites and relics.
At the Mogao Grottoes, the world’s largest treasure house of Buddhist art, a crew of over 130 repair technicians and analysts from Dunhuang Academy are working around the clock to repair the wall paintings.
There are 45,000 square meters of murals and over 2,000 painted sculptures, they have been through war, natural disasters and vandalism, but their influence is just as powerful as in ancient times.
The Mogao Grottos attracted 800,000 visitors in 2014 and well over a million last year.
Maintaining a balance between preservation and tourism has become a difficult challenge, especially during the boom season.
Through the continuous revival of the ancient Silk Road, tourism is really picking up along the belt, and this is providing fresh impetus for local businesses.
Apart from cultural tourism, Gansu’s natural landscape is also ideal for selfie-lovers and photography fanatics.
The colorful displays right behind me are the Danxia Rock Formation, it is sometimes called the Rainbow mountains ... As B&R initiative continues to boost regional interconnectivity, this figure is expected to rise ever further in the coming years.
It’s not only in daytime that Gansu attracts tourists. Over on Mingsha Hill, known as the “singing sands”, when night descends, a section of the desert turns into a stage for a musical performance. The show boasts an elaborate, 360-degree set and rotating seats, allowing audiences to immerse themselves in the performance, a vivid reflection of Dunhuang’s history during the Silk Road’s heyday.