China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Some of the most beautiful art in the world is in the many Buddhist caves in China. Seldom visited, the Bezeklik Caves outside of Turpan are not the most famous caves since much was destroyed or robbed; however there is still much to see yet without the crowds of tourists. In this remote valley, the caves are all open to view with a few of them being worked on to restore the art. Turpan is the second lowest place on earth as well as being in the desert and very dry preserving the art that is there. You may walk freely into the caves that have good lighting to observe the art close up and take photos without flash. You will also see where whole frescoes were removed by the German, Albert von Le Cog on a caravan of 57 camels and put into the Berlin Museum prior to the second world war. Unfortunately most of them were destroyed during the war. So the remaining frescoes and art that remain are that much more precious. Turpan although small has much to offer with the Jiaohe Plateau ruins and the more famous Gaochang Ruins, Grape Valley, Ancient Water wells and the wonderful Flaming Mountains on the way from Urumqi. Be sure to try some of the local sweet wines too for which they are known. A home visit will give you a great taste of the local food and also a chance to see how they dry grapes for the best raisons which they are known for in Turpan. It is worth a two to three day visit if you are not in a hurry along with the local markets and relaxed atmosphere. Best times to visit are the month of April, and late August into early October to avoid the very hot summers and very cold winter months. The Silk Road is a wonderful and very historical part of China.  Check my web site for several special package tours on the Silk Road or I can put a custom tour together for you for your special interests rather than a generic package tour.   

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