Anyone who is doing Silk Road China will certainly stop at Dunhuang which is located in Gansu Province. This historical site is one of the most important site which you can’t miss. The China’s jewel such as Mingshashan Yueyaquan / Crescent Moon Lake and Mogao Caves are located in Dunhuang. This area is a basin plain with Mt Qilan in the south, Mt Mazong in the north and desert from east to west.
During my stay in Dunhuang, I have the chance to stay at Sun Grand Hotel. Here is my review.
The Sun Grand Hotei is conveniently located in downtown Dunhuang, an easy 5-minute walk to the night markets, restaurants, and supermarkets. In Chinese standard, it is rated as 4 stars. When you entered the hotel, it appeared as grand with very big lobby and few seating areas for their guests. The huge chandeliers will certainly catch you attention. If you look closer, you will spot the Dunhuang ‘Feitian’/ Flying fairies in the chandeliers. Look up at the ceiling, you also see many Buddha paintings.
There are few seating areas in the lobby but all are carved lacquer wooden furniture which are very common in China.
Wooden Shelf Displaying Antiques
Japanese Izakaya Restaurant
The hotel also accommodate a lot of Japanese guests and there is a Japanese Izakaya restaurant.
Jade Dragon Boat
A very large Jade Dragon Boat was spotted at the corridor of the Sun Grand Hotel Dunhuang. Jade boat seems like a very good thing in Fengshui, it brings in good luck and good fortune. It is believed that the ship coming back from its sail could bring back lots of wealth when it harbors back.
A Little Fountain
Shoes Shining Machine
There are also several shoes shining machines in this hotel. After a long journey at the desert in Dunhuang or Mogao Caves, you may need a free shoes shine.
Shopping in Hotel
Antiques, silks and scarfs or small little souvenirs can be found in the shops here.
You can get your internal flight tickets, bus or train tickets at the business center.
No smoking at any place in the hotel, except at a designated closed door smoking area at the lobby hall. I am glad it is a closed door smoking area!
Hotel Room Review
The hotel room is up to my standard, clean and comfortable. The lighting in the room is bright (white light is used, not warm light) and the air-conditional is working well.
TV, fridge, slippers and free mineral waters are provided.
Hot Water Kettle
Most hotel in China has the hot water kettle for their guests because mainland Chinese must boil the water before drinking and prefer to drink hot water and not so much on cold or room temperature drinks.
The toilet is not that spacious but it has all the thing a traveler needs. However there is one thing to note; when you use the shower, you may want to let it run for few minutes to make sure hot water is working, then only start jumping in.
Breakfast are mostly Chinese style but they do have some western such as sausages, ham, eggs, bake bean and bread. Overall, it is a good variety if you can take Chinese in the morning, such as congee, white bun with stir fried vegetables.
Dunhuang High School
We passed by Dunhuang High school and saw parents are waiting outside the school, where their children are taking their college entrance examination. On June 7-8, the college entrance examination are held all over the country. So expect to see less mainland Chinese tourists in most of the attraction sites as most parents are busy accompanying their children during this exam period.
Guazhou / 瓜州 Gansu
Guozhou’s location is ideally suited for wind farms, we see a lot of wind farms on our way. In fact Guozhou has the nickname “world’s wind warehouse“.
Melon State – Guazhou/瓜州
Guazhou/瓜州 is about 1 hour and 20 mins drive from Dunhuang. Gua /瓜 in Chinese means melon and Zhou is state so this place is full of sweet melon. The weather is Guazhou is suitable and ideal for harvesting sweet melon. While in Guazhou, don’t forget to go for melon tasting.
After our melon tasting, we also went to explore other fruits, such as red and black wolfberries.
The red wolfberries are great for eyes and many Chinese people put the red wolfberries in their hot tea or in the soup.
It was my first time to see the black wolfberry. The black wolfberry has plenty of benefits and seems work better then the red wolfberry, it is used for anti-aging and enhance immunity. The price is so much higher than the red wolfberry by 2-3 folds.
Depending what water you used, if you used water from the tap, the color is more blue and if you used mineral water, the water is more towards purple.
Final thoughts :
Dunhuang Sun Grand Hotel is where I stayed during my Dunhuang visit in Gansu Silk Road China. The hotel is grand and impressive when you step in for the first glance. The room and breakfast are good. It is also conveniently located near the downtown where easy access of the supermarkets & restaurants and night markets.
Guazhou is translated as ‘Melon State’, about 1 hour and 20 mins from Dunhuang. While in Guazhou, one thing not to be missed is melon tasting as this place is named after their sweet melon.
You may like :
- Mogao Caves Dunhuang
- Yueyaquan Crescent Moon Lake
- Dunhuang Food Review
- Dunhuang Silk Road Show – 丝路花雨