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Yumen Pass   

yumen passYumen Pass, situated in the Gobi Desert eighty kilometers northwest of Dunhuang County town in Gansu Province, is a strategic fort on the ancient Silk Road and was the one road connecting Central Asia and China. Yumen menas Jade Gate in Chinese, it earned this name because the jade of the Hetian Nephrite in Xinjiang region was transported to Central China through this frontier pass during the ancient time. Yumen Pass together with Yang Pass, is the two crucial gateways protected Dunhuang against invasion from the west about two thousand years ago. Since the spread of the classic line, "Beyond Yumen Pass the breath of spring has never crossed" wrote by poet Wang Zhihuan of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) , Yumen Pass has become world-renowned.

Two thousand years has passed, the ringing sound of busy camel trains had disappeared and the bustle of sellers in the markets is completely gone. With the decline of the Silk Road, Yumen Pass has lost its historic function. Now it is only a rectangular castle standing in the Gobi desert, bearing few traces of human activity for its remoteness. Because of severe erosion, some parts of the walls have collapsed, forming huge holes. However, the vast golden dunes of the Singing Sand (Mingsha) Mountains to the south of Yumen Pass are the highlights of the desolate desert, with the beautiful Crescent Spring known as the eye of the desert.

With 4 hours` drive from Dunhuang, Yumen Pass is a worth visiting place only to those who understand the historic significance of it, visiting and pondering on the past.


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Yumen Pass Photos