The Sanctuary of The Thousand Buddhas Dunhuang, a small oasis town
in Gansu, is the most important site on the Silk Road itinerary.
Its name, 'Blazing Beacon', is old, dating back to the Han dynasty
when it was sited at the end of the line of communication beacons
and fortifications of the Great Wall of China.
Dunhuang is mentioned by early visitors as being the first place
where the eastbound travelers comes across Chinese peculiarities
along with Chinese in any numbers. It is surrounded by pebbly and
sandy emptiness, and lapped by a sea of dunes.