Among all the transportation of Dunhuang, the railway is the most popular way to Dunhuang. Also, air and city transportation is part of Dunhuang traffic network
Get to Dunhuang By Air
There are flights to and from most major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Urumqi in Dunhuang Airport. Routes are operated by Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and a few smaller carriers.
Dunhuang Airport is situated 13 kilometers away from the eastern part of the city. At present, regular airlines from Dunhuang to Lanzhou, Xi'an, Beijing, Jiayuguan, Urumqi are available, 38 flights each week. It will cost you about 30 yuan to 40 yuan to drive you from the airport to the downtown area by taxi.
East to West: Dunhuang is located at the end of a branch line, so no trains passing through. That said, it’s possible to take a train direct from Beijing. However, it would make more sense to stop somewhere along the way to break the journey up. Xi'an or Luoyang would make a good option.
West to East: If you are coming from Urumqi (or Kazakhstan) you can take a fast train to Jiayuguan. If you miss the morning fast trains, there are also 20 slow trains so you can opt for a bed on one of these if you want to save on overnight accommodation. Journey time varies between 11 and 14 hours depending on the train you get. And from Jiayuguan it is another 4.5 hours to Dunhuang.
Once you have traveled this far West in China, you will enjoy the beauty of this place but it has different case in Xinjiang region, in short words it's not easy in Xinjiang as easy in Dunhuang. There is not much to see in Urumqi but it’s a useful jumping-off for point for discovering Kazakhstan. Nearby Turpan has more to offer such as the Bezeklik Caves.
Railway Transportation is the most popular way of travel to Dunhuang and boasts two railway stations:
Liuyuan railway station - located 128 kilometers away from the northwestern part of Dunhuang city. Visitors can take trains from Dunhuang to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Urumqi, and other ten cities. Shuttle buses bound for the downtown area are within reach day and night. It will take you about two hours and cost you 15 yuan.
Dunhuang railway station - located ten kilometers away from the eastern part of the city, connecting Dunhuang city and Liugou stop, Guazhou County is 169 kilometers long. From Jiayuguan to Dunhuang, it is 400 kilometers plus and it takes you about seven hours to reach the destination.
Bus – There are daily buses from Dunhuang to Echoing Sand Moutain and Crescent Lake, while buses to the Mogao Grottoes depart from the downtown at 08:30, running every 30 minutes.
Taxi - Dunhuang is a relatively small city so taxi fare should be about RMB 5 to anywhere within the city limits
Bicycle – You can tour around the city on foot or by bicycle. Or you can take rickshaws, which is also convenient for visitors