At the heyday of the Silk Road, the Yumen Pass is one of two gates that travelers exit to head west for trade or pilgrimage. What's left today is a fenced-off small fortress, which you can only observe from a distance. Like several other ancient relics of Dunhuang, what you're seeing is a symbolic site, a romantic spot that has inspired much beautiful Chinese poetry about separation and traveling away from the homeland.
Yumen means 'jade gate' or 'jade pass'. Legend has it that jade that originated from what is today Xinjiang and Tibet regions came into China through this gate.
The open space in this area is dry, often windy, and in the summer extremely scorched. Sunglasses are essential and you may consider bringing a light scarf to cover your face from the dust. During the summer, the locals come here to observe the sunrise and sunset.
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