World's Coolest Caves
Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Mogao Grottoes): China
The largest trove of Chinese Buddhist art isn’t in Beijing or Shanghai. It’s buried within 492 caves dug by wandering monks along a desert cliff face on an isolated stretch of the ancient Silk Road near Dunhuang. The monks decorated these cave temples with 2,000-plus multicolored sculptures and intricate paintings that could cover more than 11 acres.
Why It’s Cool: Paintings from the fourth to the 14th centuries give insights into evolving patterns of daily life more than 1,000 years ago—and beat your average museum visit any day.