dbimages/Alamy

Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Mogao Grottoes): China

2 of 12

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.

See More Adventures Anyone Can Do

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.

See More Adventures Anyone Can Do

dbimages/Alamy

World's Coolest Caves

Explore More