Casual Discussion China's Most Popular Desert | Walking In The Singing Sand Dunes


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China's Most Popular Desert | Walking In The Singing Sand Dunes

Greatly different from other deserts, the Mingsha Mountain has sands which can sing, clean and sweet spring in the desert. Besides, it has been favored by travelers for more than two thousands year. The Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake Nature Park is a popular attraction in Dunhuang to explore stunning desert scenery and take part in exciting sand dunes activities.

The park consists of the Mingsha Mountain and the Crescent Lake surrounded by sand dunes of Mingsha Mountains. Dunhuang is also known as Shazhou (Town of Sand) in ancient time. This is how it gained the name. For people who want to take a short stay in desert, the Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake Nature Park is the best choice. It is close to the downtown of Dunhuang, without the harsh and extreme climate and convenient facilities are equipped.

The easy walking trails allow different ages of tourists to explore the desert. Besides, many interesting sand dunes activities are available if you want to try something exciting. Dunhuang Mingsha Mountain (Echo Sand Mountain) is a sand mountain range which stretches from the cliff where the Mogao Caves locates, to the Danghe Dam on the west. It is about 40km in length, 20km in width, 100m in average height. The highest altitude is 1650m.

The Mingsha Mountain is composed of tinny hyaline sands of five different colors – red, yellow, blue, white and black, and winds its way up and down showing different shapes. Some of the sand dunes stand like a golden pyramid, some lie as the fish scale, some wave like a snake.

The biggest feature of Mingsha Mountain is that the sand echoes here. When a strong wind blows, you can hear loud sound like roaring made by the moving sands. While when light wind blows, the sand echoes like some gentle sound of orchestral music.

This is how the mountain gained the name of Mingsha (Echo Sand M) So how can the sand dune echo? Actually sand echoing is a spectacular geographic phenomenon. In some desert or sand dunes, due to the special climate and geography, sand particles mainly the quartz vibrates, move up and down and rotate in the airflow created by wind. All these movements together create many cavities as diabolos. The wind blows through the cavities and rubs with sands, finally forms the echoing sound.

Camel riding is a very spectacular experience. Currently, only the Mingsha Mountain & Crescent Lake Scenic Area provides camel riding program. Riding on a tall, and marching forward the sand dunes. This is what the ancient travelers did on the Silk Road.

The camel riding site is located inside the scenic area, which means you have to purchase a ticket to get in the scenic area first if you want to ride camel. The price of Mingsha Mountain Camel Ride is about ¥100 / per person / per camel, excluding the entrance fee and other activities in Mingsha Mountain & Crescent Lake Scenic Area. Sunrise and sunset are fabulous here.

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