Ming Sha Shan (鳴沙山)
Also known as “Echoing Sand Mountain”, due to the whistling sounds produced by static and friction when the wind blows, or when one is sliding down the sand dunes. Located in the far west of China in Dunhuang, it was an important oasis town along the Silk Route in the ancient days. Ablajan, our friendly Uygur guide, was incensed that we had to pay to gain access to a natural environment.
Chinese Tourists and a Barren Desert Scape
Some of the many Chinese tourists in the distance, clad in bright orange sand boots and shaded with umbrellas, slowly making their way across the barren desert scape.
A Little Boy with Giant Sand Dunes
A young Chinese boy gazes back at me, with giant sand dunes undulating behind him, all bright hot with no shade in sight.
Some of the Many Chinese Tourists
Some of the many Chinese tourists, clad in bright orange sand boots, shaded with umbrellas and snapping photos every few steps into the soft sand.
Camels for Tourism
The camels were more for show and tourism purposes. Still it was nice to see them around.
Tall Sand Dunes with Ladder Access Up
The dunes can reach up to a height of 250 metres, and wooden ladder rungs have been embedded into the sand for an easier time hiking up.
What’s Left of the Crescent Lake
Named Yue Ya Quan (月牙泉) during the Qing Dynasty, this lake was a miraculous green haven nestled amongst the towering sand dunes of the desert. It reached up to a maximum depth of 7.5 metres in the 1960s and even had fish in it, but has dramatically declined in both depth and area size over the years. By the 1990s, it had reduced to only 1.3 metres. Now, the central and local government are filling the lake up to restore it to its original depth.
Yes. The only natural green spot in a bland sandscape here indeed.
A Dried Out Oasis
Traditional Han Architecture
A pagoda built in more recent times to complement the landscape.
My Selfie Shot
Love the open blue sky and giant sand dunes that remind me of how small I am in comparison, and how much there is left to explore.