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Mingsha Mountain & Crescent Lake


Renowned for its coexistence of mountain and spring, sand and water, Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake was listed as National Key Tourist Attractions of China in 1994. Situated at 5km south of Dunhuang in Gansu Province, the scenic spot, along with Mogao Grottoes, is one of the most attractive tourist spots along the legendary Silk Road.

Mingsha Mountain Crescent Lake
Sunset on Mingsha Mountain Crescent Lake

As a sand-crusted hill of dozens of meters high with an area of about 40km east to west and 20km south to north, Mingsha Mountain, whose name means Echoing-sand Mountain, gets its name due to its natural phenomenon that sand roars like thunder which can be heard in the city in fine days. When tourists climb upon the sand-making Mingsha Mountain and slide downward from the top, the sand can collapse with them and give out a pearl of loud sound. There is still no definite answer about how Mingsha Mountain is formed and what has brought about the singing sand.

Surrounded by the Mingsha Mountain, Crescent Lake, also called Sand Well or Medicine Spring, is named after its crescent-like shape. With the reputation of the First Desert Spring under Heaven, Crescent Lake boasts its survival in the extensive dry desert after over thousands of years. Standing aside the dream-like spring, you can enjoy a wide prospect with sand ancient Chinese architectures, waving sand dunes and snaky footprints of camels and nomadic people. The crystal lake can reflects your shadow clearly as a mirror. The water of Crescent Lake tastes fresh and sweet.

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