Mingsha Shan and Crescent Moon Spring



8am-5pm daily

How to get there:

Bus no. 3 from Dunhuang departs regularly to the sight.

Mingsha Hill (Míngshā Shān 鸣沙山) is known as one of the "Eight Great Landscapes" of Dunhuang. This 40 km (25 mi) long mountain is made up of huge mounds of sand, with the highest point reaching 250 m (820 ft). Also known as the Echoing-Sand Mountain, or Singing Sand Dunes, an old tale describes this site as a once beautiful oasis in ancient times. A war between two armies supposedly ended here, with the troops being buried by strong sand winds, their cries still echoing from the mountain. Though unlikely to be the cries of those poor lost souls, the dunes do in fact make a noise as the wind whips the sand from their peaks, a natural sound known as the "singing sand" phenomenon. Singing and stories aside, these sand dunes really are a spectacular sight, especially if you can catch them on the perfect day.

Crescent Moon Spring (Yuèyá Quán, 月牙泉) is a natural lake in the form of its namesake, a half moon. The lake has miraculously never dried up, thanks to its landform and the continuous source of water underneath it. The lake is home to many fish and medical plants, often said to be the ingredients one needs to live forever!

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