An Oasis in the desert


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Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang
October 1st 2015
Published: March 3rd 2018
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Dunhuang city is not very much appealing if it was not for the stunning sights you can discover around it. I arrived there after a long trip by train from Langzhou.

One of those stunning and marvellous places is the so called Crescent Moon Lake.

The Crescent Moon Lake is a beautiful oasis in the desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes. I was awestruck by the size of those sund dunes that reached the oustanding height of 250 meters and to the bottom of those enormous dunes lied that tiny lake and a beautiful pagoda.

A pagoda in traditional Han Chinese architecture, but not very much authentic as it was surrounded by souvenir stalls and hordes of tourists besieging the place that took well off that magical ambiance that would otherwise encase the entire area.

I was wondering how the lake does not dry up ang get covered by the sand, which is brought by the strong blowing wind of the desert, and the reason was that the subterranean streams of Danghe River continuously replenish the lake to keep the water levelled.

I then abandoned the pagoda and began, slowly, my ascent to the top. I
saw, on my way climbing the dune, lines of tourists riding camels and shrinking until becoming minuscule black dots as I reached the summit, kids, with their families, playing joyfully and rolling on the sand dunes, wearing long fluorescent yellow and purple boots preventing the sand penetrating in their feet and the gorgeous shift of the dunes colour as the sun got close to the horizon and made the surrounding scenary appeared like an interplanetary voyage through desolate landscape.

The vistas were just superb and, in front of me, I could admire, from the top, that beautiful oasis with those tourists that resembled rows of thousands of ants making their way home.

I always think that the west part of China is probably the most interesting one: about history, diversity of ethnic minority groups, delicious food, silk clothes, hospitable people and beautiful scenaries. I liked to sit on the sand and thinking about how the great and ancient "Silk Road" once could be. Now, what we can see and experience of that glorious time is only a shodow of the Silk Road.


Additional photos below
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4th March 2018
Crescent Moon Lake

Nature vs Tourism
My first thought when I saw this photo was 'it's so sad that they've over-developed this stunning natural phenomenon' :( But I suppose we should be grateful there aren't a block of hotels surrounding it...yet! :)
5th March 2018
Crescent Moon Lake

Nature vs Tourism
Hello Ren, you said that "not yet" but soon the missionaries of materialism and economic well being will arrive there as well. Thanks for your great comment really appreciate!! Take care
6th March 2018

Crescent Moon Lake
Bob of Home & Away visited Crescent Moon Lake and described it as a puddle. Your pics Marcos make it look deceptively small from above yet possibly larger and quite deep. One of the wonders of Gansu...that it exists at all is remarkable...and that makes it great.
7th March 2018

Crescent Moon Lake
Hey Dave, yeah it is pretty small and from the top it looks even smaller but beautiful even though quite congested with tourists everywhere. Thanks for your comment and keep well bye..

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