Crescent Moon Spring

Just as water and fire are incompatible, neither can a desert and a spring coexist. But, this is not the case for Crescent Moon Spring which is surrounded by the Singing Sands Dune. The golden sand hill and the blue lake cast a beautiful contrast in harmonious existence.

5 km south of Dunhuang in Gansu, the Crescent Moon Spring is like an oasis surrounded by imposing dunes. Overlooking from the top, you will see its jadeite-green water flowing peacefully. The Crescent Moon Spring is 100m long from south to north and 25m wide from east to west with the deepest water level of 5m. Its proven presence has been reported for several thousand years.

Research shows that the mysterious Crescent Moon Spring landform was the result of natural wind-created depression. As the cross-ventilation theory states, sands falling from the surrounding mountains would be blown to the other side of the nearby Singing Sands Dune. Thus, the sands do not smother the lake. This natural phenomenon keeps the sand dunes and springs in harmonious and almost paradoxical existence.

Right next to it, the Singing Sands Dune which dominates the Crescent Moon Spring by more than 250 meters, offers a magnificent view of the lake, the desert stretching to the horizon as well as small islands of greenery made up of poplars in sunken. These golden dunes are famous for the singular whistle they emit when the wind beats down on them. We can hear their song as Marco Polo had described it: “the rumbling sands”.

This small oasis is always welcome during a journey on the Silk Road and offers the magical experience of the desert. You can choose to walk in the desert but many other activities are possible. There is, of course, the traditional camel ride and you have the opportunity to go quad biking, paragliding, sledding, and art shooting! What a great way to fill your afternoon!

1. Visit the attraction in the morning or late afternoon since it is hot at noon.

2. Prevent sunburn by applying sunscreen cream, wearing a hat, and/or covering yourself with a scarf.

3. Keep your camera encased when not using it to keep the lens away from the sand.

Useful Information

Chinese Name: 月牙泉
Location: Located 5km south of Dunhuang City
Opening hours: 07h00 – 19h00
Ticket: 120 RMB/pers. (high season) or 80 RMB/per. (low season)
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

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