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Dunhuang Attractions

The Eco Sand Mountain ( Mingsha Shan in Chinese means a mountain with echoes to the sound of sand ) is five kilometers (about three miles) away from the city of Dunhuang. Seen from afar, the mountain is just like a golden dragon winding its way over the horizon. As you approach you become aware that the sand has many colors ranging from red to yellow, green, black and white.

On days when a strong wind blows, the fast shifting sand roars; but when the wind is little more than a light breeze, the sand produces gentle, dulcet sounds akin to music. It is the same when you are sliding down the mountainside. At first, the sand under your feet just whispers; but the further you slide, the louder the sound until it reaches a crescendo like thunder or a drum beat. Some say that the sand is singing, while to others it is like an echo and this is how the mountain gets its name. You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds.
An old legend said that a general and his soldiers meet a fierce battle with their enemies here. As the two sides were deep in fighting each other and the battle was at its height, a large wave of quicksand suddenly came with a great gust of wind. All the warriors were buried in the sand and the sand mountain was formed. Thus, the sound you hear is said to be the roar of the soldier ghosts who have gone on the fight for such long beneath the sand. However, the real cause is the friction and static created as the wind shifts the sand or you slip down the mountainside.


Reviews from trip advisor:
Ride a camel or climb stunning the dunes for spectacular view!
- Did it all - gaiters, toboggan, camels. Touristy? Sure. Worthwhile? Absolutely. When are you ever going to get to ride a camel in the Gobi Desert again? The Dunes are colossal. Very accessible dunes to climb, camels to ride up the dunes or a peaceful tea house setting to relax.

- a way it is very touristy but it is still a great place to visit. It is very impressive as you approach it. You go from civilization to total desert. You

can climb the dunes and walk around but it is very big and tiring. We decided to go for the camel rides (100RMB per person). It was quite nice and resulted in great photos. Also much less tiring. You will note that there are kiosks that rent red covers for your shoes to prevent the sand from entering your shoes. You will still have sand in you shoes. Not really worth it and they look terrible on photos! Good fun.