Mengke Glacier

Mengke Glacier, Subei County: Hours, Address, Mengke Glacier Reviews: 4.5/5

Mengke Glacier
4.5
Geologic Formations • Valleys
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Monday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Friday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
What people are saying
Never thought there can be a glacier in the desert
Sep 2014
When I was doing research as to what to do in Dunhuang, I discovered this Mengke Glacier. I said to myself, how could there be a glacier so close to the desert. I was determined to go check it out. My purpose to Dunhuang was to visit cave 360 which my husband and I sponsored the conservation of the cave in 2009. I took 5 years time to complete because during winter time, no conservation work can be done. When I visited Dunhuang Academy, I asked Director Wang if it was true that there really existed a Mengke Glacier and he said yes. He said that he was there earlier this year. I told him that I really wanted to see it for myself but I had altitude sickness. He said, "not to worry because at the bottom of the mountain, the village had a herbal medicine which I could take that will help with my altitude sickness so one early morning, a group of us, 4 foreigners and 4 Dunhuang Academy staff accompanied us on our journey in two jeeps. Mengke Glacier is located on a part of the Qilian Mountain Range in Subei Mongolian autonomous region in Jiuquan City of Gansu Province. Because the drive to Mengke Glacier from Dunhuang is about 4 hours and there is practically no inhabitants up there, the Academy helped us packed a lunch and also provided us heavy army warm coats. We stopped by a little village along the way. There were some local folks, a hospital, a restaurant and a store. The Academy staff got me the local herbal medicine of high altitude sickness and I used an outhouse for a toilet break (a -1 rating toilet spot but when you got to go, you got to go). When we reached the border of the Subei Mongolian autonomous region, we were stopped because we were told that no one was allowed to enter the region and climb the mountain. It was for our own safety. Academy staff negotiated for almost an hour and finally the Academy staff said that they will hold them harmless if anything was to happen to us (and probably a few packages of cigarettes), we were allowed to enter. The scenery was just barren but we met up with sheep herds and yaks. After about an hour drive up toward the mountain range, there was no human and little wildlife. The roads that the SUV took were rough. They were dried river beds. During spring when snow melted, it must had been beautiful with water running the river and reflection from the mountain. There were some spots that were hard for the SUV to climb but we made it. We stopped in mid way and had lunch standing on the dry river bed with birds flying above. It was cold and we had to wear the heavy coat that were so kindly arrived by the Academy. After lunch we drove for about another hour before we reached the Mengke Glacier starting point. I of course had taken the high altitude sickness medicine but the other three foreigners were fine. They even climbed the glacier. As for me, I was excited of course but I was light headed and felt nauseous. I took a few photos and walked a little bit and had to get back into the vehicle and rest. I slept myself through the journey back. My friend told me that I lost all colors and was like a ghost. I woke up when we went back to the village at the bottom mountain. We had a real lunch there and was greeted by local mayor who celebrated our journey with three rounds of Mongolian toasting with local wine. For me who couldn't drink, we had to thank them by singing a song. The poured wine into the bowl and passed around. We ate local mutton with interesting spices, local vegetables and dishes. We drank and sang songs. Three rounds from the hosts and three rounds from us. We had a great time. I had to say, it was one of the best experience I had traveling in China, despite of the high altitude sickness. The glacier I saw was not spectacular like the ones in Alaska, but I was so happy to learn that a desert region can actually hold such a mysterious glacier. I could imagine that the glacier must be crystal clear in winter and the river must be pretty during spring. I was also thankful that we had a safe journey. Well worth it to see if you could arrange it.

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The area
Address
Snow Mountain, Qilianshan Mountainous Area, Subei County 736300 China

4.5
2 reviews
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Very good
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David M
Shanghai, China38 contributions
A LONG, but worthwhile experience.
Jun 2019 • Friends
It's a VERY long road trip from Dunhuang, (did there AND back in one day), and not the most exciting road trip I've evere made. Felt spent too much time in the car, so better to stay somewhere nearer if possible.
Be prepared for the high altitude, I wasn't, so felt quite dizzy when there.
Saying all this, I'm glad I went to see it as it's probably the first and last glacier that I'll ever get to see ;it's mother nature at one of her best.
Written August 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

alang-alang
San Jose, CA, USA189 contributions
Never thought there can be a glacier in the desert
Sep 2014 • Friends
When I was doing research as to what to do in Dunhuang, I discovered this Mengke Glacier. I said to myself, how could there be a glacier so close to the desert. I was determined to go check it out. My purpose to Dunhuang was to visit cave 360 which my husband and I sponsored the conservation of the cave in 2009. I took 5 years time to complete because during winter time, no conservation work can be done. When I visited Dunhuang Academy, I asked Director Wang if it was true that there really existed a Mengke Glacier and he said yes. He said that he was there earlier this year. I told him that I really wanted to see it for myself but I had altitude sickness. He said, "not to worry because at the bottom of the mountain, the village had a herbal medicine which I could take that will help with my altitude sickness so one early morning, a group of us, 4 foreigners and 4 Dunhuang Academy staff accompanied us on our journey in two jeeps. Mengke Glacier is located on a part of the Qilian Mountain Range in Subei Mongolian autonomous region in Jiuquan City of Gansu Province. Because the drive to Mengke Glacier from Dunhuang is about 4 hours and there is practically no inhabitants up there, the Academy helped us packed a lunch and also provided us heavy army warm coats. We stopped by a little village along the way. There were some local folks, a hospital, a restaurant and a store. The Academy staff got me the local herbal medicine of high altitude sickness and I used an outhouse for a toilet break (a -1 rating toilet spot but when you got to go, you got to go). When we reached the border of the Subei Mongolian autonomous region, we were stopped because we were told that no one was allowed to enter the region and climb the mountain. It was for our own safety. Academy staff negotiated for almost an hour and finally the Academy staff said that they will hold them harmless if anything was to happen to us (and probably a few packages of cigarettes), we were allowed to enter. The scenery was just barren but we met up with sheep herds and yaks. After about an hour drive up toward the mountain range, there was no human and little wildlife. The roads that the SUV took were rough. They were dried river beds. During spring when snow melted, it must had been beautiful with water running the river and reflection from the mountain. There were some spots that were hard for the SUV to climb but we made it. We stopped in mid way and had lunch standing on the dry river bed with birds flying above. It was cold and we had to wear the heavy coat that were so kindly arrived by the Academy. After lunch we drove for about another hour before we reached the Mengke Glacier starting point. I of course had taken the high altitude sickness medicine but the other three foreigners were fine. They even climbed the glacier. As for me, I was excited of course but I was light headed and felt nauseous. I took a few photos and walked a little bit and had to get back into the vehicle and rest. I slept myself through the journey back. My friend told me that I lost all colors and was like a ghost. I woke up when we went back to the village at the bottom mountain. We had a real lunch there and was greeted by local mayor who celebrated our journey with three rounds of Mongolian toasting with local wine. For me who couldn't drink, we had to thank them by singing a song. The poured wine into the bowl and passed around. We ate local mutton with interesting spices, local vegetables and dishes. We drank and sang songs. Three rounds from the hosts and three rounds from us. We had a great time. I had to say, it was one of the best experience I had traveling in China, despite of the high altitude sickness. The glacier I saw was not spectacular like the ones in Alaska, but I was so happy to learn that a desert region can actually hold such a mysterious glacier. I could imagine that the glacier must be crystal clear in winter and the river must be pretty during spring. I was also thankful that we had a safe journey. Well worth it to see if you could arrange it.
Written November 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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