Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain

Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain

Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM

Top ways to experience Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles442 reviews
Excellent
235
Very good
152
Average
36
Poor
12
Terrible
8

kikiadvisor69
Wuhan, China42 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
The dunes fields is huge and beautiful. But only one entry access to this beautiful natural area therefore it is like an amusement park.
It is beautiful but experience could be much better if not only concentrates in one area.
There is only one spot to go and only one dune to climb.
Even if it is hot , go around 3:00 pm or really early in the morning. After 5 pm it is very crowded.!! Very crowded.
To enjoy better views , go really to the top ( you can walk on the top of the first dune). Also some buggy will bring you further away in the Dunes.
Written August 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian Anderson
Shanghai, China158 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Unashamedly touristy but definitely worth a visit, and close to Dunhuang city, for the beautiful sand dunes and crescent moon lake which somehow never gets covered by sand. Activities include camel riding, hot air balloon, four wheel drive buggies. Snacks available but take water as sun can be blistering and little shade.
Written May 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joe
Bucharest, Romania4,910 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Friends
The desert can be harsh, difficult and dangerous. But also incredibly beautiful and exciting.

In Gansu province there is a huge desert which is full of life. Not green life but human life. It's become an attraction for fun. Formed around a Cresent Lake, it's become a form of Oasis

You can ride ATV quad vehicles across the sand, admire the sweeping awesome beauty of the sand and skyline. You can ride camels, and even check out the camel crossing which is a surreal sight.

There are also sky activities such as helicopter and gliding. There is more to the desert than just sand
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,599 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
It was a desert experience, to ride a camel again, but this time one with a double hump. Our group had fun romping around in the sand, walking up the ladder on the sand, and lying in the sand and making butterfly designs. Lots of good photo ops.
Written October 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SOH KIEN PENG
Singapore, Singapore9,240 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Solo
I came to Dunhuang by train from Lanzhou. I departed Lanzhou at 10 pm and arrived at Dunhuang at about 6.30 am the next day. The train fare cost me about RMB142 for a hard seater ticket. On the first day, I visited Mogao Caves, stayed at a hostel at the downtown of Dunhuang and the next day, took a public bus from the downtown near a kindergarten and headed my way to Mingsha Shan. The public bus only cost RMB2 and it terminates near the entrance of the attraction. It is easy to find your way to the attraction.

I purchased the admission ticket at the counter and cost me only RMB62 (Nov is a low season period and thus cheaper). If you come during the high season, it would cost RMB120. At the building where the admission counter is located, you can leave your luggage bag with the counter staff for free and collected them after your visit. Pure drinking water is also provided from dispenser at the building. The admission ticket allows you free access to the attraction for a total of 3 days but you have to proceed to a camera stand to have your facial features captured for identification should you come in on a subsequent visit during the 3 days. In fact, for me, I came back on a second visit in the evening and the camera was able to identify me and allowed me free access.

The Mingsha Shan is undeniably one of the most impressive attractions in the north west of China. I came at a time in Nov when the weather is turning cold and windy and frankly speaking, I found myself unable to adapt suitably well to this dry and cold climate with temperatures fluctuating between 15 degree in the day and -2 degree at night. I had spent almost half of my life span in tropical climate and found the climate here challenging.

I was not equipped with any lip balm and blisters appeared on my lips. My epidemic lay of my skin on my thigh turned dry, reddish and itchy. I had to wear at least 3 layers of clothing when I slept at night even though the hot air-conditioner was switched on. I found myself feeling lethargic due to lack of sufficient rest and sleep at night.

But this Mingsha Shan made me forgot about my pain and discomfort when I became engrossed in the vast beauty of the attraction. The attraction was so unique and totally different form of experience from any other attractions I had been in China. It is desert type of terrain and this was my first encounter in such a terrain. I touched the sand and wondered if there was any difference between those in my country and in the desert.

I just could not imagine I am right in the middle of the Gobi Desert, in an oasis town travelled during those imperial days by the ancient Silk Road explorers during the Han, Tang and even the Yuan Dynasties. The camels riding on the dunes blended and contrasted sharply and beautifully with the vast expanse of the desert in the background just like ships and boats contrasted prominently in the vast expanse of the blue oceans. The soothing piped music and song resonated in the valleys and undulating sand dunes. I found great pleasure and relief in enjoying the music and songs throughout the exploration.

The oasis Crescent Moon Pool further enhanced the aesthetic appreciation of the whole area. It was awesome taking photographs after photographs of the oasis. I also found fun scaling up the sand dunes and enjoyed the climb.

I spent more than half a day wandering around the sand dunes. I felt lost in a wonderland while the wind caressed my face. I did not take the camel ride which cost RMB100. I supposed it is a great experience doing so if you like the ride. You also can take a ride in the carriage provided by the management. It cost RMB10 for a one way ride.

I booked a hostel in the farm village just beside the entrance of the attraction for one night stay. It cost me RMB30. The admission hours to the attraction is from 7 am to 6.30 pm. In fact, if I would stay longer, I would have easily entered the attraction on the second day to see the sunrise since I am staying so near to the attraction. I made a mistake booking a train back to Xian the next day at 9.15 am. I would suggest you spent at least 2 days at this attraction to see both the early sunrise and late sunset.

It was a memorable trip in a lifetime and the attraction is unusual and unique with a serene and picturesque setting.
Written November 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel W
15 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016
Wonderful park with amazing hiking, just please don't support the camel-ride business. I've ridden camels in other places where the camels appeared healthy and well taken care of. I was excited to take a camel ride around the dunes of Mingsha Shan. Upon seeing the camel's terrible mange I was a bit turned off, but thought that perhaps by purchasing a ticket they could afford to take better care of the camels. Then I saw one of the handlers repeatedly whipping a camel in the face. The camel was screaming, I was sobbing begging them to stop. None of the handlers seemed to think anything was wrong with horrifically abusing the camels they depend upon for their livelihood. I really hope external pressure can make a difference for these camels because their current existence is pretty miserable. Certainly not something I want to support on my vacation.
Written May 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tumbuna
Sydney, Australia337 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This has to be the biggest rip-off in China. It is overrun with sandboarders, gliders, camel riders and RVs with no real redeeming features. If you take the path to the left or 1KM you can come out into the sand dunes and climb them without tourists and get the views of the dunes running away into the distance for free.
Written June 10, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EricLo
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Friends
Fulfilled my wish list perfectly at a modest price!
1) To see the desert
2) Ride a camel

Plus of course see the Minsha crescent lake

Setting is well organised, a bit commercialised but acceptable.
It's sure a unique experience !
The desert is grand and the Lake is beautiful with the desert setting. In fact the lake and sand dune is formed in a very unique geographical way where underlying the sand is actually a rock hill.

Walk on the sand is interesting , sand slide is a bit unexciting even we were on the fast one. But overall, recommended if you don't have time to venture deep into the desert but want to get a glimpse of the mysterious desert!
Written April 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jameshuang
Taipei, Taiwan2,004 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
Mingsha Mountain (鳴沙山, Mingsha San, meaning "Singing-Sand Mountain”) and Crescent Spring are actually in the same location, and you only need one ticket for both attractions. It is located about 6 km (3.73 mi) south of Dunhuang city, Gansu. The name Mingsha San comes from the sound you hear when wind blows. Although we call it a mountain, it is actually miles of huge dunes. Mingsha Mountain starts at the cliff top of Mogao Caves in the east and ends at the Danghe Reservoir in the west. The attraction of Mingsha San / Crescent Spring is near the north side of the Mingsha Mountain. It is about 40 km (24.9 mi) from east to west and 20 km (12.43 mi) from south to north.

We went there in the morning and decided to take the camel ride first to avoid the hot sun later around noon. We have never ridden a camel before and heard many horror stories about it. We purchased the tickets at the booth near the camel station. There must have hundreds of camels waiting, and we (my wife and I) tried to be on the same group of camels (5 to 6 camels). I insisted to the camel guide that we need to be together. They shouted at us and forced my wife to ride on one of the camel first. I argued with them, and finally they put us together. My wife is not comfortable with animals, but surprisingly she enjoyed the whole ride. Make sure you let the guide know if you are going with a group. A guide leads a group of camels, trampling along the dunes. The camel ride takes about an hour and a half with a stop at a place where you can experience sand sliding on top of the dune. You can hear the sound when you slide down the mountain. While climbing up to the top of the dune where you go the sand sliding, you can enjoy the incredible view of the surroundings. Besides the camel ride, you also have others choices of activities. You can go with your own legs but it is not so easy walking on sand especially under the sun. There are some more expensive options – the powered hang glider and helicopter that can provide you a bird-eye's view of the entire area. You should consider renting the bright orange shoe covers. It is not safe to walk on sand with your barefoot. The camel ride ended at the entrance to the Crescent Spring. We continued our adventure on the site after the camel ride. I would suggest visiting this site in the morning (around 8 am) or in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset with its fantastic color of dunes.

Overall, the visit to the Mingsha Mountain/Crescent Spring was great. This was the first time we were so close to dunes and camels. You need to plan at least 3~4 hours in order to see all the wonders of this historical site. It was a pity that the museum was closed for renovations during our visit in August 2014. The admission of the site is RMB 120 (US$20). The shoe covers and camel ride is optional with extra charges. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a camera for this unforgettable trip.
Written October 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BlackBobby
Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia29 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Couples
Our visit to this attraction was with a guide as part of a 6 day Silk Road pre booked tour. My husband and I were there during the national Golden Week holiday period so it was very busy - hundreds of camels and tourists! As a couple we wanted to do the camel ride together across the designated part of the dunes. Most camels are in trains of 5 led by one of the local handlers. The guide obtained our tickets and despite requesting we ride together the tickets given did not have consecutive numbering which apparently would have ensured we ride together. After presenting the tickets I was led away quite aggressively by one of the women camel handlers. When it was clear we were not going to ride together, I tried to come back to the camel train my husband was part of, but the female handler forcibly led me back to her camel train. So we were not able to do the ride together. I was distressed at the way the ride was managed. I also saw some handlers requesting RMB20 when asked by customers to take photographs of them on their camels with the visitors own cameras. Most people declined this offer. Based on our experience the camel handlers are not 'customer focused'. Overall I suggest others be wary in taking on this experience and insist that consecutive numbers are provided on tickets for anyone in groups of two or more.
Written October 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mingsha Shan - Echoing-Sand Mountain - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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