Tengger Desert

Last updated by ivy_8712 at 2014/5/5

Tengger Desert is the 4th largest desert in China. It covers an area of about 36,700 square km and is mostly situated in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China, with an elevation of about 1,200 to 1,400 meters. Located at Alashan plain in Inner Mongolia, it joins the border of Ningxia at Zhongwei City. The narrowest part of the desert is only a little over 20 kilometers, making it possible for a hike across the desert.

Tengger Desert from the north is stopped at Shapoutou by the Yellow river, producing a huge sand dune, which can be used to develop this famous travel item–sand slide. The slope is 300m long and rises to about 100 meters high. It makes you feel dizzy when looking down from the top of the sand dune. For those who are really afraid of height, take the cable cart down, drag the board up halfway, and slide down. At least it's a good exercise.

Riding a camel across the desert would also be very interesting. At that enormous ocean of sand, you can appreciate about 180 large and small lakes, grassland, oasis, Mongolian minority villages, Hui minority villages, Han nationality villages etc. When the weather is nice, you can get to appreciate the gorgeous desert sunset along the way, together with many other unique desert landscapes.

Of course driving is a more time-efficient way to cross the desert. There is a well-built desert highway-Baolan railway, China's first railroad passing through deserts. Moreover it is a strategic east-west lifeline, cutting through the southern border of Tengger desert at Shapotou. The railway has been operating smoothly for about 50 years thanks to the Shapotou desert control program. The Shapotou Desert Research Station has developed an effective method to contain the dessert by planting straw grids on the sand dunes. That is really an amazing landscape that you can't enjoy from elsewhere.

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