About 6 km from the outskirts of the city of Dunhuang in Western China is the Crescent Lake, an oasis in the middle of the Gobi desert.
The Chinese call it Yueyaquan, which means beautiful crescent shaped lake. The lake can be called a natural wonder in the Gobi Desert. The side of the lake has a pagoda in traditional Han Chinese architecture. It features a street lined with souvenir stalls leading up from the entrance to the complex. Tourists get to the complex via camel rides, which are organized by the operators.
Researchers have concluded that the special crescent shaped landform was formed by the winds as a cross ventilated theory whereby the falling sands from the mountains would be sent back to the other side of the nearby Echoing Sand Mountains.
This may be the only place on earth where you can get rare glimpses of where an oasis meets a desert and also have some fun sand adventure such as riding camels, “dune surfing” and sand sliding. When you climb to the top of the dunes you will see a very dramatic view.
Crescent Lake has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been shrinking since 1970. The lake is now only a third of its original size. For the past thirty years, the lake has also dropped more than 255 feet. However, the Chinese government has taken steps to preserve and restore the depth of the lake to its original size.
So the next time you take a trip to that side of Asia, do visit this natural wonder of the earth.