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Romancing the Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes at Dunhuang

The weather was chilly, just right for a stroll along the Crescent Moon Lake (Yueya Quan) in Dunhuang. The sun was bright and low on the horizon. The Chinese ‘pampas’ grass was being blown by the ever hard-working wind that never seemed to cease. The shifting sand and tiny white pollens from the swaying grass were in a state of suspension, floating in mid air as if they were dancing with grace and purpose for all the spectators to see. The world seemed so peaceful, so still yet so lively, so lively yet so serene. My mind was thousands miles away in a far away land, in a far away place and in a far away dream. Am I dreaming? Am I asleep? I hoped not. I wished for the dream to go on forever. I wanted the dream to last a lifetime.

 

 

The moon represents my heart….. and I left my heart at Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes @ Dunhuang.

Dunhuang is a small oasis town, once prospered as the last stop on the Silk Road before it splits into 2 routes (North and South) to basically  skirt the Taklamakan Desert.

About 6 km south of Dunhuang, lies the Crescent Moon Lake, a miraculous oasis at the base of the Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes.

The climb to the top of the sand dunes is not for the faint hearted but the view across the undulating desert sand and row of tourists straddling the camels are a spectacular sight to say the least.

Orangy layered-tint view of Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes.

Close up view of the Crescent Moon Lake. AKA Crescent Moon Spring.

Sunset at Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes.

The Crescent Moon Lake (Yueya Quan) is located adjacent to Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes. This small freshwater lake has been a vital source of water here for thousand of years.

An abstract view of the Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes. The natural lines and curves are just spectacular.

Tourists posing with the pampas grass.

Members of PhotoMalaysia’s Silk Road PhotoSafari Expedition hard at work, preparing for the impending sunset on top of Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes. Various camera systems were deployed to capture the beauty of the landscape. Camera systems seen here were: Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D3 + D700, Canon 5DMk2 + 1DsMk2 + 1DMk3 and Pentax K20D.

Undulating Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes is also known as Singing Sand Mountains.

Camels and guides taking a deserving break at Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes.

Tourist enjoying camel rides at Mingsha Shan I.

Tourist enjoying camel rides at Mingsha Shan II.

Tourist enjoying camel rides at Mingsha Shan III.

Tourist enjoying camel rides at Mingsha Shan IV.

Camel train snaking across the desert.

Moonlight camel rides……..

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