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Echoing Sand Mountain

 Dunhuang Attractions

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Introduction to Echoing Sand Mountain (鸣沙山)

Dunhuang attracts a number of tourists for its magnificent natural scenery around and primarily for the singing sand mountains also called the Mingsha Shan. Surrounded by rolling ridges and precipitous cliffs, the Echoing-Sand Mountain reaches a relative elevation of 250 meters (820 feet).You should not miss it in your Dunhuang tour.

These mountains are pale golden in color; their height is about a dozen meters and stretches across an area of more or less 40 kilometers. The dunes are huge and some measures about hundred meters while most of them are rather stable in shape though the dunes shift recurrently. 

The name is from that every time when the wind sweeps across the sands, a thunder-like sound can be heard from the mountain, and the sound like musical instruments. 

When breezes, the sand produces gentle, dulcet sounds akin to music. Some say that the sand is singing, while to others it is like an echo and this is how the mountain gets its name. At first, the sand under your feet just whispers; but the further you slide, the louder the sound until it reaches a crescendo like thunder or a drum beat.

The mystery of how these Mingsha sand dunes were created is still unsolved. No one can still give a justified reason of the definite phenomenon of these singing sand dunes. Some says that perhaps there are antique palaces under the dunes, whereas some believe that sand has a good amount of quartz which makes this sound. But Chinese scientists say that the main reason behind the echo effect of the sand is the resonance phenomenon.

Though it is sweaty work, the dramatic view from the top makes the effort worthwhile.The climb to the top of the dune is the most marvelous experience. It is a popular activity to ride sleds down the sand slopes, much like snow-sledding in winter. The tremendous sound is produced when sliding down along the sands. It is really a wonderfully experience!  

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


Dunhuang, Gansu Province

Shanhaiguan Great Wall 

Travel Information

Admission: 120 Yuan (Jul.1 - Oct. 31), 80 Yuan (Apr. 1 - Jun. 30), 60 Yuan (Nov. 1 - Mar. 31) 

Shanhaiguan Great Wall


1.Take the mini buses in Dunhuang and get off at Mingshashan or Yueyaquan.

2. Take a taxi from Dunhuang which will cost approximately 15 Yuan.

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Tips 

1. At Echoing Sand Mountain, visitors can ride across the sand dunes on camel or slide down the sand on a sleds.

2. There is a reception counter for visitors, equipped with sleds for sand sliding and wooden ladders for mountain climbing. 

3. Holding an umbrella while riding a camel is not permitted because the camel may become frightened. 

4. It is best to visit in the afternoon or at dusk during summer for the sunset view from the in mountain is spectacular. 

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

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