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Top 6 Deserts in China

China, a land of diverse landscapes, is not only home to majestic mountains and lush forests but also to some of the most remarkable deserts in the world. These sandy wonders showcase the raw beauty of nature and hold historical and ecological significance. In this article, we will take a more in-depth journey through the top 6 deserts in China, each offering a unique experience to travelers and desert enthusiasts alike.


1. Badain Jaran Desert in Inner Mongolia

Badain Jaran Desert
Colorful Lakes in Badain Jaran Desert

Welcome to the vast and mesmerizing Badain Jaran Desert, located in the northern part of China. This desert not only boasts its title as the third-largest desert globally but is also home to some of the tallest stationary dunes on the planet. As you stand at the foot of these majestic dunes, you’ll be amazed at their sheer size and the impressive display of nature’s craftsmanship.

The allure of the Badain Jaran Desert doesn’t end there. The Singing Sand Dunes within this desert produce a unique phenomenon. As the wind sweeps across the dunes, a peculiar humming sound resonates through the air, creating an enchanting melody. Imagine trekking across these dunes while being serenaded by nature itself – a surreal experience that will leave you in awe.

✔ Recommended Tour: 5 Days Badain Jaran Desert Tour


2. Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang

Xinjiang Taklimakan Desert
Taklimakan Desert

Prepare yourself for an adventure in the heart of the Taklimakan Desert, often referred to as the “Sea of Death.” Spanning an area of about 337,000 square kilometers, this desert presents a challenging yet awe-inspiring destination for adventurers and desert enthusiasts.

The Taklimakan Desert is known for its arid conditions, making it one of the most desolate places on Earth. However, its stark beauty and vastness draw travelers from around the globe to witness its raw majesty. As you explore its shifting sand dunes and barren landscapes, you’ll feel a deep sense of connection with nature and an appreciation for its untamed spirit.

✔ Recommended Tour: 10 Days Southern Xinjiang In-depth Tour


3. Shapotou Desert in Ningxia

Shapotou Camel Ride Ningxia
Experience camel riding in Shapotou

Nestled along the Yellow River, the Shapotou Desert offers a unique blend of sandy terrain and picturesque water landscapes. As you venture into this desert, you’ll be captivated by the stunning juxtaposition of sand dunes against the flowing river.

One of the main attractions here is the “Singing Sand Dunes,” which, like those in the Badain Jaran Desert, produce a melodious hum as the wind caresses the grains of sand. You can indulge in exciting activities like sand sliding or take a peaceful boat ride along the Yellow River to witness the enchanting beauty of the desert from a different perspective. Moreover, the sunset views over the dunes create a magical atmosphere that will stay with you forever.

✔ Recommended Tours: 3 Days Ningxia Desert Tour with Winery Experience

5 Days Ningxia Tour: Wine Tasting & Desert Camping


4. Singing Sand Dunes & Crescent Moon Spring in Gansu

Dunhuang Echoing Sand Mountain
Echoing Sand Mountain

In the heart of Gansu province lies a mesmerizing sight that captures the imagination of all who visit – the Singing Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring. These two wonders together create an ethereal landscape that will leave you breathless.

As you hike up the Singing Sand Dunes, the melodious sound of sand grains resonating fills the air, evoking a sense of wonder and tranquility. But the true gem awaits at the end of your climb – the Crescent Moon Spring, a glistening oasis nestled amidst the rolling dunes. The crystal-clear waters of the spring form a crescent shape, creating a striking contrast against the surrounding desert landscape.

✔ Recommended Tour: 2 Days Dunhuang Classic Tour


5. Gurbantunggut Desert in Xinjiang

Xinjiang Gurbantunggut Desert
Gurbantunggut Desert

Embark on an expedition to the remote and fascinating Gurbantunggut Desert, situated in the Xinjiang region. Covering over 48,000 square kilometers, this desert boasts a diverse topography that includes mega dunes, interdune salt marshes, and the remnants of an ancient dried-up riverbed.

The untouched charm of the Gurbantunggut Desert offers a unique experience for those seeking to disconnect from the modern world and immerse themselves in the raw beauty of nature. As you traverse its golden sands and encounter the rugged terrain, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience of life in the most unexpected places.


6. Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia

Inner Mongolia Singing Sand Bay Kubuqi
Singing Sand Bay Kubuqi Desert

Our journey concludes with the Kubuqi Desert, a testament to China’s commitment to sustainable development and ecological restoration. Situated in Inner Mongolia, this vast desert has undergone significant efforts to combat desertification, resulting in an inspiring transformation.

Kubuqi is not only one of China’s largest deserts, but it also houses the world’s first desert carbon sink. The establishment of green belts and vegetation has rejuvenated the once-barren landscape, creating a habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Exploring this desert offers a unique opportunity to witness the positive impact of human efforts in preserving our environment.

✔ Recommended Tour: 3 Days Inner Mongolia Grassland and Desert Tour



Exploring the deserts of China is an extraordinary opportunity to witness the power and beauty of nature. Each desert on this list possesses its own unique charm and features that captivate travelers from all walks of life. From the singing sands to the crescent-shaped oases, these deserts leave a lasting impression on all who venture into their mesmerizing realms. So, if you’re seeking an adventure like no other, pack your bags and embark on a journey to witness the top 6 deserts in China – a true testament to the wonders of our natural world.

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