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Badain Jaran Desert Lakes & Dunes Exploration Tour - 17 Days

Destination: Badain Jaran Desert
Duration: Seventeen Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:May to Ocotber
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One of the largest deserts in Asia dotted with over 100 lakes and gigantic sand dunes. Being in the desert is thrilling, once you walk past mystery lakes and oases in the middle of the desert, you will hardly be able to tell what is real and what your imagination is. Badan Jaran is like no other desert of Gobi. It stretches endlessly and is filled with mega star dunes and mysterious lakes. Birutu is the highest stationary sand dune in the world, the highest reaching 1,600 feet. Travers through the desert with all-terain jeep to explore awe-inspiring lakes amid the sand dunes, uncovers the wonders of the enchanting realm, we will stay overnight at shore of Sumi Jiring Lake, which in Mongolian means ¡°the lake with a temple¡±, a Tibetan Buddhist temple built in 1755, testament to the Mongolians¡¯ strong faith.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
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Day01 Arrival Yinchuan
Upon your arrival in Yinchuan, you will be greeted and received by your local guide and escorted to your hotel in town. The rest of day is at your own disposal.

Day02 Yinchuan - Alxa Zuoqi (B, L, D)
Be transferred to Alxa Zuoqi along the Tombs of Xixia Kingdom and the ruins of the ancient Great Wall.

Day03 Alxa Zuoqi - Erjinaqi (B, L, D)
Driven to Ejinaqi on the northern rim of the Badain Jaran Desert.

Day04 Khara Khoto (B, L, D)
Visit the ancient city Khara Khoto, and explore Five Pagoda Temple and poplar forest. The city of Khara Khoto was founded in AD1032 and became a thriving center of Tangut trade in the 11th century. There are remains of 30-foot (9.1 m)-high ramparts and 2-foot (0.61 m)-thick outer walls-as much as 45 yards (41 m) to a side. The walled fortress was taken by Genghis Khan in 1227. During Kublai Khan, the city was expanded, reaching a size three times bigger than during the Tangut Empire.

Day05 Badain Jaran Desert (B, L, D)
We will leave early in the morning to reach the entry point of the desert (600 KM). Later of the day we arrive in Alashan and visit the Museum of Alashan National Desert Park. Here you will meet with the trek crew and camel caravan etc. Get ready for the upcoming desert safari.

Day06 Trek Badain Jaran Desert (B, L, D)
Our first day trek at Badan Jaran. It is a 15 km beeline to Tonggutu where we can have our freshwater supply. We get used to the desert walking today. Camping for the night

Day07-09 Trek Badain Jaran Desert (B, L, D)
In the next three days, as now being used to it, we are going to trek 6-7 hours daily with our camel caravan through an ocean of sand dunes that rise up to 300m. The average elevation of our trail at that point will be 1,200 to 1,500m ASL and we will cover about 13-15 km beeline daily. Walking in sand or on firm ground alternate and cause a pleasant rhythm. We will camp for the nights in the dunes. Our route is well laid along springs in order to refill our water supply with fresh water regularly. The first day reach small Nuo To, 2nd day will get to Haterto and the third day takes you to Hiluok To. Camping for the night

Day10 Trek Badain Jaran Desert (B, L, D)
Today you are walking to Nuo To Lake. Nuo To is the largest lake in Badan Jaran Desert which nicknamed as "a small beauty in the desert". Upon arrival we will have a little hiking around the lakeshore, and enjoying the beauty of the lake in midst of a sea of sand. Camping for the night

Day11 Trek Badain Jaran Desert (B, L, D)
It is a leisure trek today. Our caravan will travel from the lake for about 4-5 hours to Badan Jaran. Badan Jaran is a Buddhist temple at the shores of two lakes that was established in 1775AD. It was a busy place in former time but is a quiet one nowadays. We are going to visit the monastery and explore the lakes and the fascinating landscape surrounding them. Camping for the night

Day12 Trek ends, driven to Zhangye (B, L, D)
This morning we are going to trek from Badan Jaran to the Lake of the Holy Spring Yinderitu in about 3-4 hours. The spring feeds a lake in midst of the desert and this phenomenon contradicts to the Mongolian name of this region Gobi, land without water. Then we will climb the Everest of the Dunes - Bilutu. We drive by jeep to Zhangye where our journey around the desert comes to an end.

Day13 Zhangye - Jiayuguan (B, L, D)
In the morning you will visit the Giant Buddha Temple. Built in 1098, the temple is said to be where Kublai Khan was born, collecting the largest indoor clay reclined Buddha in Asia, the rare hand-written classics of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and thousands of cultural relics. Then you will continuously going westward, you could arrive in Jiangyuguan City and visit the famous Jiayuanguan Pass. Reputed as 'the Greatest Pass under Heaven', Jaiyuguan Pass is one of the most important and majestic military fortresses along China Great Wall. Your next stop is the Overhanging Great Wall was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Work began on it in 1539, and was completed in the following year. It was built using layer upon layer of stone and yellow earth. In subsequent years, the wall has dwindled from its original length of 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) to its current 750 meters (2, 460 feet).The Overhanging Wall gets its name because there is a 231 meter long section, with an obliquity of 45 degrees, built onto a 150m high ridge. From a distance, it is said to resemble a dragon about to extend its body towards the ground.

Day14 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang (B, L, D)
Today you will travel to Dunhuang. On the way you will visit Yulin Grottoes. These caves, with their murals and sculptures, are in a valley among Qilin Mountain, about 180kms from the Mogao Caves. The name is derived from the elms in the valley, and as you travel along the valley road you can easily imagine how it must have been to be a poet or brave solder in the distant past. Check in your hotel upon arrival Dunhuang.

Day15 Dunhuang (B, L, D)
A full day guided tour in Dunhuang to visit Mogao Caves, also known as the "Dunhuang Grottoes" or the "Thousand Buddha Grottoes", is located on the western cliffs of the Echoing Sands Mountains. It is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties. Their construction started in 366 AD. The existing 492 grottoes contain 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2415 painted sculptures, which spanned 10 consecutive dynasties in more than 1,000 years. Then you will visit Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan) is in the Echoing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan), 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang. It is an oasis in the desert. The spring's name derives from the crescent-shaped lake formed by the spring water between two huge sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn't dry up as one might expect. Afterwards you will enjoy an experience of riding the camel. Riding a camel on the desert of the Echoing Sand Mountains is a great experience. You can enjoy the beautiful wavy shapes of the smooth yellow dunes against the deep blue sky, and imagine you are traveling the ancient Silk Road. Step off the camel and listen for the singing of the sand.

Day16 Dunhuang / Beijing (B)
We will fly from Dunhuang back to Beijing, return to our hotel in the city center and then enjoy free leisure time the rest of day.

Day17 Depart Beijing (B)
Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Journey ends.

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