The Tengger Desert Lakes trip is one of our most popular long distance trips, with two days and a night in the dunes of the desert.
The name of the Tengger Desert comes from the Mongolian word for "sky." Located in the south-eastern part of the Alashan League, with an area of about 30,000 square kilometers, this desert is the fourth largest of its kind in China.
We travelled deep into the desert, hiking a bit, riding in jeeps a bit, and we also did a little camel riding!
The road leads into the desert
We travelled across the sand dunes in jeeps, with the skilled drivers zooming up, over, and around the dunes in what felt like a rollercoaster-ride at times.
Bactrian camels are commonly found in this region and are still used by the locals for transportation. We've spotted wild camels in this area as well.
The wind shapes and sculpts the sand into large dunes with fine edges and ridge lines.
Happy to be in the desert.
Each vehicle in our convoy was equipped with a flag in order to make it more visible among the dunes as we sped up, over, and down them.
Every now and then an oasis would come into view. We camped near here after hiking over the dunes.
We climbed up on to the high point to get a good view – sand dunes as far as the eye could see.
Our hikers were well-prepared: hats and kerchiefs to cover the face, and gaiters to keep the sand out of the socks.
We climbed to the top of this tall sand dune.
Great views from the top.
Home for one night – our cozy campsite in the desert.
Sunrise the next morning.
The next morning, we had time to do some exploring after watching the sunrise and before breaking camp.
We spent several hours each day hiking over sand dunes.
During these desert hikes, we tended to stay on the ridge tops, as they afforded the best views.
The sand dunes in the background stretched off toward the far horizon.
Hiking uphill in the sand is hard work! A hiker takes a well deserved break on a dune with an oasis in the background.
A group shot with our drivers.
We finished our time in the desert with a camel ride.