While P and M were probably soundly asleep on their flight back C and me took a flight to Hohhot. We had a couple of hours wait in Beijing, so after exploring the airport we had some tea in the tea house:
But finally we arrived at Hohhot, were picked up by the Shangri-la staff and transported to our hotel where we had booked the 3-days and 4-nights Grassland package.
A driver picked us up early and brought us to the 'Singing Sand Ravins' (Xiangshawan sand dunes, 响沙湾沙漠) which is a magnificent landscape with sand dunes as far as your eyes can see. In case you are interested where it actually is, have a look at the google map below:
|(c) google maps|
This is a satellite view of the area. As you can see the Chinese used the spectacular landscape and attached a tourist entertainment park to it.
|(c) google maps|
On our way I noticed how differently Mongolians transported their horses. Ours are treated as they would get a complete nervous break down when on the road, whereas these horses actually looked quite content.
We are closing in, please note that this is not a triple-A tourist attraction and not a quadruple one, but a quintuple; yes, a not less than 5-tuple A-star tourist attraction:
And here we are, a whole day of fun in the desert:
A cable car brings you up to the 30m high top of the sand dunes:
Alternatively you can try to climb the dune, as you can see this alternative has its drawbacks:
Very modern facilities:
I really loved C's 'sand socks'! But when the hot sand burnt my bare feet in my sandals, I wished I had taken a pair, too:
We were confronted with curious instructions (I'm still wondering what they meant us to do or maybe it was giving directions to the joy sand, or...or...)
Leftovers from a Chinese picnic:
We had a camel ride (did I mention that I love camels!):
I didn't love the nose pins, though :( they didn't need those in Dubai.
Look at those soft hair! I want to cuddle my very own camel!
We admired sand art in the sand sculpture garden,
inclusive sand art long gone,
saw the first yurts from a ride on the desert train,
and slided down the dune.
Time went by really quickly and we had to rejoin our driver who was waiting with a nice vegan lunch packet for us.