The Gobi Desert is the largest desert throughout Asia and extends the entire southern part of Mongolia far into China. The Gobi is a semi-desert, it exists only in part of sand dunes and predominantly of a rocky steppe landscape. Along with the mountains and lakes has thereby no less than five different ecosystems. Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo and the other merchants who followed the Silk Road through Central Asia to China, many of them travelled through the desert with their caravan.
A drive through the Gobi Desert is very different than you often imagine in a desert landscape. The area is dry but things grow here. Along the way you’ll pass ger tents of nomadic families who live in the desert. They are herding their herds of horses, goats, sheep and camels. The roads all lead across the steppe, sometimes you find a dirt road but usually you follow the tire tracks of previous traffic. A bumpy, uncomfortable but beautiful ride.
Khongor Sand Dunes
The Khongor Sand Dunes are one of the highlights found in each Gobi tour. These sand dunes reach 300 meters up, over a total area of 900 km2. The wavy sand plain is also called the ‘singing sands’ because of the sound the wind makes as it hurtles through the dunes.
You can climb the dunes in about half an hour time for a truly breath-taking view from the top of the dunes on one side and the beautiful steppes on the other side. The best time is just before sunset so you can see the sun sink into the sand.
Tip: climb the sand dunes barefoot and take extra protection (a plastic bag) for your camera to prevent breaking your camera.
Riding a Camel
Around the Khongor Sand Dunes is the location of various nomadic families who are herding camels. Some make their camels available for a ride along the sand dunes which usually last one hour. In the evening you drink the warm camel milk tea and eat sweets made of camel yogurt to complete the experience.