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Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake Dunhuang, Silk Road ToursCrescent Lake, called as Yueyaquan or 月牙泉 in Chinese, is a crescent-shaped lake in the oasis, 5 km southwest of the city Dunhuang of Gansu province, China. It was named Yueyaquan since Qing Dynasty.

The Crescent Lake's water is so pure and sweet that it looks like an emerald set in the sand. Many of the visitors who have made their way down the mountain like to drink from the lake. According to historical record, the lake has been in existence for hundreds of years without ever being buried by the sand; it is really a geological wonder.

There is also a story about the lake. In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24), a general called Li Guang, together with a group of soldiers, captured a powerful and swift horse from Dawan, a western state of China at that time. When passing the Echoing-Sand Mountain upon their return, the soldiers became too thirsty to continue their march. General Li drew his sword and thrust it into the side of the mountain causing water to spring forth and so formed the lake.

Crescent Lake Dunhuang, Silk Road Tours

Crescent Lake Dunhuang, Silk Road ToursCrescent Lake Dunhuang, Silk Road Tours

According to measurement made in 1960, the average depth of the lake was 4 to 5 meters, with maximum depth 7.5 meters. In the following 40 years, the depth of lake continually declined. In the early 1990s, the area of the lake had shrunken to only 1.37-acre (5,500 m2) with average depth of 0.9 meter (maximum 1.3 meter).

Today, the mountain is listed as a key national scenic spot. Although local government had plans to restore the depth through filling with water, the lack of budget has delayed their actions. The lake and the surrounding deserts are very popular with tourists. It is possible to climb it on foot or, if you prefer, on the back of a camel and 4x4 rides. It is also possible to take a sand bath treatment. Your visit is complete as you appreciate the splendid environment consisting of golden sand, a wondrous mountain, a tranquil lake and a beautiful sunset.

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