and very toruristy. However, it's setting in the midst of huge sand dunes is beautiful.We walked over to the Crescent Lake after riding camels and sliding down the dunes. We looked at the shores of the lake, at where the lake is now, and said, "Ok, this is a 'one and done.' Let's walk back to the parking lot."
Despite the herds of tourists, this very scenic spot is well worth seeing. It is very atmospheric and deserves a visit at different times of day, including the end of the afternoon when the sun goes down. Don't miss the view from the sand dunes, it's worth the climb!
the sanddunes are really amazing. if you have the possibilty to visit it, do it outside the main season. otherwise there can be 8000 tourists per day.
We toured China and Crescent Lake was one of the stops. This was actually one of my favourite places in our tour. The whole place was being 'upgraded' when we were there with new decking being laid out and generally an improvement to the previous facilities. The desert was pretty spectacular, I didn't realise sand dunes could get so high. The lake itself is an oasis in the middle of the desert in the shape of a crescent, hence the name. We walked up the sand dunes, to the buildings around the lake and even rode camels. In all it's just a few hours of doing but it was really beautiful.
The potos on travel books make the Cresent Lake look spectakular, which I expect it was once. But when we visited it was too crouded and not a lot of water in the lake. Disapointing, but if you are in the area worth a short visit
The place is basically a theme park in the Gobi, so if you haven't been to the Gobi and want to see it from China's territories, then by all means, this is worthwhile. I didn't visit the crescent lake part of the park, as I was with a class field trip and was limited on time. Instead, I opted for the hang gliding tour over the park and then hiked up the backside of a dune where there were hardly any other tourists (most people opt for the camel rides around the other side of the park). Tips: Don't wear flip flops because that sand is for real on fire. Pack lots of cold water for your trek up the dunes because the steep inclined, unpaved, uncrowded backside hikes are much longer and more difficult than they appear. Wear a face mask from the second you step inside the park until the door closes on the taxi/bus, because the wind picks up out of the blue and you will be coughing up sand for days. Do the extended hang glider tour for a private arial view of the Gobi, the natural spring, and the manmade lake. Then do the ATV up to the top of the dunes where you can sled down. Then head to the backside to climb a dune away from other visitors. End your theme park adventure with a cold beer spring-side.
The lake is limpid and not especially beautiful, in my opinion, but going into the dunes and exploring the pagoda was fun. You can take a golf cart (pay each way) or walk. If you don't want to hike in the sand, there is a road way just a bit beyond where the golf cart drops you off which you can use to walk to the lake and pagoda area. We enjoyed an afternoon in the dunes, seeing the pagoda and camels and watching people climbing and playing in the dunes.
We really enjoyed the setting of the Crescent Lake and the adjoining pagoda. Unfortunately, our guide said that the lake was at least 4 times bigger only 20 year ago and that it may be totally gone in the next few year. The camel rides were a really fun experience and not nearly as dirty and dusty as ones we had gone on in the Sinai peninsula (no need to wear hair and mouth covering, but do use sunscreen).