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Badain Jaran: desert of the mysterious lakes

In Mongolian, Badain Jaran means the "desert of the mysterious lakes". Indeed, the conditions seemed very bad in this dry sand desert. And yet, water streams coming down from the Tibetan plateau flowing under the thick layer of sand have allowed the formation of lakes in the middle of gigantic sand dunes. There are a total of 100 of them, and some are made of fresh water. It is a real pleasure to swim in these lakes, alone in the middle of an endless ocean of sand dunes...

Located in the south of the Gobi desert in the province of Inner Mongolia, Badain Jaran is a hidden gem that we offer you to discover at your own pace. From 3 to 10 day journeys, with long or short stages, we shall be able to satisfy your wishes!


D1: departure from Lanzhou, heading to the entrance of the desert. First night in the middle of the sand dunes.

D2-D3-D4-D5: trekking in the middle of megadunes. We pass by the village and lake of NuoErTu, the largest of the desert.

D6: last walking day. We arrival at Badan Jilin and visit its buddhist temple. Transport onboard an SUV towards the exit of the desert and Alxa Youqi.

D7: transport back to Lanzhou.

city of departure:


city of arrival:




Extend your journey with LOST HORIZON

Combine this trip with the following route:

From Xiahe to Tongren

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