Crescent Lake Yueyaquan. China
Nature never ceases to amaze us with its unique places. Today we will get acquainted with a magical Lake Yueyaquan. It is located in the very heart of The Gobi Desert, 5 kilometers to south-west of the city of Dunhuang, in Gansu Province, the north-western part of China. This natural attraction, like a pearl, has cozily nestled among huge sand hills, which protect it from frequent storms. Take a look at its shape – a crescent moon surrounded by an oasis of pagodas with traditional décor and gardens. Length of the lake amounts 150 meters.
Although the lake is under the shelter of such natural “security” as sand dunes, all the same, this natural landmark located in one of the driest places on the planet is in danger of extinction. In the 1960s, the depth of the Lake Yueyaquan ranged from four to five meters, reaching the deepest point to seven meters; and in the early 1990s – already 90 centimeters! Shallowing was caused by the construction of a dam on the river Dang, due to which The Gobi desert ecosystem has significantly suffered, and directions of the groundwater flows, feeding the lake, have been violated.
The Government has taken measures to restore the reservoir beside the oasis to the original depth. In 2006, the Chinese authorities together with environmentalists have developed a recovery plan for such a unique lake. They managed to prevent it from the completely drying up! They have enacted the laws prohibiting drilling of boreholes and location of agricultural lands. In addition, there is a ban on settlement of new residents in the area of the Crescent Lake and it is strictly controlled by law. These prohibitions were rather effective. The Lake Yueyaquan was included into the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the same time, tourists are not banned from attending this fabulous oasis. Most travelers visit the lake during warm months, from May to October. At this time, the air in the Gobi Вesert is heated to an average temperature of 35 ° C during the day. If you plan to take a trip on camels in the desert with an overnight stay, remember that nights in the Gobi are cold, and even in summer the temperature can drop to zero.