Located 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) south of Dunhuang city, Echoing-Sand Mountain (also called sand dunes of Mingsha) offers best picture-book desert scenery. The dune, surrounded by rolling ridges and precipitous cliffs, reaches a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet).
The climb to the top of the dunes is sweaty work, but the dramatic view back across the rolling desert sands towards the oasis makes the effort worthwhile. Visitors can ride bicycles, hire a taxi and camel rides usually can be arrange by local travel services. The descent is quite simple - slide down. "Rumbling sands" - a sound like thunder or a drum-roll as the wind sweeps across them. When you slide down along the sands, the thunder-like sound is really fantastic! It has legend that in ancient time a Chinese general had his army camped in the dunes beside the Crescent Lake. Noise from the encampment attracted the enemy, who attacked in the dead of night. The Han army beat their war drums to call the troops to arms. Suddenly, in the middle of the battle, a fierce wind blew up, filling the sky with sand and burying both armies. This is why, to this day, the wind blows across the sandís surface to the roll of war drums.