Posts Tagged ‘How to get to Badain Jaran Desert’

Badain Jaran Desert (Tips, Photos & Map)

Friday, October 8th, 2021
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Plan your Inner Mongolia tour? Inner Mongolia is large and extensive, covering an area of 1.183 million square kilometers , three times the size of Japan. So, basically it is difficult to travel the major sites on a single trip. If you are interested in history and unique landscape, a trip to Western Inner Mongolia is highly recommended.

Hohhot to Ejin Banner (Dalaihubuzhen) 2000km round trip

A visit to West Inner Mongolia, or specifically Alashan (Alxa) League, has long been one of my dreams. This beautiful dream has come true this October.

Check out my another article Top 10 Attractions in Alxa League, Inner Mongolia for more travel information on Alxa League.

We (together with other 6 travellers) made a round trip drive from Hohhot to Ejina Qi ( Ejin Banner), an over-2000 km crazy drive, passing by Yinshan Mountains(阴山山脉) and Kubuqi Desert 库布齐沙漠 , through Ulan Buh Desert 乌兰布和沙漠 and Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠).

The 2000km round trip from Hohhot to Ejin Banner and back to Hohhot (Google)

Our starting city is Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia. We first drive to the west along the four-lane Expressway No.06, a national freeway.

Drive along the four-lane Expressway No.06 starting from Hohhot

Now we are driving through Ulan Buh Desert ( 乌兰布和沙漠). Ulan Buh Desert is located between Alxa League and Bayannur League in Inner Mongolia. “Ulan Buhe” in Mongolian means “red bull”.

Now we are driving through Ulan Buhe Desert ( 乌兰布和沙漠)
“Ulan Buhe” in Mongolian means “red bull”.

Ulan Buh Desert reaches to Langshan Mountain in the north, the Yellow River in the east, the foot of Helan Mountain in the south and jilantai Salt Pond in the west, covering an area of about 10,000 square kilometers . It is the northeastern part of the Alxa Desert, at the northeastern bottom of the Yinye Basin.

ABC of Badain Jaran Desert

Badain Jaran Desert is definitely the highlight of the adventurous drive. Badain Jaran Desert boasts the highest stationary dunes in the world (the tallest dune over 450 meters, extending over 5 km in length) and the third largest desert in China with an area of over 49,000 sq.kilometers.

Badain Jaran Desert boasts the highest stationary dunes in the world

Badain Jaran literally means ” mysterious lakes” in Mongolian. As its name suggest,  Badain Jaran Desert is dotted with over spring-fed 140 lakes. All  the lakes reside among the gigantic sand dunes, creating the most mesmerizing desert landscapes in the world.

In addition to the megadunes and lakes, Badain Jaran Desert is mainly composed of barren and sandy desert, a combination of solid bedrock, loose gravel and  a few oases with limited vegetation growing.

Badain Jaran Desert Tourism Area (Google Map)

The desert officially open to the public tourism is called Badain Jaran Desert Tourism Area. It is located about 150km northeast of Badan Jilin Zhen ( the seat of Alxa Right Banner) and 450km west of Bayanhaotezhen, or Bayanhao Town ( the seat of Alxa Left Banner )

Drive on the north edge of Badain Jaran

Driving along the provincial highway No.312 allows people to have a  glimpse of the north edge of Badain Jaran Desert.  

Driving along the provincial highway No.312

Though unable to enter the heartland of Badain Jaran Desert, a visit to its northern rim does give us a real feel of the mysterious and beautiful desert.

Passing by the barren desert rife with red willows
The wild red willows with the soft-silk like sand dunes in a distance
Meet a group of motorcar riders

Driving through the barren and sandy desert with limited vegetation

Driving through the barren and sandy desert with limited vegetation

Come across a group of grazing sheep with a backdrop of the soft-silk like sand dunes

Come across a group of grazing sheep with a backdrop of the soft-silk like sand dunes

Run into a group of grazing camels

Run into a group of grazing camles

Driving through Gobi ( solid bedrock, loose gravel)

Driving through Gobi ( solid bedrock, loose gravel)

Sand dunes with limited vegetation

Sand dunes with limited vegetation

Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake

Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake
Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake

Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water

Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water
Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water

Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert

Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert
Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top
Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top

Tip:  Hassle-free Inner Mongolia  Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Inner Mongolia:

Inner Mongolia Tour
Mid-Inner Mongolia Tour (Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos)
East Inner Mongolia Tour (Xanadu,Wulan Butong, Xilinhot, Chifeng)
Northeast Inner Mongolia Tour (Hulunbuir)
West Inner Mongolia Tour (Alashan “Alxa” League)
Hohhot Tour

Further Readings


Top Places to Visit in Inner Mongolia
Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot
The Best Time to Visit Hohhot
Meidaizhao Temple
How to go to Hohhot from Beijing
Top Souvenirs in Hohhot
Hohhot Taxi: Hohhot Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Baotou Taxi: Baotou Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Ordos Taxi: Ordos taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
What to see in Hohhot, what to do in Hohhot

Top 10 Attractions in Alxa League
Heicheng Historic Site in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Guai Shu Lin in Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia (Tips, Photos & Map)
Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Badain Jaran Desert (Tips, Photos & Map)

The Quiet Wusu Langzi Lake
Dujuan Lake in Aershan National Forest Park
Beihu Park Skyline at Night in Manzhouli
Architecture of Manzhouli

Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grasslands.
Top 10 Places for Photography in Hulunbuir
Top 10 Attractions in Hulunbuir.
Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Hulun Lake Travel Tips
World Anti-fascist War Hailar Memorial Park
Architecture of Manzhouli
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Travel Guide
Moerdaoga Travel Guide
Shiwei Travel Tips
How to visit Hulunbuir Grassland

Top 10 Attractions in Chifeng
Xanadu Sites Museum
Jinlianchuan Grassland
Wulan Butong Grassland
Asihatu Stone Forest
Gong Geer Grassland
Duolun Travel Guide
Xanadu Travel Guide – Shangdu Travel
How to visit Asihatu Stone Forest
Xi Wuzhumuqin Grassland

Any questions, just drop a line.