Last Updated on January 17, 2024

Sandboarding (滑沙) is growing in popularity in China, where it is sometimes referred to as “sand skating“(滑沙场).

In recent years there has been a boom of facilities dedicated to this sport all over the country, particularly in desert areas, but also some seaside beaches.

You can ride the dunes of the Gobi desert in the Ningxia and Gansu regions near Mongolia, or coastal dunes in the Hebei province near Qinhuangdao.

The nearest sandboarding to Beijing is Tianmo Sand Sliding Field on Baolong Mountain, about 90km west of the capital.

Sandboarding in China: Crescent Moon Lake.
Crescent Moon Lake. Dunhuang, Gansu, China. Photo courtesy of Laika ac.

Mingsha Mountain – Dunhuang, Gansu

One of the most interesting travel destinations in China is the Mingsha Mountain (鳴沙山) and Crescent Lake area of the Gobi Desert, where sandboarding and sand skiing can be practiced.

The Mingha Sand Dunes, in the Gansu province, are one of several groups of singing sand dunes in the country, where an audible sound can be heard coming from the sand when the wind is blowing.

The site is regarded as a “AAAAA Tourist Attraction” in China, meaning it’s one of the most frequent choices for domestic travel.

Stunning landscapes, incredible views and desert oases await you at the Mingsha sand dunes.

The site is easily accessible from the city of Dunhuang in the Jiuquan prefecture and there many tourist packages available that include activities such as sandboarding and camel riding.

These can be practiced in the so-called “scenic area” which requires a small entrance fee of ¥100, valid for up to three days.

The park is very well-kept and offers a wide range of activities: you can book a tour guide, camel ride, bus ride, helicopter ride, glider ride, rent a sandboard or all-terrain vehicles.

Mingha Mountain and Crescent Lake can be visited all year round, but it’s best to avoid the hottest months of July and August.

Since the entry ticket is valid for multiple days, you can enter the site in the late afternoon if you want to avoid the hottest hours of the day, then opt for a desert camping experience and enjoy sunset and sunrise at the dunes.

Bring appropriate clothing for the desert, including a sun hat and plenty of sun protection.

Sandboarding in China: Mingsha Mountain - Dunhuang, China
Mingsha Mountain. Dunhuang, Gansu, China. Photo courtesy of David Stanley.

Tianmo Sand Sliding Field (Baolong Mountain) – Huailai County, Hebei

Tianmo is located in Longbao Mountain in the southwest of East Garden in Huailai County, only 90 kilometers away from Beijing.

It is connected with the Badaling Great Wall and the Kangxi Grassland. 

Due to its unique and charming natural scenery, it has become one of the locations for domestic and foreign film and television dramas to choose western scenery.

A ticket to the Tianmo Film and Television Park also includes sandboarding. Price is 40 yuan on site, or 30 yuan if you book in advance online.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve – Shapotou, Ningxia

Shapotou is located in Zhongwei County on the north bank of the Yellow River.

The National Nature Reserve Park allows you to enjoy the Tengger Desert, one of the most beautiful deserts in China, complete with sandsledding and camel riding.

The Yellow River also makes the area a oasis surrounded by sand dunes.

Sand Sledging at Ningxia Shaptou National Nature Reserve, China
Sand Sledding at Ningxia Shaptou National Nature Reserve

Nandaihe Golden Beach – Qinhuangdao, Hebei

Nandaihe is a resort location in Funing District, Qinhuangdao City, in the Hebei province.

The coast is rapidly developing with more and more tourist attractions, including sandboarding.

You can also ride teh cable car that takes you above the sea into a small island with more tourist activities such as bunge jumping.

Emerald Isle – Qinhuangdao, Hebei

Emerald Island is one of China’s top tourist attraction with its unique environment which alternate golden sand dunes and vegetation.

Here you can sled down the dunes of the Jingdong Desert, the highest peak is 44 meters.

Other activities include playing beach volleyball and sand soccer, or enjoying the beachfront and its seafood restaurants which specialize in outdoor barbecues.

Camel riding at Xiang Sha Wan (Resonant Sand Gorge). Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China.
Camel riding in the Xiangshawan desert, Inner Mongolia.

Xiangshawan (Resonant Sand Gorge) – Ordos City, Inner Mongolia

Resonant Sand Gorge Desert” (Xiang Sha Wan) is the name of the east side of the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia.

The name in Mongolian language translates to “desert with horns“. Another name is Whistling Dune Bay.

This area is filled with a large amount of crescent singing sand dunes, and it is recognized as an AAAAA-level tourist scenic spot and best in the country for desert travel.

It is one of the few places in China where you can experience the traditional Mongolian lifestyle and Ordos culture.

The Inner Mongolia Xiangshawan Tourist Area is located in Dalat Banner, Erdos City, 40 km north of Baotou city.

You can enjoy a lot of different desert activities ranging from camel riding to dune surfing, as well as traditional Ordos cultural events such as weddings and carnivals.

We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance. Activities covered may change based on your destination and country of residence.

Sandboarding in Asia

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