Crescent Lake, also known by the Chinese name of Yueyaquan, is an extraordinary natural wonder located in the Gobi Desert. It is a half-moon shaped fresh water spring surrounded by a thriving oasis that has survived for over 2000 years.
This beautiful oasis, dominated by the sandy hills of the desert, is located right in the province of Gansu, just 4 miles south of Dunhuang, a city known as a passage route to the “silk road”. Along the lake banks there is vibrant green vegetation which surrounds small temples and a high wooden traditional pagoda, which now is home to tourist centers.
In 1960 the Crescent Lake measured a depth of 7 meters and length of 50 meters, but over the years, desertification has contributed to a sharp reduction in size. A project to restore the oasis took place in 2006 thanks to government intervention and the dimensions of the lake are now back to their original size.
This small moon-shaped water mirror looks like a mirage, a surreal place that during the summer sunsets offers a rare beauty unlike any other. Today the oasis is connected to the city by an efficient bus and shuttle service, but it can also be reached by desert excursions via off-road vehicles or by camel.