Crescent Moon Pool
Crescent Moon Pool
4
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Top ways to experience Crescent Moon Pool

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles390 reviews
Excellent
172
Very good
135
Average
69
Poor
11
Terrible
3

C B
Europe72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This is a nice pool nestled in the sand dunes. It is important to note that you cannot just go to this pool it is completely contained within the larger park that includes the sand dunes. The admission to the park is around 100 RMB, but once you pay you can either walk about 20 minutes to the pool or buy a ticket on a small shuttle.
Written 13 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jtaylor946
Guangzhou, China786 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
We visited on Christmas Day, so the pool was frozen over. The views from the top of the sand dune were still incredible though, but we didn’t walk around the oasis. It probably looks much better during summer time.
Written 31 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,599 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Business
Similar to the Sahara Desert, this too has an immature oasis-spring, albeit on an outer fringe of the Northwest China’s Taklamakan Desert. It is surrounded by large sand dunes.
Written 30 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jameshuang
Taipei, Taiwan2,004 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
Situated in the Gobi Desert for over 2,000 years, the Crescent Spring (月牙泉, Yueyaquan, also known as Crescent Moon Pool and Crescent Lake) is located about 6 km (3.73 mi) south of Dunhuang city, Gansu. This incredible and beautiful oasis is the reason why the Silk Road chose it as the gateway to its western neighbors. Ancient Dunhuang was the most western boundary in China. With the prosperous trade along the Silk Road, Dunhuang became the most open area in international trade in Chinese history. The name Crescent Spring comes from the shape of the lake. The lake had an average depth of about 5m (16.4 ft) in 1960, decreasing to an average of less than a meter (3.3 ft) in the early 1990s as the underground water declined significantly. It measured about 100 m (328 ft) long and 25 m (82 ft) wide. After years of rehabilitation efforts, the shrinkage of the spring pond was restrained and the water level started to rise. Although Crescent Spring is surrounded by sand dunes known as the Mingsha Mountain (鳴沙山), the spring pond has not dried up in the dry climate or been buried by sand. The main reason for the oasis has not been buried by sand is because the wind blows along the dune slopes, sending the sand back to the other side of Mingsha Mountain.

We planned to visit Crescent Spring since the first day we arrived and ended up visiting it on the 7th day because of the sand storms. Crescent Spring is close to where we stayed during our trip in Dunhuang. It actually took us 15 minutes by foot to the entrance of the Mingsha Mountain/Crescent Spring. We went to the entrance 3 times, and we barely see the Mingsha Mountain from the entrance gate until the 3rd time we visited. I would suggest renting a pair of shoe covers at the entrance. Although they look funny and unsightly in photos, they prevent the sand from going into your shoes, especially when you are climbing the dunes. While approaching the Crescent Spring, we saw a garden with seasonal flowers, which is unusual when you visit a desert. After few minutes’ walk, we stood on a small dune that overlooked the Crescent Spring and pagoda. We took some photos here along with other tourists. Walking on the lakeside was pleasant, and the view of the reflection on the lake was amazing. The water overflowed its bank when we visited in late August. The most likely reason for the excess water is that thunderstorms brought a lot of rain to the site. Walking on the sunny day exhausted us. We sat down to have a cold drink on a wayside pavilion near the pagoda. I made a bold decision to climb up to the nearby dune in order to take photos of the whole scene of Crescent Spring. I went alone and asked someone who just came down from the dune for tips. I learned that it is better to climb up the sand dune using the wooded stairs and from there go to left or right side when you are on top of the dune. I was so glad that I used the stairs. I tried to count every 50th stairs to take a rest but could not remember how many 50s I went through. It was not an easy climb up to the dune, and I was happy that I did not insist my wife to join me. It was worthwhile climbing up to the top of the dune to see the view, I could see the entire area of the site, and it was fantastic. I took tons of photos because I don’t believe I will have the opportunity to come back again in the future. Be careful of the sand when you change your lens in the dune.

If you stay in the Dunhuang city center, it is easy to go to the site by taking the city bus (mid size bus). It only costs RMB$1. Of course, you can take a taxi to the site if you are not travelling alone. Although taxis have meters, the taxi drivers negotiate the price for the destination. You can ask locals for the typical taxi fare for your destination. Try to avoiding sandstorm days and go here early in the morning or late afternoon. Prepare yourself for at least 3 hours in the Mingsha Mountain/Crescent Spring.
Written 13 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SOH KIEN PENG
Singapore, Singapore9,240 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Solo
What prompted me to fly from Singapore to the North West of China to visit this Gobi Desert in Gansu province is the curiosity to see for myself the physical beauty of a desert.

I took the long way overland traveling by train from Xian to Lanzhou and then to Dunhuang. The journey back from Dunhuang to Xian is a 24-hr train ride and I tortured myself by selecting the hard seat on board the train to gain the experience of train travel in this part of China. The train fare costs me RMB 206 for a single trip back from Dunhuang to Xian.

This attraction `Crescent Moon Pool' is an oasis within the Echoing Sand Mountain (Mingsha Shan). The oasis is not a big area but it blends and contrasts sharply and beautifully with the vastness of the sand dunes.

It was an unique experience and an eye opening for me to physically touch and feel the Gobi Desert and the accompanying oasis. The oasis is like an island in the vast ocean of water. You feel her beauty in the stark contrast of the sand dune hinterland when it suddenly appears in the horizon.

The oasis is situated about 100 meters from the main gate. There are photography vantage points mark by the attraction management and one of this best viewing points is about 20 meters from the oasis so that you see the oasis not isolated and alone but with the background setting of the sand dunes.

I walked around the Crescent Moon Pool, viewed the reflection of the sand dunes and the temple pavilion in the pool. It was a beautiful scenery. I spent almost 3 hours strolling around the pool and ventured into the temple ground to see the actual setting of the temple. It is a pity that the camel rides do not cover this route near the pool otherwise the scenery would be more spectacular.

I like the few old trees of hundred years that grew by the side of the pool. They probably had seen the ancient Silk Road travelers plying their way to the West during the Han and Tang Dynasties. These trees are marvelous and awesome in the autumn setting anchoring themselves in the smoothness of the sand dunes.

This attraction surpassed many of the magnificent attractions I had visited. I just could not describe the lovely unique feeling and moments I enjoyed in this peaceful, aesthetic and serene environment strolling around the pool appreciating her beauty while the wind soothingly caressed my face and hair.

I am proud that in this lifetime I was brave enough to travel solo from Singapore all the way to Dunhuang to appreciate this spectacular scenic attraction.

As I slowly climbed up the dunes to the top and when the panoramic view of the captivating oasis revealed herself in the vastness of this Gobi Desert, I shouted deep in my heart the words of the Roman ruler, Julius Caesar: I came I saw and I conquer.
Written 30 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rebecca w
Hong Kong, China81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Friends
The Crescent Lake is a manifestation of a miracle itself - to retain water in a lake for over 2000 years (since Han Dynasty) in the middle of the desert. This is indeed a lake that produces healing water. Upon research, I found out that during Han Dynasty, there were numerous healing temples located around the area. Visitors who were sick from the desert would come here for miracle healing.

Since there is no mention of such temples and activities in modern travel write ups, I decided to try channelling the energy of the healing water myself for a caner patient who has a black burnt mark on the body from recent chemo therapy. Three people channelled the energy of the lake to the patient. That very night, her black skin fell off and fresh white skin emerged. Since, this patient has been meditating with the lake visuals. She has now fully recovered.

An amazing miracle that I experience first hand ! Must visit the Thousand hand Kwan Yin temple next to the lake. The protector of the healing water.
Written 21 February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DorothyCheong
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia1,260 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
To find oasis in the midst of a desert is interesting. After our camel ride, we took a walk on the boardwalk till the end to find this much talk-about Crescent Moon Lake surrounded by the fine sand dunes (Mingsha Sand Dunes).
Written 23 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Genesis1vs1
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We visited Crescent Moon Spring as a group. First up was camel riding in the morning. We thought we were early to be there by 8.30am but others were there earlier. There was quite a crowd of tourists by then and you camels in groups of 4-5 people led by a camel guide. Unfortunately some of the couples in our group were split due to this. Once you have ridden about 10-15 minutes, the guide will ask if you want to have photos taken using your camera. He will take the photos for you at RMB20 per device. There's also professional photographers who will take photos of you on the camel as you go along and you can buy those photos at the end of your ride.

Then it was free time for us to explore the dunes. Lots of people trying to take photos of the oasis. The climb up to the top of the dunes took about 10 minutes as there was also a long queue up. There were ladder-steps to use and it was much easier than trying to climb up in the sand. Beautiful view of the spring from the top...It felt like I was at a beach with gentle wind and sand all around. By then it was about noon and getting quite hot so we left for lunch after spending around 3 hours in total at this place.

Interesting experience overall and one of the highlights of my silk road tour.
Written 16 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DianneSkelton
Wellington, New Zealand17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Surrounded by majestic sand dunes with the opportunity for camel rides, dune buggy rides, walking the sand dunes, and microlite flying, this was a great experience, mingling with mostly Chinese tourists out of season this was a great experience.
Written 13 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew M
7,541 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The Crescent Spring is a minature oasis on the edge of the Taklamakan desert. It seems a wonder of nature to be nestled amid the high sand dunes. This area is easily reached by taking Bus # 3 from the town center. The admission fee to the Mingsha Scenic Area includes access to the Minsu Folk museum and the crescent spring. It is impossible to see Crescent Spring without seeing these other attractions, as the oasis is in the dunes. The cost of entry to all attractions was RMB120.

On entry to the attraction, I would advise renting thermal footwear for RMB15. This reduces the uncomfortable feeling of sand in your footwear and also has the benefit of protecting your feet from the hot sand and it is much easier walk in the sand with the shoe covers. The main central area is Mingyue Square, where you will see camels to your right. Walk slightly to your right across the sand to get to the main boardwalk, as this saves the time of walking the long route on the cart path to your left. Walk straight ahead on the path, ensuring that you stay on the sidewalk to avoid the many electrical carts. On reaching the f&b area, turn right and walk a short distance and the oasis will come into view.

The crescent moon pool is not accessible, as it is surrounded by a rope. There are a few storyboards and you can take photos here with the pool in the background. There are steps to the left that lead to the Mingyue Temple. The first sight at the top of the steps, is a display of the "One Belt & One Road Inkstone" sculpture. It is a sculpture of dragons from a rare jade stone. The temple is divided into three sections. The main section in the middle has the tall pavilion at the front, a small museum at the rear, a tea and gift shop.

In the main courtyard is the Yuequan Pavillion Bell. It is a recent addition to the Temple complex, as it has the symbol of the horse which represents the Chinese Tourism association. The bronze buddha sculpture is titled "Tankasri Avalokitesvara" ,and is a great area for taking photos of the pavilion. The small museum has a great model of the temple complex and gives a brief history of the spring. The best photos of the temple are taken from the sand dunes.

The temple has a long history as it was named Wowa pond in the Han Dynasty. The original Temple Complex was built during the Tang Dynasty. After visiting the temple, you can stroll amongst the dunes, and participate in the many activities.
Written 27 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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