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Sand Lake Scenic Resort (Shahu)

If you love both the desert and the world of water, Sand Lake in northwest China is an ideal choice.Reputed as the pearl on the fields beyond the Great Wall, the Sand Lake is located 56 kilometers north of Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It is a famous scenic spot combining the lush southern-type fields with desert scenery. The Sand Lake covers an area of 8.2 square kilometers, of which 12.7 square kilometers is desert. The unique scenery of the lake is composed of sand, water, reed, bird, hill and lotus.   This unique, natural scenery attracts millions of visitors from China and abroad.


The Sand Lake is divided into two parts, with sand on the south and water on the north. The reed marsh stretching in the lake is a paradise for thousands of various bird species, including white crane, black marabou, and swan. When spring comes, bird eggs of va rious colors lie here and there among the reed, making a great spectacle. Sand Lake is one of the best places for bird watching in all of China, as it is home to 198 species and over one million birds. Every year during spring and autumn, over one million migratory birds stop at Sand Lake. The Bird-watching Tower, equipped with best telescope available, holds hundreds of people. Sand Lake is a paradise for the birdwatcher as well as a great variety of birds, including white cranes, black cranes, red-crowned cranes, swans, wild ducks and mandarin ducks.   

Since the Sand Lake is abundant in fish, restaurants here all prepare a special fish feast. Fresh bighead fish of over 10 kilograms is served to tourists. Tourists can also catch fish in the lake if they wish.   

A desert of 2,000 hectares covers the south part of the Sand Lake, and the desert and the lake set each other off and form a pleasant contrast. Tourists can take a yacht or swim in the lake as well as ride a camel or enjoy sand skiing or take a tour in cable car in the desert. They can stay in the Mongolian tent for a night in the desert.Besides natural beauty, Sand Lake also offers you more than thirty recreational opportunities. Some are only for the adventurous but less strenuous activities are also available, such as water-motorcycling, wind surfing, and sliding down the dunes.
Admission Fee: CNY 60 (Apr.1 – Oct.31)
CNY 40 (Nov.1 – Mar.31)
Note: The admission fees include the items of the Sand Lake Wetland Museum, the Sand Figure Garden, the Sightseeing Tower, the Peacock Garden, Ningxia Agricultural Reclamation Museum and the electric power cart.
Travel Tips
Shahu actually is located inside of Shizuishan (shí zuǐ shān shì 石嘴山市) and Shizuishan is 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Xining (xī níng 西宁), and 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Yinchuan Hedong Airport (yín chuān hé dōng jī chǎng 银川河东机场). From the Dawukou (dà wǔ kǒu 大武口) Bus Station, there are many buses departing to Yinchuan every few minutes. In addition, buses to the Yinchuan Hedong Airport are also available here. Buses from Dawukou to the Sand Lake depart every an hour.