Dunhuang Yardangs

Photo in the Public Domain.

Dunhuang Yardangs is part of the Tentative list of China in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Yardang’s at Dunhuang in extremely arid desert regions in the temperate zone, include ridge-shaped Yardang landforms like a large fleet of ships in a vast sea, castle-shaped Yardang landforms of various shape combinations and isolated hill relic Yardang landforms with strange shapes and excellent aesthetic values, that contribute to the spectacular beauty of the desolate Gobi desert.

Map of Dunhuang Yardangs

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Zoë Sheng

Chinese-Canadian - 04-Dec-21 -

Dunhuang Yardangs (T) by Zoë Sheng

I cannot see that much difference in the Dunhuang Yardangs and the ones IN THE SAME DESERT over at the Hami Basement, and I think this still IS the Hami basement once you drive into the desert anyway. The main difference being: a) you are not in Xinjiang until you drive too far west and b) the Xinjiang Yardangs are also in different parts of Xinjiang and not just in the Hami Basement / west of Dunhuang. There is also one more difference in logistics: there is a nice long road from Dunhuang taking you into the desert before you need a 4x4 to continue. Over at the Hami basement you can potentially visit some touristy parts with a regular car.

The rock formations look pretty identical - with less impressive "odd looking rocks" than over at Hami maybe. The shapes are more or less just eroded and while still pretty, especially under the stars, they didn't call for drone action by any of the group members joining this 4x4 trip. After all, without a proper vehicle you won't get far into the desert. You can potentially hire a driver in Dunhuang for this which seems more accommodating than Hami's strict rules.

Unlike the Xinjiang trip, as you aren't technically allowed to cross over the province line into Xinjiang, you are limited to what you can visit on the Gansu side and how far you drive in the desert. You can overnight camp but that's about for this side of the desert. You could potentially ignore this but there are some random "state troopers" for safety and if you go in a group not everyone will be on board to risk breaking the rules.

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3 Votes

Full Name
Dunhuang Yardangs
Natural landscape - Eroded
2015 Added to Tentative List

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Dunhuang Yardangs (T)
WHS 1997-2024