Badain Jaran (Badain Jilin) Desert Tour (Winter) We will spend 5 days hiking and camel riding in one of the world’s remotest places. While the camels will carry our food and luggage, we can hike the dune ridges from oasis to oasis, and cross mega dunes covered in snow. Seeing nonstop breathtaking views in one of the most deserted places on our planet, will be a life time experience. This trip fit for everybody with an adventurous spirit, as we hike about 15km a day and if you’re tired you can just hop on a camel and wobble to the next destination. During winter time, the camels have a very thick fur so it’s like riding on a sofa through the desert.
Travel season: Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Length: 6 days
Hike Level: 3 medium-strong
Hiking Distance: 65 km
Meeting point:: airport
Day 1: You will take a 9:10 am flight from Beijing to Jinchang, and arrive in Jinchang at 11:25 am. From Jinchang airport, a private bus brings us to a restaurant at the border of the Badain Jaran desert. After a late lunch, we will have a stroll through the village. We will warm up again with a good local dinner, enjoy the last shower of the coming days and charge every battery we have.
Day 2: The jeeps pick us up and our desert adventure begins. First part of the trip we will do it by jeep until we reach the high dunes. Once we reach the mega dunes, we leave the jeeps and go hiking towards our first destination, our favorite cameleer Hassemong. The hike will take us about 3 hours and the jeeps will bring our luggage to Hassemong. We have dinner and stay overnight with our hospitable friends. Their house is simple but has everything we need. There are 2 rooms, 2 stoves and 7 beds with warm camel fur blankets.
Day 3: Winters are cold in Badain Jaran desert, so our caravan will start moving when the sun is giving enough warmth. Good news is that we don’t have to wake up too early. Once the sun has risen high enough, our caravan starts a 15km journey to Lake Nuretu, the most beautiful lake in the Badain Jaran desert. The lake is surrounded by date trees and grass. Next to the lake, a few small houses are setup to receive visitors. After dinner, we can go to hike around and watch an amazing star filled sky.
Day 4: It will be a 15-km hike and camel ride from Lake Nuretu to Badain Jaran desert temple. After a brunch, we saddle the camels again and head for Badain Jaran desert temple. This Buddhist Temple was built in 1868 on the lake shore behind a huge dune. Due to its location, it was spared from destruction by the wars during the waging time. The legend said that there is a well close to the temple where water starts pouring out when the monks chant around it.
Day 5: It will be a 10-km hike and camel ride from Badain Jaran desert temple to Indertu. The hiking distance is a bit shorter but there is a reason for that, because we are going to climb the world’s highest dune. Camels don’t really like climbing dunes so this one is on you. It will be a breathtaking experience in both senses of the world. The dune towers are 500 meters above its surroundings, so the views are almost unearthly. Hiking/jumping/sliding your way down from this mountain of sand is fun, and before you realize it, you will be sitting at the shores of Xiao Haize and sipping tea again.
Day 6: We will head from Lake Indertu to Beijing. Today we kiss our lovely long lashed desert companions’ good bye and switch back to the 4 wheels. We will experience a 3-hour thrilling jeep ride over the dunes and out of the desert. At 15:40, we will board the plane in Jinchang and we will arrive back in Beijing in 2 hours.
Level 3:1 Medium-strong
We rate this Great Wall trek level 3 because the trail on the first day includes a good uphill hike and we carry our backpacks all the way up the the campsite. The trail on the second day is fairly easy. No strong climbs on this hike. People with normal physical condition will be able to enjoy this trip.
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