The Badain Jaran Desert

The Badain Jaran Desert (Mongolian) or Badan Jilin Shamo 巴丹吉林沙漠 (Chinese) is desert a landscape copied and pasted straight from the ancient tales of Chinese mythology. Humongous sand dunes, herds of wild Bactrian camels, shimmering lakes and a gold roof temples dot this spectacular and mysterious land.

The Badain Jaran Desert
The Badain Jaran Desert

Bayan Hot to Alashan Youqi: Long and Hot!

Desert Landscape near Alashan youqi 阿拉善右旗的沙漠风景 Our Destination

The new bus station looks a lot like an airport terminal and there isn’t much in it yet. The bus, however, does leave on time (7.20 am) and that’s the main thing. It fills up completely, of course, and our seats are quite far to the back, but overall it’s ok.

Bus to Alashan youqi
Our Bus

We start off on the brand-new motorway we had been on yesterday – and it’s still empty – but soon we turn onto an older road. All around us there is an ugly, greyish desert and lots of empty space.

Journey from Bayan Hot to Alashan Youqi
The road

The only exotic element is provided by the camels of which we now see whole herds, on both sides of the road.

Journey from Bayan Hot to Alashan Youqi
More camelos

Can there be too many Camels?

In fact, there are so many that even their exoticness wears off eventually. Toilet stops are few and far between and usually on the primitive side: often there is no toilet, just a bush, dip or hollow to hide behind or in, which is preferable because it’s cleaner.

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