Rumored to be a stop for weary travelers along China’s ancient Silk Road, Crescent Lake is now a resting place for tourists.
They’re drawn to the middle of the Gobi Desert by what looks like an oasis made for a Hollywood movie.
Tourists can walk from the nearby city of Dunhuang – it’s about six kilometers (a little less than four miles) away. There are also camel rides, or a shuttle service that runs to the lake.
Beside the 218-meter long lake is a traditional pagoda and a few souvenir shops.
Crescent Lake, called so for its shape, was formed by an underground spring that bubbled up through the dust. Over time, desertification and over-extended water resources threatened the lake enough that its levels dropped some 25 feet.
Not to be outdone by nature, the Chinese government stepped in and is preserving the lake by periodically pumping water to it.