Xinhua Silk Road: Desert city new tourist attraction in NW China

Fascination soars as sand dunes & stargazing come together
/ New Delhi
Xinhua Silk Road: Desert city new tourist attraction in NW China

Zhongwei offers a splendid scenery rarely seen in other places of China

Banking on its desert landscapes as well as crystal clear skies, ideal for stargazing, Zhongwei, a city in Ningxia, in northwest China has become a major attraction for tourists from across China, and overseas.
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Situated at the edge of Tengger Desert in north-western China, Zhongwei, a city in the Ningxia province, is the latest tourism hotspot for Chinese, and increasingly, overseas travellers.

The presence of the mighty Yellow River adds to its beauty and the terrain around Zhongwei offers a splendid scenery rarely seen in other places of China.

Spotting an opportunity to promote the natural gift, Zhongwei has developed a series of tourism products, says a press statement, including exciting entertainments such as sliding down from sand dunes, racing in the desert and flying across the Yellow River in the Shapotou scenic spot.

The tourists are coming and are content, adds the statement. It adds that lying on a lounge near a shimmering swimming pool and watching her daughters playing in the water, Zhu Lizhi couldn’t believe she was in Tengger Desert if not surrounded by the golden sand.

“We come all the way to be here for star-gazing and I didn’t expect the facilities in the desert are so comfortable. Lying on the soft mattress and watching the Milky Way through the glass roof is really an impressive experience in my life,” says Zhu a tourist from Zhejiang province in southeast China.

Not just the desert, the statement adds, with improving infrastructures in northwest China tourists can also drive to the old villages alongside the Yellow River to have a short escape from urban life. Almost all of the houses, trees and traces of life have been preserved during its reconstruction and tourists can have an immersive experience of the countryside lifestyle here.

Dawan, once a deserted village in Zhongwei, has been adapted into a gathering of high-end homestays in 2018, attracting top-class brands of bed and breakfast, camping sites, art museum, bookstores and other famous lifestyle brands to settle here.

The statement adds that since November 2020, the exteriorly star-shaped Desert Star Hotel has been opened to tourists in Shapotou scenic spot under support of the local government. As a five-star hotel in the desert, it provides tourists with services such as star-gazing guide, sand therapy and dinner in a sight-seeing canteen.

“It is really an amazing experience to watch the Milky Way nowadays and this place has provided a wonderful experience for star-gazing,” the statement cites Yuan Lingjie, a 26-year-old star-gazing tutor with Shapotou scenic spot.

Starry sky, infinite sand and the Yellow River have attracted lots of tourists worldwide. Wang Xin, deputy manager of Desert Star Hotel says that all the rooms have been booked up before September.

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