Top Ten China Classic Adventures

Surf the Mingsha Dunes
The Mingsha Dunes
The surf's always up at Mingsha

The ocean is thousands of miles away and there's nary a lake in sight, but it's still possible to go surfing at the Mingsha Dunes, located two miles south of the ancient Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang. Here, surfers use snowboards to shred down 825-foot waves of sand, which lie on the lip of the Gobi desert in far-west Gansu Province. Those not averse to wildlife or heights can also ride the dunes on a rented camel or glide above the towering sand on a paraglider.

After playing in China's largest sandbox, catch your breath at the Mogao Caves, 15 miles southeast of town, where you'll find the best-preserved examples of Buddhist cave art in China. Hewn over a millennium spanning nine dynasties, the 500 cave portraits were painted by monks paid by pilgrims anxious to secure divine favor before journeying west into Xinjiang.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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