Our road trip from Dalanzadgad to Khongor Els had seen us chasing sunset on a top of the pale golden dune, taking roads to approach the dune of Khongoriin Els we passed through several easily distinguishable zones. The first of these are the open expanses of steppe, which then merge into a narrow, low dune zone. After, this comes the fertile strip of the wetland created by the spring-fed Knongoriin river and then almost immediately the sweeping form of the large dunes rise upwards. Spending night in the Gobi Desert is something every traveler dreams about, and we were on our way to make that dream a reality. The pale golden dunes of Khongor Els is remote and unremarkable and far form Dalanzadgad its 240km/ 145miles to the west. However, its one of the most photographed places in the Gobi. These dunes are one of the largest moving bodies of sand in the world which lie 180kn/110miles long and travel in a line from the northwest to the southeast. When we reached up to the top of dune, we may have left with sand in our shoes and slightly burnt faces, but a sound which made by footsteps the shifting surface of the dune is more like as aircraft. Not only beautiful singing sands, there are remnant of ancient lakes and rivers.
Moreover, as we are travelers who want to know how dunes are formed?
These dunes are sculpted by wind that travels in a consistent east-west direction. Strong winds reaching up to 15 meters/45ft per second are frequent in the Gobi. Therefore, different ranges that comprise the Altai Mountain System help to create a wind corridor resulting in as many as 30 dust storm days per year. The dark, jagged forms of the Zuulun Range in the distance provide an impressive backdrop in contrast to the pale sands of dunes.
We are here for Gobi Desert experience, but fundamentally, a very diverse range of flora and fauna has adapted to meet the challenges of living and growing within each of these zones.
What many photographs of this dramatic region however don’t reveal is the surprisingly wide variety of flora and fauna that can be found around the dunes.