Sands Hongoryn Els
Mongolia, Umnugovi

Sands of Hongoryn Els are located in the south of Mongolia, in the province of Umnegov, in the north of the Gobi Desert, in the territory of the Gobi-Gurvan-Sayhan National Park. Hongoryn Els is one of the largest sand massifs in Mongolia, its length is 180 kilometers, width - 27 kilometers, area - 965 square kilometers. Strong winds blowing from the west, move millions of tons of sand, forming huge dunes, some of which reach three hundred meters in height. Locals dubbed these sands Singers because of the sounds made by the sands when moving - some witnesses to this unusual “singing” claim that the sound resembles the roar of an airplane taking off, others hear a bewitching melody or a ritual drum beat. The sound made by Singing Sands is low, buzzing, lasts from a few seconds to 10-15 minutes and can reach such a strength that it spreads tens of kilometers. In ancient times, these sounds were mistaken for the voices of spirits, caravaners bypassed Hongoryn Els side, because they believed that with their songs the dunes, like ancient Greek sea sirens, were inviting people to certain death. Dunes under the influence of wind are constantly changing their shape, on their slopes the wind draws bizarre patterns that resemble waves, and the tops constantly collapse, like avalanches, only sandy. In the afternoon, the color of sand is light yellow; at sunrise and sunset, dunes become golden and crimson, and shadows form on their slopes, constantly changing shape and position, which gives the sand massif an unusual relief resembling surreal landscapes. At the foot of the Hongoryn Els, the Khongoryn-Gol stream flows, there is also a green oasis with a crystal clear spring (the passage to it is closed by a barrier, in order to replenish water supplies you need to walk on foot under the scorching sun). To look at Singing Sands tourists come from all over the world. Visitors can go to Hongoryn Els on camels, climb to the top of the dune and see the indescribable beauty of sunrises and sunsets in the Gobi Desert, hear the “singing” of moving sands and see bizarre patterns on the slopes of the dunes, arising and constantly changing under the influence of the wind. Near the oasis there are three tourist camps where you can relax or stay for a few days.

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