Crescent Lake, China

If you're like me and had no clue there were even deserts in China, then you're probably even more surprised at seeing this amazing oasis! The striking juxtaposition of a lake, lush greenery, and Asian architecture in the middle of a desert makes this scene so incredible.

While this isn't the first oasis I've written about, it may be the most interesting. During the Qing Dynasty, the oasis was named Yueyaquan. And though it may not look like it, the lake is naturally occurring, though its growth and protection has been largely due to the government. Stroll the property, go on a heart-pounding 4x4 ride, or enjoy a leisurely trot on a camel's back.

The desert oasis and accompanying pavilion are located just a few kilometers south of Dunhuang. The now-popular tourist destination was a major trade center with China's western borders during the days of the Silk Road. The months from May to September provide the best time to visit. Other sites to see in the town are the ancient Mogao Caves and the Yangguan and Yumenguan Passes.

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