Yardang or Ghost city in Dunhuang, China
Bizarre reliefs of Sanlunsha - tests for brave travelers
“A place where there are devils” so Sanlunsha area, located to the north-west of Dunhuang was called under the Tang Dynasty (the VII-X centuries). Today, the whole area is a national geological park “Yardang”, but at the beginning of the first millennium BC it was the place where a disappeared southern branch of the Silk Road ran through.
Sanlunsha or Yardang is a belt of quicksands, constantly moving around Dunhuang under the influence of winds. There you can watch a unique terrain, which is called yardangi. This parallel furrows and hills were formed under the influence of wind and water or displacement of geological strata.
Yardang Park was forming by water over hundreds of years. The heavy rains resulting in washing out the soil, formed a kind of ditches and hills, which eventually took a form of a city, however, the city dead and forsaken by all.
In the I millennium BC, Sanlunshi was crossed by the southern branches of the of the Silk Road trade routes. Because of the natural and landscape conditions the caravans could often get lost in this area for a few days, and at night the traders and herders took the howling of the wind and the whisper of sand for dancing of devils. That is why Sanlunsha often called Ghost city for its bizarre reliefs, resembling a monster by its form.
Today Yardang Geological Park is one of the most famous in China; however, this area is still inaccessible. During a period of sand storms, which lasts from June to August, the area is considered uninhabitable. A trip to Yardang needs thorough preparation and a good guide, because this journey is only up to physically fit tourists. However, those who visited the famous “city of the devil” say unanimously that this is one of the most unusual landscapes on earth.