The Badain Jaran desert is the fourth largest desert in the world roughly 150 kilometers north of the Hexi corridor and covering an area of over 49,000 square kilometers. It is home to the largest dunes on earth, the highest of which tower over 450 meters tall and stretch over 5 km in length. In addition to its megadunes, the Badain Jaran also boasts roughly 140 spring fed-lakes that reside in the interspaces of its giant megadunes, creating one of the most captivating desert landscapes in the world. It is not a “Waterless place”, from these lakes that the Badain Jaran has derived its name, which means "mysterious lake" in the local Mongolian dialect.
It is the largest “booming” sand area in the world. By sliding down the sand dune, one can hear the sand booming like the tolling of a huge bell or the beating of a big drum. In the evening, the strong winds make the sand slide down the dune slope, producing booming by itself.
The Badain Jaran is not a “sea of death”. It is a live desert. In the heart of the desert, Buddhist monastery, which once housed 80 monks, is built along the lake in 1755. Mongolian herdsmen with camels are living amid the big dunes that intersperse with spring-fed lakes. All are rare examples of a complete self-purification and harmony between lakes and sand dunes, the life of Mongolian herdsmen and their camels.