Crescent Moon Pool ​- a scenic pool in the middle of the desert

Last Update: 17th October 2020


Located at the north foot of Echoing-Sand Mountain 5 kilometers southwest of Dunhuang, Crescent Moon Pool stretches for 100 meters from south to east and 25 meters from east to west. It lies in the desert for hundreds of years, experiencing the changing society.

Crescent Moon Pool ​Fast Facts
  • Chinese Name: Yueyaquan (月牙泉)
  • Area: 8,800 square meters
  • Things to do there: Photography, Hiking, Camel Riding, Sandboarding
  • Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts
  • Time required: 2 – 3 x hours
What to expect at the Crescent Moon Pool

By the south bank of the Crescent Moon Pool, several old buildings stand, including Niangniang Temple, the Palace of King Dragon, Bodhisattva Temple, Yaowang Cave, and Lei Shentai. In the main buildings, you will find more than 100 hundred painted sculptures and many frescoes.


As the pool is surrounded by dunes, you can enjoy sandboarding after admiring the pool and the old buildings if interested. If you are strong enough, you could walk around the area. If you would like to sit on a camel, you could enjoy riding a camel when appreciating the sunset. Walk in the sands, you will feel that your pace is very slow.

Best time to visit the Crescent Moon Pool

If you are planning to visit the pool for photography purposes, the best time to visit is during the sunset.


The best months to visit are from May to October.


How to get to the Crescent Moon Pool

There is only one bus to the pool from Dunhuang. Therefore, there are only a few options.

  • Rent a vehicle to the caves. This is the quickest and most direct option.
  • Take Bus 3 to the Stop of Echoing-Sand Mountain (鸣沙山).
Additional Crescent Moon Pool Travel Advice
  • Opening hours: 06:00 – 19:30 (April 1 – October 19); 07:30 – 18:00 (October 20 – March 31)
  • As at 17th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the pool area is 120 CNY per person; entrance pricing to camel riding is 100 CNY per person per ride; entrance pricing to sandboarding is 15 CNY per person per skiing; entrance pricing to grass skiing is 25 CNY per person per skiing; the entrance pricing to the one-way shuttle bus is 10 CNY per person; the entrance pricing to the round-trip shuttle bus is 20 CNY per person. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (
  • Please check out the weather forecast as it is closed on the days when the sand storm comes to Dunhuang.
  • Those who are suffering high blood pressure and heart diseases are not suggested to enjoy camel riding.
  • Please do not feed the camel.
  • Please do not shout on the camel.
  • Please do not open a colourful umbrella on the camel.
  • Please do not stay close to the head or the rear foot of the camel.
  • Please take enough drinking water with you.
Interested in visiting the Crescent Moon Pool on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including the Crescent Moon Pool, among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.