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Xinhua Silk Road: Desert city becomes high-end tourist attraction in NW China


Lying on a lounge near a shimmering swimming pool and watching her daughters playing in the water, Zhu Lizhi couldn't believe she was in Tengger Desert if not surrounded by the golden sand.

"We come all the way to be here for star-gazing and I didn't expect the facilities in the desert are so comfortable. Lying on the soft mattress and watching the Milky Way through the glass roof is really an impressive experience in my life," said Zhu from Zhejiang Province, southeast China.

The resort for star-gazing is in Zhongwei City in Ningxia, northwest China. Located at the edge of Tengger Desert, it is also in the arm of the Yellow River, forming a splendid scenery rarely seen in other places of China.

Based on the natural gift, Zhongwei has developed a series of tourism products, including exciting entertainments such as sliding down from sand dunes, racing in the desert and flying across the Yellow River in the Shapotou scenic spot.

Since November 2020, the exteriorly star-shaped Desert Star Hotel has been opened to tourists in Shapotou scenic spot under supports of the local government. As a reputed five-star hotel in desert, it provides tourists with services such as star-gazing guide, sand therapy and dinner in sight-seeing canteen.

"It's really an amazing experience to watch the Milky Way nowadays and this place has provided a wonderful experience for star-gazing," said Yuan Lingjie, a 26-year-old star-gazing tutor with Shapotou scenic spot.

Starry sky, infinite sand and the Yellow River have attracted lots of tourists worldwide. Wang Xin, deputy manager of Desert Star Hotel said that all the rooms have been booked up before September.

Not just the desert, with improving infrastructures in northwest China, tourists can also drive to the old villages alongside the Yellow River to have a short escape from urban life.

Dawan, once a deserted village in Zhongwei, has been adapted into a gathering of high-end homestays in 2018, attracting top-class brands of Bed and Breakfast, camping sites, art museum, bookstores and other famous lifestyle brands to settle here.

Almost all of the houses, trees and traces of life have been reserved during its reconstruction and tourists can have an immersive experience of countryside lifestyle here.

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SOURCE: Xinhua Silk Road