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Singing Sands in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia

Nature itself composes music played by blowing winds and rolling sand

Singing Sands in the Gobi Desert
Singing Sands in the Gobi Desert
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The south of Mongolia is home to a good deal of the world's third largest desert—the Gobi. This waterless infinity is composed mostly of rocks and sand, however when you climb to the highest point you can see a green oasis at the mountain's foot. The dunes are particularly impressive when the wind carries shifting sand—this is actually where "the music" comes from. Hence Ghongoriin Els is also referred to as "singing sands." The windy season is quite long and lasts from autumn through spring. However, the best time to visit the Gobi Desert is only June and September; these months are perfect in terms of temperature. April and May could be too chilly, July and August, on the contrary, are too hot with daytime temperature reaching 45 °C. And winter is out of question, as the night temperatures can be – 40 °C. Tourist camps close already in October. Do not worry if the wind does not play sand music, when you are there you can make music yourself—feel free to experiment with the sand: slide down the sand hills or create sand avalanches, a​nd you will hear amazing sounds of the desert.

Practical info

What are some unique characteristics of Ghongoriin Els in the Gobi Desert?

The sand hills of Ghongoriin Els create a distinct sound, known as singing sands, due to the shape and size of the grains. Another rare feature of this desert is the oasis located at the foot of the mountain. These factors make Ghongoriin Els a unique destination in the world of deserts. Show more

What is the ideal time to explore the Gobi Desert of Mongolia?

The months of June and September offer the best experiences for tourists visiting the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. The temperature ranges from 20 to 30 °C during the day, making it comfortable for tourists. However, camping during winter is not possible, as tourist camps close in October, and the temperature in the winter season can plummet to -40 °C. Show more

What can tourists expect the temperature to be like during summer nights in the Gobi Desert?

Visitors travelling to the Gobi Desert in June and September should expect temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 °C during the day. It can get chilly at night, with temperatures sometimes dropping to single digits. However, tourists who visit the desert during July and August can experience hot temperatures up to 45 °C during the day and warm nights. Show more

Can tourists find accommodation in the Gobi Desert during winter?

No. Tourist camps in the Gobi Desert close around October, and there are no accommodations available during winter when temperatures can drop to -40 °C. However, alternative ways of experiencing the desert are available during the colder months, including staying with local families and participating in camel caravan tours, providing an authentic experience of the desert. Show more

Is it possible for visitors to create their own music with the sand in the Gobi Desert?

The sand hills of the Gobi Desert enable visitors to create their own music using the natural occurrence of the singing sands. Tourists can slide down sand dunes or make sand avalanches to produce the unique musical sounds. However, it is important for tourists to be mindful of the fragility of the ecosystem and make a conscious effort to not cause any damage. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin