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Mars Highway One
Having traveled to the Northwest of China a couple of times, I always heard that there exists a place that resembles Mars. Since there is so little information available about this area, never could I find a proper opportunity until this time, when I happened to pass by during my shooting schedule, so I decided to alter my route and set this area as a waypoint. The road was unpaved thus extremely bumpy from 0km to 76km, judging from the roadside markers, and much of the route could only be searched and traced by ourselves. It was no man's land within a range of 200km, and upon entering there, it was as if we lost contact with the earth, as there was no signal or no people, and we could hardly see any living things. Due to the weather and the peculiar landscape, the air was suffused with flying sand. Accidentally, the off-road vehicle we drove got into an area of sharp rocks, and the tires were punctured, when it was getting dark. If we hadn't replaced the tires before nightfall, we might not have made it out of this no man's land. There are only a few photos remaining because of the extreme weather, yet they are particularly precious.
Yulong Snow Mountain is a mountain range covered with snow all year round on the nearest equator in the northern hemisphere. It is juxtaposed with the Zhongdian Snow Mountain on the west and Mianmian Mountain on the east across the river. It extends from Sanjiangkou in the north to 27°N latitude in the south. The 13 peaks of the whole mountain are arranged longitudinally from south to north. The highest peak of the main peak-Shanzi Peak is 5,596 meters above sea level, with snow all year round, and the height of the snow line is between 4800 and 5000 meters.There are temperate marine glaciers on the Eurasian continent that are closest to the equator.
In the region where Haixi and Dunhuang meet, there is a bewildering expanse of black Gobi hills. Qilian Mountains lie to its east and Lop Nur situates to its west. It has a typical plateau landform and due to the high altitude the climate is cold and windy all year round. In the autumn of 2020, I drove to this uninhabited land. Meeting my eyes was a weird, little-known landform that took its shape more than 75 million years ago, making it an explorer haven. The black Gobi consists of soft soil, very tricky for vehicular travel. Most of the region is not passable to vehicles, so I had to travel on foot. Along with the dusk always came the icy wind. The desert and the Gobi, bearing no vegetation, appeared in various shapes and continuously from the horizon. I hoped to explore this territory in my own way and record those beautiful moments.
The singing sand lands in western China are mainly deserts, where dunes stand like mountains. Therefore, they are also called singing sand mountains. Singing sand is also called musical sand. It is a peculiar natural phenomenon that exists in many places in the world. Influenced by various climatic and geographical factors, such as wind blows, sand slides or interactions with each other, fine sand grains dominated by quartz rotate in the airflow and the surface cavities can cause "diabolo" - a buzzing sound. The place where the buzzing sound occurs is called a singing sand land. The sand mountains are all formed by the accumulation of fine sand. They have different shapes. The sand grains have five colors, namely, red, yellow, blue, white, and black. They are crystal clear and spotless.
Black gobi II
Adjoining the borders of Dunhuang City and Qinghai Province is the Black Gobi Desert mountain range. Over the stretch of two years, I have taken multiple trips across the area on my cross-country vehicle, documenting the hilly parts of Gobi that very much resemble the Moon’s surface, Due to the pervasive sandstorms whipping over the area, as well as the sandy pebbles and loose soil underneath the tires, there’s only so much I could have done on the wheels with our cross-country vehicles. The vehicles can only get us as far as a few dozens of kilometers across the endless hills. What’s worse, to get to some of our pre-digitally-planned vantage points, we actually had to scale mountains after mountains of precipitousness. These photos were taken in a depopulated zone. To take photos of the starry sky, we risked driving across a river late at night, and our car narrowly escaped being washed away by the river; to find a right angle, we drove into a sharp stone area, and unfortunately, our car had a flat tire when it was getting dark, so we had to spend a cold night in the desert. These are only two little incidents, there are many things like this in the process of shooting.
Located in northwest China's Qinghai Province, Aiken Spring in the Gobi Desert is dubbed the "Devil's Eye." The water spewing out of the spring contains a high degree of sulfur, making the land around it barren. Aiken Spring is 647 meters deep, Is the deepest hot spring in Qinghai.
The Monument Valley Geoscience Museum is located on the volcanic islands, Zhangzhou. It is located in the coastal zone from Qianting Town to Fotan Town in Zhangpu County, Fujian, about 50 kilometers away from Xiamen, Zhangzhou and Zhangpu County. The Monument Valley Geoscience Museum is a building with colorful exterior walls in the volcanic islands. The unique architectural style and well-organized architectural structure make people feel like they are staying in a perfect dream, and these dream-like scenarios are exist in reality.
Yangguan, or Yangguan Pass, is a mountain pass that was fortified by Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty around 120 BC and used as an outpost in the colonial dominions adjacent to ancient China. It is located approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Dunhuang, in the Gansu territory to the west of the Shaanxi province in the far Northwest China, which was in ancient times the westernmost administrative center of China. It was established as a frontier defense post, as well as a developed place in China's remote western frontier; Emperor Wu encouraged Chinese to settle there. Today Yangguan is located in Nanhu Village, along the Hexi Corridor.
Urho Ghost city, also known as Urho Wind City, presents a large-scale and majestic strange wind erosion landscape which finished its formation in the long-term wind erosion, with unique wind erosion landform and strange shapes. Looking around, people will find it’s like a castle standing vertically in the vast Gobi Desert. It has become dense, scattered but regular shapes of sandstone after the long-term effect of nature.