China Adventures

Badain Jaran Desert Caravan (Spring & Fall)

5 days of hiking and camel riding from oasis to oasis (8 in total) in the world’s 4th largest desert. Thrilling jeep rides in and out of the desert. Non stop breathtaking views in one of the most deserted places on our planet. Become a nomad and scale the world’s largest sand dune.Everybody with an adventurous spirit can join. Whenever you feel tired you can just jump on your camel and wobble to the next oases.

  • Key Info
  • Discounts & Inclusions
  • Top travel season: fall and spring
  • Length: 5 days
  • Hike Level: 3 medium-strong
  • Hiking Distance: 60km
  • Departure time : 7 am
  • Price: 9500¥ / 1360$

Meeting and drop of point: Beijing South Airport or Jinchang Airport

Day 1:

Airport meet up

Drive and hike into the desert.

Overnight with locals in the desert

Day 2-4:

10 km hiking per day

Overnight with locals in the desert

Day 5:

Drive and hike out of the desert

Overnight in Jinchang town

Day 6:

Fly out


65 km hiking

Tibetan desert temple

bright bleu oases

Climb the worlds highest dune

Exhilarating jeep rides

Upcoming trip:

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 :

Badain Jaran desert, here we come!

5:00: Meeting at Beijing Airport

6:50: Fly from Beijing to Jinchang

8:50: Arrive in Jinchang

9:00: Private bus from Jinchang to Yabulaizhen

12.30: Lunch at Yabulaizhen

13.30: Jeep from Yabulaizhen into Badain Jaran desert

(schedule might depending on flight times)

From here, we will lose track of time and live with the sun, the moon, the stars and follow the pace of the locals. We have quite a few friends living deep in the desert, so the itinerary will be subject to who is home.

Badain Jaran Desert Hike

Badain Jaran Desert Hike

Our friends at lake Bilutu and Hudujulin will welcome us delightfully with some home cooked meals. At night, we can lay in the sand  and  doze off while searching for a shooting star.

china desert hike

Badain Jaran Desert

Day 2

A stunning day where our caravan passes over high dunes and 3 oases. This evening we will set camp at a small oasis called Xiao Haize. Another friend of ours live here and he always has a few beers in the fridge.

Day 3

This is not just another day, but a day filled with highlights. If you feel strong, you can set off and start climbing the highest dune of the desert. Time to put your camera on panoramic. On top of this dune you will have 360 degrees view of 4 oases. Running down the dunes is much easier and faster, so you’ll catch up with the caravan heading for the Badajilin Buddhist temple later.

At night, we pitch our tents next to the mystique lake. It said that the fresh water flows out when people pray or sing for it. Let’s check if it is true!

Badain Jaran (Badan Jilin) desert

Badain Jaran (Badan Jilin) Desert

Day 4

This morning, you get the chance to visit the temple and witness the monks chanting the Tibetan mantras and walk around the lake  After lunch, we will saddle our camels and ride to Nuretu lake, the most idyllic lake of the desert.

Day 5

After breakfast, we will kiss our loyal camel goodbye and the 4×4’s will bring us back to the edge of the desert. Our van will pick us up and bring us to a nice hotel in Jinchang for a well deserved shower.

Badain Jaran (Badan Jilin) desert

Badain Jaran (Badan Jilin) Desert

Day 6

We head to the airport at and board the plane. By dinner time, you will be back in Beijing watching the slideshow of your fabulous Badain Jaran desert tour. 

Accommodation and food

Accommodation is simple in the Badain Jaran desert. At some places, you will have a bed in a private room. At other times, there will be 4 beds in one room. In some locations it will be possible to camp in the dunes depending on the weather conditions (read strong winds/ sandstorms)

It is rare to find toilets in the desert. Mostly there is a designated dune   so don’t forget to bring a roll of toilet paper. The locals will be our host and chef. The food in the desert is good. It will be a mix between meat, vegetables and lots of milk tea.

Price & Payment

For this trip, we will ask you to sign up and pay 1 month in advance. Everything is included from the moment you arrive in Jinchang till you get back on the train/plane.

This part of the desert requires a special permit and we will arrange that for you. All we need from you is a scanned copy (not a picture) of your passport, your China visa, and the page with the entry stamp.

In case of cancellation

More than 1 month before the trip you will get a 100% refund

Less than 1 month before the trip there will be no refund unless somebody else can takes up your spot

What to bring

1. The temperature during May will be nice and warm during the day. Comfortable cool at night.

2. The altitude of Badain Jaran desert is between 1100m and 1600m. UV radiation intensifies at this altitude, sunscreen lotion and sunglasses and a hat are recommended.

3. Medicines for fever, headache, diarrhea, car sickness, etc.

4. Good walking shoes are essential for trekking in desert.

5. Small bag to carry your camera and water, plastic bag to keep your camera or photographic equipment from sands and dust.

6. Toilet paper, flash light.

7. There will be a limited possibility to charge batteries so be sure to bring a few extra.

8. Do not forget to bring your Passport.

Badain Jaran desert is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. With dunes like mountain ranges and over 150 lakes  this place should be listed in the top 3 natural wonders of the world.” (Frederik Halewyck, hiking guide, world traveler and assistant for lonely planet Gobi Desert exploration 2010.

Level 3: Medium-strong

A good physical condition is required for hiking in these designed trails. Hikes marked as level 3 are usually long day hikes or day hikes that include a steep uphill hike and/or trails where some balance is needed. Usually kids from age of 10 are all right with these trips.

Planning a trip ahead or want a private tour?