220 km south of Yinchuan (3.5 hours ride), Shapotou Tourism Area lies on the southeastern rim of the Tengger Desert with breathtaking scenery of desert dunes, the Yellow River and lush farmlands. It is based around the Shapotou Desert Research Center, which was founded in 1956 to battle against the ever-expanding problem of desertification in the area and sand dune stabilization to protect the Baotour-Lanzhou railway. In 1980s, here was developed into a famous tourist attraction due to its unique desert scenery.
Nowadays Shapotou has become a desert amusement park, where tourists are recommended to try 3 most popular activities: leather rafting on the Yellow River (a traditional mode of transport for locals), sand slide (the biggest national sand slide field in China), and camel riding at Tengger Desert (arguably the most beautiful desert in China).
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