Shapotou, situated in Zhongwei County, lies on the north bank of the Yellow River where it crosses the southeastern border of the Tengger Desert. You can ride a camel across the Tengger desert, you can ride an suv to surf the sand sea, you can enjoy the desert smoke, the sunset.The main protection objects of Shapotou are natural desert landscape, natural sand-bearing vegetation, research achievements in sand control, wild animals, the ancient Great Wall of Ming dynasty, and the cultural landscape and natural complex of Shapotou.
It is regarded as the best leisure tourism destination in China.Shapotou Tourism Area is regarded as one of the five most beautiful deserts in China, and is widely recognized as the Capital of Sand. Standing on the sand hill, one can see the desert extending to the north, and to the south, a boundless oasis. Both the grandeur of the north of China and the elegance of the south come together in this lovely place.
Floating along the Yellow River on a sheepskin raft – the most unpretentious of vehicles – is something of a special thrill. When a sheep is killed the locals will remove the skin and skillfully make a balloon out of it. A number of these balloons are strung together to form a buoyant base for a floor of bamboos. This sheepskin raft may look flimsy, but it is eminently safe. The drift requires great courage, but this does not mean that it is unsafe. Experienced boatmen will make sure that you cannot only sense the excitement but also enjoy the fascinating scenery along the way. The ruins of a part of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty are there, as is the site of ancient waterwheels-an image of the Yellow River culture.
Shapotou International Sand Slide Center is the biggest natural sand slide field in China. It is also one of China’s Four Sounding Sand Fields. It has a length of about 1,000 meters, a height of over 100 meters and a slope of 60 degrees. When the weather is fine, people sliding down the sand hill can hear the sound of sand underneath them, for all the world like tolling bells. It is adventurous, breathtaking, strange and heady experience-not designed for the weak of heart.
The cableway slide across the Yellow River at Shapotou has won fame as the First Yellow River Cableway Slide. The cableway here is 820 meters long, 54 meters high above the water and the slide is at an average speed of 8 m/s. The cableway at Shapotou is unique in China, in that it depends totally on gravity to set it in motion.
Besides, tourists can enjoy the beauty and mystery of the desert from the vantage point of a camel’s back. Sunset on the Yellow River and sunrise in the desert are particularly memorable. One can spend an evening in a Mongolian camp or sit by a bonfire enjoying an ethnic-style performance or even take part in a dance. If one prefers a more gentle experience, one can take a yacht along the Yellow River and visit the show of local sand-controlling achievements.