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Singing Sands

The Khongor Dunes (Khongoryn Els) of Mongolia extend over an area of almost 400 square miles. These massive dunes are known as the "Singing Sands" because of the distinct noise made by the wind carrying shifting sand.


Where: Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park in Mongolia. When: You can photograph the dunes anytime of year, but winter can be brutally cold and tourism options are limited. Summers are often very hot. June and September are considered the most comfortable months to visit.

Photography: You'll want to use a guide or tour service to visit the dunes which are deep within the Gobi Desert. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to photograph dunes, when the light is low and colorful. Look to find interesting patterns formed by the interplay of shadow and light. You can use a variety of lenses while photographing the dunes, ranging from wide-angle to short telephoto. To get into the dune field, you'll have to do a steep climb of several hundred feet over soft sand. Learn more: There's not a lot of information about visiting the Singing Sands (you can check out Lonely Planet's article here), but if you are working with a tour company in Mongolia, they can arrange a visit for you. © Ian Plant


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