Sand sledging as a sport and recreation originated it is said in southwest Africa at a place named Nabi, one of the oldest deserts in the world, where this activity began.
On a sand slope of 45°, the sand board slides down at a speed of 20 meters a second. With an increase of momentum, the speed becomes faster and faster.
Although sand tobogganing as an activity is full of excitement it is performed with absolute safety. Unlike skiing and dry land sledding, which require courage and guts, it is thrilling but not dangerous.
Here, we will introduce three famous sand sliding fields around Beijing.
Tianmo Sand Sliding Field 天漠滑沙场
Tianmo Sand Sliding Field is located at Baolong Mountain, southwest of East garden in Huailai County. It is 90 km from Beijing and is in the direction of Badaling Great Wall and Kangxi Grassland. The scenic spot comprises mountains, sand like the Gobi Desert and a lake.
When standing on the desert, you will see Guanting Reservoir appearing like a silk ribbon lying in the north, and beacon towers standing on the foothill of Jundu Mountains in the south. Those beacon towers, arranged from west to east, are ruins of the Great Wall of Yan (an ancient state) during the Warring States period. In a manner of speaking, the magnificent natural and cultural landscape here is regarded as unique around Beijing.
People can not only go sand sliding, sand hill climbing and camel riding, but they may also have a chance to watch the shooting of movie and television scenes . Because of its unique landscape, Tianmo Sand Sliding Field has become one of the best locations to shoot pictures of the scenery of western China. In recent years, more than 300 films and TV series chose this place as a filming location, examples are: The Romance of The Three Kingdoms, and A Pilgrimage to The West.
Mountains, desert, a lake, ancient beacon towers, and an old stage in the village make up a unique scenery. Without any noise of industry, tranquility is the only theme. In the beautiful scenery of green mountains and clear water as well as the towering sand hills, you can slide on sand, ride a horse, take a sand bath, or you can drive an off-road vehicle to appreciate the unique sights of China and explore the secrets of nature.
Bus: Take bus 969 which gets onto Badaling Expressway via Madian Bridge then drives 28 km westbound after passing through Badaling. It takes about one and a half hours to reach Tianmo Sand Sliding Field.
Emerald Island 翡翠岛
Emerald Island is located in the southern Golden Coast of Changli County, Qinghuangdao, Hebei Province. It is a peninsula surrounded by the Bohai Sea in the east, north and west and Qilihu (a lagoon) in the south. The island is covered by golden sand and green vegetation. On the island, the flowing sand dunes, rising and falling in turn, have a highest point of 44 meters and an area of 7 square kilometers, and so the island is known as, "The desert on the East of Beijing " When we look from the sky, what meets our eyes is the color like emerald reflected by sea water, and thus, the island got named as "Emerald Island."
Emerald Island has marine desert scenery rare not only in China but throughout the world; it is one of the seven national marine nature reserves in China.
To preserve the natural environment of this coastal and desert landscape for later generations, sand sliding activity has been forbidden on the highest sand hill. But we can still experience the feel of speeding and falling on those lower sand hills without any time limit.
There is also a fish island (hot spring is a local feature) and near the Emerald Island. It only costs 20 yuan to take a taxi to get there. Jingshawan Sand Sculpture World provides a simple golf course and sand sliding field without charge.
Bus:Take a coach from Beijing to Qinghuangdao or Beidaihe. Then take a taxi to reach the scenic spot. It costs around 100 yuan by taxi from Beidaihe to Emerald Island.
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Known for its "blue sea and golden sand,"the coast of Nandaihe gained its reputation from home and abroad. There is clean water, a soft and broad beach, a dense forest as well as the unique sand hills. The sand sliding field, located on the hills with10 slide ways, is the brand activity of this scenic spot.
Standing on the sand hill and looking to the South, you can see azure sea water, golden beaches, shuttling fishing boats on the sea, cascading waves and visitors playing in the shallows. To the North, there are endless locust woods, various entertainment settings and interlinked lakes shimmering in the sun.
Bus: take bus 5 or 22 from Beidaihe Railway Station to 281 Hospital then transfer to a minibus to get Nandaihe. Or take a minibus from Beidaihe Coast Bus Station to get there.
- Avoid playing in the sand at noon, because the temperature of sand can be painfully hot at that time.
- 2. If you accidentally fall over, try to retain flexibility in your body − since the sand is soft, your body will naturally stop tumbling after a few rolls.
- 3. Remember to take sunblock and drink enough water when walking in the desert.