A Lotus in the Desert: China's Xiangshawan Resort

In the Xiangshawan Desert, a remote stretch of dunes in Inner Mongolia, about 350 miles west of Beijing, an architectural lotus recently blossomed: the Desert Lotus Hotel. The hotel is part of a new resort built amid a vast sea of sand dunes, increasingly popular with Chinese tourists. The resort hosts Mongolian-themed performances, camel rides, desert surfing, and more. Xiangshawan is also known as the "Resonant Sand Gorge", as the composition of its dunes make them "singing sands", which can produce a roaring or booming sound when disturbed, a natural phenomenon still not fully understood. Getty Images photographer Feng Li spent a few days at the resort last month, returning with the following images from Xiangshawan.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock

    A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

    In south central China’s Guizhou province sits Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, home to nearly four million people, beautiful scenery, and colorful festivals.

  • Marco Longari / AFP / Getty

    Afriski: Lesotho's Only Ski Resort

    High in the Mountains of Lesotho, sits Afriski, one of only two ski resorts in southern Africa.

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.

  • Kyodo / Reuters

    Photos: Death Toll Reaches 200 in Devastating Japan Floods

    Over the weekend, sustained heavy rainfall hit parts of western and central Japan, causing flash flooding, setting off landslides, and submerging floodplains.