Chinese Name: 沙湖
English Name: Sand Lake; Sha Hu
Location: Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Type: Ancient culture and art
Rating Level: AAAAA (5A)
Sand Lake Tourist Attraction, located in Pingluo County 平罗县, Shizuishan City 石嘴山市, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region 宁夏回族自治区, is a national AAAAA tourist attraction with the natural landscape as the main body and five scenic sources of sand, water, reed, bird, and mountain as the organic combination. It is known as a “rare cultural tourist resort in the world”.
Ningxia Sand Lake Ecotourism Area is a tourism pearl on the “Silk Road 丝绸之路 Post Station”, which integrates the beauty of Jiangnan 江南 water town and the majesty of the Northern Desert. The main scenic spots include the Shahu International Sand Sculpture Park 沙雕公园, Bird Island (Bird Paradise) 鸟岛, Hudong Wetland 湖东湿地 (Bird Observation Station), Shahu Inscription Stone 沙湖题字石, and other redundant landscapes.
In 2000, Sand Lake was identified as the “National Civilized Tourism Scenic Spot” by the Central Office of Spiritual Civilization, the Ministry of Construction and the National Tourism Administration, the “50 Sceneries of the Yellow River in China” at the 2018 China Yellow River Tourism Conference, and the best eco-tourism destination of China National Tourism in 2018.
What are worth visiting and seeing？
History of Sand Lake
The Sand Lake Scenic Area was originally a saucer-shaped depression in the West Grand Beach of Yinchuan Plain 银川平原. As early as 407 A.D., there was a record of garrison reclamation and border defense, and it was developed on a large scale in the early Qing Dynasty.
In 1952, 5804 officers and soldiers from the First Agricultural Construction Division of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army 中国人民解放军 created a state-controlled Qianjin Farm, one of the earlier state-controlled farms.
In 1986, the leading group of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Natural Reserve Zoning inspected the birds in Shahu and listed them in the “Ningxia Natural Reserve Zoning Plan”. Shahu was listed as a game reserve.
In 1990, it was named Sand Lake.
In 1994, it was rated as “one of the 35 top tourist attractions in China” by the National Tourism Administration.
On January 27, 1997, the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region approved the establishment of Ningxia Shahu Nature Reserve.
In 2001, Shahu was rated as one of the first 4A-level ecotourism areas in China by the National Tourism Administration.
In 2007, it was rated as one of the first 5A scenic spots in China by the National Tourism Administration.
The International Sand Sculpture Garden 国际沙雕园 was officially opened on August 11, 2002. It is the venue of the previous Sand Lake International Sand Sculpture Competition. Sand carving masters from the United States, France, Russia, and other countries compete here. As of 2018, Sand Lake has successfully held several sand carving competitions.
Ningxia Wetland Museum 宁夏湿地博物馆 was completed and opened on October 29, 2010. It is a museum focusing on popularizing wetland knowledge and bird exhibition, taking wetlands as the main exhibition line, focusing on sand lakes, and taking the harmony and unity of nature, society, and people as the theme.
Ningxia Wetland Museum is an exhibition hall that takes reed, bird, water, and sand as design elements, adopts the main shape of “sand dune”, combines sound, light, electricity, image, and other technologies, and organically combines wetland knowledge, wetland biology, wetland culture, wetland, and human relations, popular science, and research, collection and exhibition, entertainment and tourism services.
Bird Island 鸟岛 is located in the core area of Shahu Bird Reserve, also known as Bird Paradise. It is one of the bird-watching spots with the closest distance to birds and the largest number of birds.
The Bird Island is home to more than 1.5 million birds of 178 species belonging to 17 orders, and 44 families, including 5 species of birds under national first-class protection, 21 species of birds under national second-class protection, and 24 species of animals under key protection in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
In 2013, Shahu Scenic Area reconstructed and expanded the bird-watching platform located in the east of Bird Island.
Scenic Area Features
Humorous and funny sea lion performances include a heading, shooting, saluting, shyness, handstand, disco jump, balance ball on the bar, sit-ups, clarinet blowing, etc.
The big head of the sand lake fish is stewed with large grains of salt. It is about three or five kilograms of sand lake fish split in half, with a basin of fresh fish soup outside. The Shahu fish is served with sauce. It is bright in color and has no fishy smell. When eating, it must be accompanied by garlic paste and sesame oil. It tastes smooth and tender. Shahu Fish Head Soup is the feature of the scenic spot. Shahu is a “National Ecological Health Breeding Demonstration Zone”, and the “big fish head of Shahu” produced by it is known as the natural “brain gold”, which naturally becomes a national feast delicacy.