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Dawa Kul (Medicine Lake)

If you tell a tour company that you’d like to visit Dawa Kul (Medicine Lake) you’ll be taken to a place which was recently built just for tourists. You might have fun there for an hour or so, but don’t be fooled as it isn’t the real Dawa Kul.  The real  Dawa Kul is hidden in the desert near a village several hours from Kashgar.

While it is called Medicine Lake , it actually consists of several small bodies of water which have been in the desert for hundreds if not thousands of years.  The locals tell us that taking a bath in the water is good for your health, this is probably due to the high salt and mineral content (don’t drink the water!)

Travel to the Medicine Lake begins with a 2-3 hour drive (assuming you don’t get lost) to a small village outside of Kashgar. Once in the village you’ll have to talk to locals to see if anyone is willing to guide you to the lakes as they aren’t easily found!  It’s roughly 10-15km out to the lakes depending on the path you choose and can be traveled on foot, horse, camel, or by 4wd vehicle. We chose to travel via motorcycle but I would highly advise you to choose another transportation option. With two people per moto we ended up getting stuck several times and every 5 or 10 minutes we’d have to push the motorcycles through large patches of loose sand. Of all your transportation options I’d recommend traveling by foot, horse, or camel, and plan on spending the night in the desert to watch the sunset and sunrise.  4wd vehicles and motorcycles cause more harm to the vegetation than would your other forms of travel. 

This was definitely a journey I won’t forget and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a real adventure!

Dawa Kul 1

Bartering with the locals to rent their motos

Dawa Kul 2

Riding "Motos" in the Soft Desert Sand is Not Recommended

Dawa Kul, Xinjiang, China, Kashgar, Kashi, Sunset, Desert

Desert Sunset

Dawa Kul, Xinjiang, China, Kashgar, Kashi, Desert

The First and Smallest Dawa Kul (Medicine Lake) That We Came Upon

Dawa Kul, Xinjiang, China, Kashgar, Kashi, Sunset, Desert

Another Desert Sunset

Dawa Kul, Xinjiang, China, Kashgar, Kashi, Desert

Taking a Much Needed Rest Before Our Long Journey Back

Dawa Kul, Xinjiang, China, Kashgar, Kashi, Sunset, Desert

Signs of Past Visitors

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