The Crescent Spring is in Dunhuang City, Gandu Province and is about 5 kilometers from southwest Dunhuang City. It has been a tourist attraction as early as the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD). Crescent Spring lies at the foot of the Singing Sand (Mingsha) Mountains, which are smooth pale-golden dunes. The spring is named for its crescent shape and is about 100-meter long and 25-meter wide.
The area is often hit by sandstorms, shutting out the sunlight. Interestingly, for hundreds of years people have never seen the spring filled up with or covered by sand. However, since 1960s, the water level has dropped by nearly 6 meters. In order to keep the god-given spring in desert, government has put millions of yuan to improve the environment around the spring. Even so, the spring is still facing the threat of Singing Sands Mountains. According to some statistics, the east and south parts of Singing Sands Mountains have moved to the spring about 9 meters during past 15 years and the area of the Singing Sands Mountains has reduced by about 7% of the area in 15 years ago. Comparing with the situation in 1970s, the sand mountains around the spring at least have moved 13 meters closer to Crescent Spring. In a word, the spring is facing the threat of being covered by sand mountains.