If you ever happen to be crossing the border between China and Mongolia, (you never know, you might one day, mightn’t you?) make sure you don’t miss out on Dinosaur Fairyland. That would be a big mistake. It’s dramatic, weird and remote, three of my favourite things.
Dinosaur Faiyland is stuck out in the middle of nowhere, roughly 20km from the nearest town – Erlian (or Erenhot) in Inner Mongolia. Virtually no one ever goes there. It’s en route to literally nothing.
The park was plonked in this remote backwater because the area is a hot bed for fossils, but still no tourists visit. The Chinese government have tried to turn the place into a tourist destination but, due to its secluded situation, they have pretty much failed.
It’s a shame Dinosaur Fairyland hasn’t had more success; having said that, its crushing lack of humans gives the park an awesome other worldly vibe. It gives it a more genuinely Jurassic feeling. Although, when there were live dinosaurs moving about around here, during the Cretaceous, 60 million years ago, the Gobi desert was actually lush forests and marshland.
Dinosaur Fairyland boasts a couple of the biggest dinosaur models on the planet: a couple of giant kissing sauropods soaring above the road. The kissing dinosaurs are world famous, but yet no one visits them
The town of Erilan has a population approaching 75,000 and is almost 1000 m above sea level. The town’s headcount increased 10 fold when the border town was opened for trade between the two countries in 1992.
The region is dry and inhospitable and that hasn’t helped the park’s popularity one bit. Here it is on a map just to give you some idea of how massively remote the town is:
So, if you do ever find yourself right out there on the Mongolia/China border, make sure you pop in and say “Hi” won’t you?
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