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the Degree Confluence Project
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China : Shǎnxī Shěng

4.0 km (2.5 miles) NNE of Gongbo, Shǎnxī, China
Approx. altitude: 1232 m (4041 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 70°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North #3: East #4: South #5: West #6: GPS #7: Me

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  39°N 110°E (visit #1)  

#1: 39N 110E

(visited by Jonathan Schoeller)

14-Jun-2010 --

I set out for this confluence solo from Dongsheng, using only public transportation, the kindness of strangers, and my own two feet. At the Dongsheng bus station, I asked around for a bus to the Genghis Khan Mausoleum, since this seemed like the nearest point of interest to the confluence. Actually, Hongjiannao, the largest desert fresh water lake in China, is closer to the confluence, but it seemed like there were no public buses going there.

There were no buses direct to the Genghis Khan Mausoleum, so instead I took a bus going to Wushenqi and got off the bus at the side of the highway near the Mausoleum. From there, I found an unofficial taxi and got a ride south to Xinjie. In Xinjie, I switched taxis and continued the rest of the way to Hongjiannao. I later found out that an easier and less expensive route to Hongjiannao would have been to take a bus from Dongsheng to Ejin Horo Qi and, from there, another bus to Xinjie via Chengling near the Mausoleum. From there, an unofficial taxi to Hongjiannao.

I visited Hongjiannao lake before continuing to the confluence point. The lake had quite a few visitors, maybe because it was the first day of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. The lake is definitely quite large, but otherwise not especially interesting. I stayed for about an hour and then continued to the confluence on foot.

From Hongjiannao, I followed a small paved road south south-east for several kilometers until it started veering away from the confluence. There, I switched over to a larger highway, that was running parallel.

I continued on foot for about an hour and a half until the highway started turning away from the confluence. From there, I got off the highway and continued through the soft dirt/sand scrub-land. The landscape is mostly mounds of soft earth, like sand dunes, and clumps of tall shrubs and grass. There were many goat tracks and droppings, but the only animals I saw were insects, small lizards, and birds. I didn't see any people after leaving the highway.

After leaving the highway, I continued for about an hour to reach the confluence, take some pictures, and head back to the highway to hitch a ride to the nearest village.

Summary
The hike from the highway to the confluence isn't too hard, provided that you stay on the highway until you are as near the confluence as possible. The soft earth, dunes, and lack of shade made the hike more strenuous than I anticipated when I decided to leave the highway before getting as close to the confluence as I could. Although the terrain doesn't seem especially demanding at first, I recommed following one of the cart tracks criss crossing the desert to make the trek easier


 All pictures
#1: 39N 110E
#2: North
#3: East
#4: South
#5: West
#6: GPS
#7: Me
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)