In the Xiangshawan Desert, a remote stretch of dunes in Inner Mongolia, about 350 miles west of Beijing, an architectural lotus recently blossomed: the Desert Lotus Hotel. The hotel is part of a new resort built amid a vast sea of sand dunes, increasingly popular with Chinese tourists. The resort hosts Mongolian-themed performances, camel rides, desert surfing, and more. Xiangshawan is also known as the "Resonant Sand Gorge", as the composition of its dunes make them "singing sands", which can produce a roaring or booming sound when disturbed, a natural phenomenon still not fully understood. Getty Images photographer Feng Li spent a few days at the resort last month, returning with the following images from Xiangshawan. [28 photos total]

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The Desert Lotus Hotel in Xiangshawan Desert, also called Resonant Sand Gorge in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, on July 19, 2013. Xiangshawan is in the Kubuqi Desert, a small section of the Gobi Desert about 350 miles (563 km) west of Beijing. Visitors sliding down 110-meter-high, 45-degree sand hills, cause the "singing sands" to produce a roaring or booming sound, a natural phenomenon still not fully understood. The hotel is part of a larger tourist resort built in the desert in recent years. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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The Desert Lotus Hotel, among the dunes of the Xiangshawan Desert, seen via Google Earth. The looped lines at left are train tracks for a small tourist ride. (© DigitalGlobe / Google, Inc.) #
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Dancers perform yoga in the Xiangshawan Desert, in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A model in Mongolian-themed costume prepares backstage after a Mongolian ritual ceremony at the Xiangshawan Resort, on July 19, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Tourists ride through the dunes of the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 18, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Toursits visit the open space of the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A view of the Xiangshawan Desert, July 19, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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The hand of a tourist taking an open-top bus tour of the Xiangshawan Desert on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Tourists on a bus tour bus pass resort buildings in the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 19, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A dancer in traditional costume attends a Mongolian ritual ceremony in the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 19, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A sand frog jumps, a tourist standing behind, in the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 18, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers perform yoga on the dunes of the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers in traditional costume perform near the Desert Lotus Hotel in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on July 19, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Camels walk on the dunes of the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Models in Mongolian costume prepare for a show, backstage at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers perform on the dunes near the Desert Lotus Hotel in Ordos, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers perform near camels, on the dunes near the Desert Lotus Hotel in Ordos, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Boys play in a pool at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 18, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers perform yoga near a swimming pool at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Tourists play in a pool at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Visitors run on the Xiangshawan Desert dunes, which can trigger the "singing sands" to produce a roaring or booming sound, a natural phenomenon still not fully understood, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Tourists walk on the dunes, a power plant visible in the distance, in Ordos Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on July 17, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A model in Mongolian-themed costume prepares for a show, offstage at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 18, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers prepare at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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A model performs in Mongolian-themed costume, near a swimming pool at the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 18, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Acrobats perform in the Xiangshawan Desert resort, on July 21, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Tourists ride an open-top vehicle past the Desert Lotus Hotel, on July 17, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
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Dancers perform on the dunes of the Xiangshawan Desert, on July 20, 2013. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #

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