In the words of the monk Xuanzang who crossed this stretch of the Gobi 14 centuries ago: “During the day the heat sears you like a flame, at night the cold cuts your flesh like a knife.”

Weather conditions in the Southern Gobi can be extreme. It can be almost 30C during the day, but at night the temperature plunges below zero. A snow storm can appear unexpectedly and temperature can go down as low as -15C, with whiteout conditions.

Be prepared for the cold – you will need a good sleeping bag and warm clothes. (More details can be found in the Equipment section). Expect the temperature to be below freezing at night despite the heat of the day.

It can also be quite windy; Guazhou County is renowned for its strong winds.