Pictured: The desert in China with so many tourist camel trains that TRAFFIC LIGHTS have


As an unexpected location for congestion, a desert takes some beating.

Especially when it’s camels that are gridlocked.

But camel traffic jams are exactly what take place amid the dunes of Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring Scenic Spot in China.

The problem became so acute that local authorities dreamt up a unique, world-first solution to stop delayed tourists from getting the hump (as Brits sometimes describe becoming annoyed) – camel traffic lights. 

The unique system was installed in 2021 at the popular spot on the outskirts of Dunhuang City in northwest China‘s Gansu province.

Camel traffic lights have been installed at Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring Scenic Spot

Camel traffic lights have been installed at Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring Scenic Spot 

The unique system was installed in 2021 at the popular spot on the outskirts of Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu province

The unique system was installed in 2021 at the popular spot on the outskirts of Dunhuang City in northwest China’s Gansu province 

The signals serve the same purpose as regular traffic lights and display the same traditional green pedestrian symbols on one side.

But on the other side, they show a distinctive image of a two-humped camel. 

Dozens of traffic lights were installed along the scenic route to allow pedestrians to cross in between long lines of camels. 

The signals serve the same purpose as regular traffic lights. They display the traditional green pedestrian symbols on one side, but an image of a two-humped camel on the other

The signals serve the same purpose as regular traffic lights. They display the traditional green pedestrian symbols on one side, but an image of a two-humped camel on the other

The unique system at Mingsha Mountain (above) has itself become a tourist attraction

The unique system at Mingsha Mountain (above) has itself become a tourist attraction

When the green camel light is on, camels can pass, and when the red camel light is on, camels stop to let pedestrians through. 

While the traffic lights have worked to speed up camel rides through the desert, it hasn’t made the area any less busy – the traffic lights have become a popular tourist attraction in themselves.

According to China Daily, Wang Youxia, deputy general manager of the company responsible for the scenic spot’s operations said that more than 3.7million tourists visited last year, with 42 per cent of those opting for camel rides. 

The scenic area is home to around 2,000 camels, each transporting multiple tourists a day, according to the website. 

The camel rides are operated by local villagers, who charge around 100 yuan (£12/$14) per tourist for an hour-long camel trek. 

The scenic area is home to around 2,000 camels, each transporting multiple tourists a day

The scenic area is home to around 2,000 camels, each transporting multiple tourists a day



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