The Yellow River tumbles its way across Heishan Gully into the territory of Zhongwei County. There, making a sharp turn at Shapotouand, it immediately loses its ferocity and becomes a tamed stream. The land changes too, acquiring a kind of unusual appeal and earning the reputation as the most thriving region in the Yellow River basin.
Shapotou lies on the southern edge of Tengger Desert, 20 kilometres to the west of Zhongwei County on the northern shore of the Yellow River. There, the vast world of golden sand, surging and ebbing as it extends all the way from the north, comes to an abrupt stop by the river and at the foot of the Xiangshan Mountain and forms a giant sand slope 2, 000 metres wide and 200 metres high with a tilt of 60 degrees. Hence the name Shapotou, meaning Head of a Sand Slope. On a fine day, whenever someone slides down the slope, it emits a humming sound that resembles the tolling of a gold bell. Extolled as Bell Tolls at a Sand Slope Shatoupo is one of the four major sand in China. Looking up at the slope from its feet, one sees cliffs overhanging like waterfalls. Sand-divers descend down the slops like angels from heaven, the fascination of the humming sand invariably tossing the din and traffic of the mundane world to the remotest corner of their minds.