Turpan Basin is located at the foot of Tianshan Mountain. Due to mountains, Bogdo peak in the north, and extreme subsidence in the middle, these elements geographically make the basin lowest in the world. Plus, stretching deep down inland, Turpan Basin is extremely drought and hot, famous as "fire land." The temperature in summer is usually above 40 degrees.
Gods love the great land of Turpan so much. They make the territory extremely hot and drought with little rain and sufficient sunshine for one side. On the other side, farmers of Turpan produce the sweetest grapes, juicy Hami melons, sweet and juicy watermelons, all kinds of off-season vegetables for Winter and other economic crops here. How amazing nature works! The basin is known as the "hometown of grapes and fruits".
Why visit the place
1. Historical spots
Turpan is like a huge time machine, taking us to go back to thousands of years ago to view Jiaohe and Gaochang Ancient Cities, and Tuyoq Village best-preserved Uighur Wood and Earth architecture with 1700 years. Perhaps it is going to be a wonderful historic through you've ever had.
2. Lowest and hottest
In the paralleled and none cross of two-dimensional space, you will appreciate the spectacular Flaming Mountains, oases, and vast desolated Gobi in Turpan.
3. Irrigation project
To survive in the drought and hot place, the ancient Uighur used the techniques to dig underground wells to plant. It is sad to know that many young Uighurs died early because of the hard work of drilling underground wells.
1. Tuyoq Village
Located in Tuyugou Gorge of Shanshan County, a river runs through and nourishes an oasis. Uiygur's ancestors built a village on the oasis encircled by the Flaming Mountains and bred here for generations. Ever since after 1700 years till today, about 65 families are still living in Tuyoq village. There must be some reasons that make people remain stayed. Hiking around the best-preserved Uighur Wood and Earth Village is going to be extraordinary and fresh. I search for the feeling of desolation with vigor.
2. Kumutag Desert
One step into the Shanshan County, the other into Kumutag Desert. There is no clear division between them. Thus Kumutag Desert is called "desert in the city". It covers about 22800Km2. The yellow sand is a sea without edges. The beautiful undulating sand dune curve is like a dancing dragon ridges. Trekking on a camel in the desert accompanied by a mandolin's distant ring has become a memory of the Silk Road.
3. Sugong Minaret
It is worth to spend half a day to visit it, composed of the ancient pagoda and the Mosque. Sugong Pagoda is located in Monage Village, 2km away from the eastern suburb of Turpan city. The tower body is a perfectly circular cone and shrinks from bottom to top with a height of 37 meters. I quite like the Islamic architectural style of being piled up by grey yellow bricks with triangular patterns, four-petal patterns, water wave patterns, and rhombic patterns on the tower body. They make the tower picturesque for its long history and culture.
I've been to the Mosque. It is open to tourists. Normally mosques are not open to the public, especially to females. I was delighted to visit the Mosque. Now my wish is made.
4. Bezklik Grottoes
Located on the West Bank cliff in Mutougou, it is very spectacular with trees under the ground and earthy yellow Grottoes in the air. Due to part of severe damage and part of a robbery, I wouldn't like to recommend paying a visit, and the Grottoes remain gorgeous and exquisite in contents and bright colors, though. However, it is the issue in my mind that why the Christians and the Buddhists painted on walls? Is it the same that primitive people and Italian artists during the Renaissance painted on walls? In whatever, I think one thing in common is the courage of pursuing art beauty. It can be proved by those crying residual Buddha in Bezklik Grottoes.
5. Jiaohe Ancient City
If you are interested in history, the trip is more than worthy. Otherwise, the ancient city in front of you is just the earthy ruins and broken walls full of dust through 2300 years. "There are no birds on the edge of Jiaohe City, and the horse's feet are slippery on the Luntai road." The poem reproduced the city's desolation and inaccessibility after being ruined.
The invading army destroyed the Ancient Jiaohe in 14th led by Khidr Khoja, the youngest son of Tughlugh Timur and the eighth grandson of Genghis Khan. He ordered the slaughter of the dwellers and forced the alive to believe in Islam. Since then, Turpan' residents have had faith in Islam.
Back earlier in 139BC, Zhang Qian conquered the Hun and established the Jiaohe Protectorate of the Western Regions under Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty. Xinjiang was officially incorporated into the territory of China. By 640 years of Tang Dynasty, the Protectorate of Western Region was strengthened to Han Authority. Since then, Jiaohe Ancient City was very prosperous and well functional with merchants coming and exquisite artistic attainments.
The city was built in war and destroyed in the war. Once upon a time, prosperity and war have gone with the wind, but babies buried in the underground cry as if enchanting here every night.
7. Karez Well
It is actually a human-made irrigation system. It is composed of four parts. The vertical shaft is used to excavate underdrain, transport sand, and stone, and ventilate. The underground channel is long water lines. Outflow through a surface channel is to irrigate fields or to be stored in Waterloo dam. The whole system is a great achievement of Uighur wisdom and hard work. They deserve sweet fruits and a better life.
When to come
September and October are the best Time of touring Turpan. The weather is not hot or cold but perfectly fine to enjoy outdoor activities. The fruit growers are busy hanging grapes on the ceilings of rammed-earth houses to dry them. Join them to have the harvest of a year.
As we all know, Turpan is the hottest place in the summer. Unless you are not afraid of getting sunburned, you just come to witness how fire red the Flaming Mountains look in summer.
The world is full of fragrance in April because of peaches in blossom. In March, swallows fly low to kiss the green shoots. April, March, and May are a good time to make a trip to Turpan.
Most tourists take bullet trains to get to Turpan from Dunhuang. Turpan Jiaohe Airport provides indirect flights to other cities such as Kashgar, Kuerle, etc. You could also take trains or coaches to go to other cities.
Turpan is a touring place in Xinjiang. Mos of travelers would like to spend one or two nights here because these top attractions can be visited within two days. So there are a few luxury hotels in Turpan. But you still have several good choices from 3 stars to 5 stars.
We recommend the following three hotels which have excellent service, pleasant dining environment, and cozy bedrooms.
Tuha Petroleum Hotel Turpan
Turpan hotel Xinjiang
Turpan Maps you might need