Located on the northern Silk Road in a mountain basin at China’s lowest point is the rural Uighur settlement of Turpan. The Uighar descended from nomadic Siberian tribes who united in the 7th century and settled in the region in the 9th century, converting to Islam as it spread across Central Asia. Today Turpan is legendary for its blistering summers and delectable grapes. The very heat and dryness of the summer, when combined with the area's ancient system of irrigation known as karez, allows the countryside around Turpan to produce great quantities of high-quality fruit, notably grapes. Karez is an ingenious water management system with its roots in Persia, and used to provide a reliable supply of water to human settlements or for irrigation.
The Iranian-styeld Imin Ta Mosque is one of Turpan's most notabel sights and has a very interesting minaret. The Turpan Museum is also worth a look with a bountiful collection of relics, as is Turpan market where decorated knives and interesting clothing can be purchased.
Beyond Turpan on the road to Bezeklik, are the Flaming Mountains, which due to sun and shadow at certain times of the day seem to flicker as though glowing poker-hot. Beyond here are the Bezeklik Caves, which are situated in a desert gorge high above the Sengim River and once formed part of a Buddhist monastery between the 6th and 14th centuries. Southeast of Turpan are the Astana tombs and the impressive ruins of Gaochang city, founded as a garrison city in the 1st century AD.
SEE ALSO: Nearby site of interest - Jiaohe Ruins
To get you started with planning your holiday to Turpan, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to China
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...