Turpan (also known as Turfan or Tulufan) is an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Made up of 21 different nationalities, Turpan has a population of 250,000, among which the Uygurs account for over 70% of the total number. Turpan attract visitors all over the world with its mixed western and eastern religions and unique landscaples.
Location and topography of Turpan
Situated at the very center of Xinjiang, Turpan lies at the foot of the Heavenly Mountain and about 93.2 miles (150 km) southeast of Xinjiang's capital city Urumqi. Lying in the Turpan Basin, Turpan is the city with the lowest elevation in China.
Climate in Turpan
Turpan is also known as Huo Zhou (a place as hot as fire), which has an annual average temperature is 57.2 F (14 C). The city belongs to a arid continental climate with very hot summers, very cold winters. July is the hottest month, with averages ranging from highs of 77°F (25°C) to 111°F (44°C), while January is the coldest, with highs of 26°F (-4°C) and lows of -9°F (-23°C). The best time for visiting is between July and August (though extremely hot) when the fruit crops are ripe. The annual Grape Festival held in August is a spectacular event that you would not want to miss.
Transportation in Turpan
Turpan Railway Station, located in Daheyan County, is about 31 miles (50 km) from the city proper. there are daily trains shuttling between Turpan and other cities in Xinjiang Province, such as Urumqi, Hotan, Kashgar, Korla, etc. Additionally, there are trains to and from many major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Jinan, Chongqing and Zhengzhou.
There are two bus stations in Turpan: Turpan Bus Station and Daheyan Bus Station. They run buses to cities with Xinjiang, including Urumqi, Aqsu, Tuokexun, Kashgar, Heshuo, Hami, Korla and Tuyu Valley.
Travel & Sightseeing in Turpan
Originally Gaochang, Turpan was a key point on the Silk Road in ancient times. Turpan's importance in history means that it has significant influence in China's cultural heritage and has many historical sites. Together with rich historical relics, the unique landscape and exotic culture has made Turpan a hot spot in China. Among the highlights are: Flaming Mountain (famous because of the novel The Journey to the West), Grape Valley (located in the Flaming Mountain), Gaochang Ruins (the ancient city of Gaochang), Jiaohe Ruins (the ancient city of Jiaohe, the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world), Aydingkoi Lake (at the bottom of the deepest depression in China's land mass, known as Turpan Pendi), Emin Minaret (the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China), Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs (part of the Underground Museum of Turpan and the Living Archives of Gaochang), Bizalkik Thousand Buddha Caves (considererd as the most valuable caves in Turpan), Karez System (one of the four great irrigation system of China), etc. It will also be fun to visit the local minority groups, and taste Uygur snacks.
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