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City Along Ancient Silk Road – Turpan

Turpan is a magical place. It is the fusion of ancient and modern civilizations, the intersection of eastern and western cultures and religions, and the place that has the most abundant sites of the Silk Road in China. It was once one of the political, economic and cultural centers in the western regions.

There are more than 200 cultural sites that have been unearthed here, and more than 40000 relics unearthed from the prehistoric to modern times. Judging from the unearthed cultural relics, Turpan has used at least more than 18 kinds of ancient languages and is one of the world’s profound intersection of Chinese culture, Indian culture, Greek culture and Islamic culture.

A book named The Culture along The Silk Road says that, “There are few other oases as culturally diverse as Turpan. Culturally speaking, Turpan is like a sponge, absorbing spiritual content and literary form from all aspects. How international this oasis is, where people from all over the world come together as one family.”

July to September is the best time to travel in Turpan. If you want to feel the scorching temperature as Turpan’s speciality, you can go there at this time. If you want to play well, eat well and see the best scenery, go in September, when fruits and vegetables are ripe for the market.

For visitors, sand therapy is a unique recreation and fitness project. The dune in the basin is the best place for sand treatment, especially from June to August every year. It helps to accelerate metabolism function, and play the role of sun therapy, heat therapy, magnetic therapy and massage. There’s also an interesting trading custom here that all food is sold by weight of kilogram in Xinjiang, which is a little different compared with that in other area, Jin(1/2 kilogram) being the common unit of weight.

Located 10 kilometers northeast of Turpan city, the Mountain of Flames runs east to west, with 98 kilometers long and 9 kilometers wide, and its main peak is 831.7 meters above sea level. In one of four famous novels named The Journey to The West, Sun Wukong borrows palm-leaf fan to extinguish the flame mountain fire, which adds some kind of legendary flavor to the flame mountain. Most tourist attractions in Turpan are located within the highway mileage of about 40 kilometers from the city center, and the most essential scenic spots can be completed in a single day, such as flaming mountain, thousand Buddha Cave, Gaochang Ancient City, Jiaohe Ruins, Karez, Sugong Pagoda, Grape Valley, etc.

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