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Turpan

Turpan is located in a depression with the area of more than 1000 square kilometers of the eastern part of Xinjiang and some 80 meters below the sea level. And nearby the Moon Lake, or Eding Lake in local language, the lowest water surface is 154 meters below the sea level, the second lowest continental point in the world after the Dead Sea. Turpan is called the Land of Fire, which was derived  from the intense summer temperature, the highest ever recorded was 47.5oC and in summer the ground surface temperature is about 70oC. The Depression is characterized by high temperature and rare perspiration, so it is hot but it is not wet, during summer, although it is extremely hot, the streets are full of people.

The water from the surrounding mountains and underflow nourishes the depression. And the local people developed a unique irrigation system: "Karez", by which water is introduced to the agricultural oasis surrounded by desert. Turpan is famous for its grapes produce. Once in Turpan Depression, one has a feeling that as if he was in a land of grapes, The Grape Gauge, about 8 kilometers in length, is one with grapevines grown on the slopes of the both sides, and deep into the Gauge, there is a tourist resort, shaded by grapevines and from late June to early October, clusters of grapes hanging overhead and the mineral water flowing from under the rocks make the resort a great attraction. In fact, the city proper itself is one that is surrounded or covered by grapevines. Many streets themselves are vineyards or trellises with grapevines, together with the fruit stands the whole city is a mixture of the fruit orchard and market, since 1990, the Grape festival held in the city becomes a great attraction not only to business people, but people from all over the world.

In history, Turpan was the capital of ancient Gaochang Kingdom (from the sixth century) and later the administration residence of Xizhou. It was a very important juncture on the Silk Road through which the western cultures and Chinese culture encountered and crashed and exchanged. A great many historical sites and cultural relics have remained. And the city is known as a “natural museum of man and culture.

The major tour sites of the area of the Northern Part of South Xijiang centered by Turpan: the Flaming Mountains, the Moon Lake, Grape Gouge, Karez System, the Ruins of ancient City of Jiaohe, the ruins of ancient City of Gaochang, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Emin Minaret, Astan-Kharakhoja Tombs, Sand Dune Park, the Sand Plant Park.

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