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Turpan Travel Guide
Turpan, in ancient Turki means a rich and fertile area. The sweetest grapes in the world are all around the Turpan Basin region, with majestic and beautiful scenery beside. You can appreciate the scenery while enjoying the grapes in daytime, or eat them while you are enjoying the romantic Uygur dances and songs in the evening.
If you look at the map of Xinjiang, you will notice a very low spot on it, marked -155 m, and this lowest point in the world inside the Turpan Basin is called Aydingkol Lake (Moonlight Lake) which is a place famous for its extremely hot and dry environment. In the downtown of Turpan City, you still feel the heat! Perhaps in the countryside you will feel that you are not on earth due to the arid and strange landscape there.
Well, in the heat of the day, if there is no air conditioning for you to cooling down, you are still having cool Hami melon and other delicious fresh fruits to expel your hot feeling.
According to the official statistics in 2003, the total population in the Turpan region is 570,000, the main nationalities inhabit here are Uygur, Han, Hui, Kazak, Russian, Manchu, Zhuang and Miao, in which the Uygur occupies about 70 per cent of the population, and Han 23 per cent.
To Turpan, you can take train or bus, but the most convenient way to get there is to hire a van, although it is more expensive, but saving time in your itinerary. The main railway station is located at 46 km north from downtown of the city, with a bus route link (fare about 5 RMB Yuan). Another railway station named Qiquanhu, lies near the city center, there are many bus routes to reach there. Turpan is just 187 km southeast of Urumqi, with expressways linking to Urumqi and places in southern Xinjiang, and many long distance coaches to travel to these regions.
Turpan region is located at the basin in the southern side of the Bogda Ranges and bordering with Hami in the east. It has a total area of 69,700 sq. km. The basin is surrounded by high mountains, while inside of it, there are many hills and mountains with small basins alternate with one another. The lowest point is in the Aydingkol Lake with 155 m below the sea level, where there is still having a small amount of water in it. Melting snow from the Tianshan Mountain nearby provides a precious underground water resource for the region, thus the ancient Karez Irrigation System made, very interesting.
It is the hottest place in China, with the recorded high temperature in summer is 49 degrees Celsius. By average, the daytime maximum temperature is about 42 degrees Celsius. Like most part in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Turpan belongs to the middle temperate semi-arid climate, with very low precipitation, high temperature difference between day and night, abundant sunshine, long frost-free period and high winds. So the most suitable time to visit Turpan is spring and autumn.