Turpan is a city in the center of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China. It is located in a valley of the eastern foothills of the Tien Mountains. The Turpan Valley is located at its lowest point on the shores of Lake Ayding, 154.50 meters below sea level. This makes it, after the Dead Sea and Lake Assal, the third deepest valley in the world.
Turpan’s geographical location is quite important. Located at the intersection of East and West China, it has been an important point on the Silk Road since ancient times, with many historical relics and unique landscapes. Turpan’s sights are the ruined cities of Jiaohe and Gaochang, the ancient cave monastery Bezeklik, as well as the Flaming Mountains and the Grape Valley. Within the city is the Emin Minaret, built 1777, worth mentioning. It is the tallest minaret in China.
It is very dry and sometimes very hot, so the locals have developed the Karez irrigation system, which consists of wells connected by underground channels to counteract the heat and drought of the place. No place in China is hotter than the Flaming Mountains in Turpan, which became famous for the classic Chinese mythology novel ‘Journey to the West’.