Things to Do in Turpan

Turpan is one of the most popular destinations for Xinjiang travel. The special geography created many impressive natural landscape. Explore the fairy tale in the famous novel, Journey to the West, in the Flaming Mountains; Taste refreshing grapes in the green Grape Valley; Ride on a camel to view the stunning desert scenery...

As one of the most oldest cities in Xinjiang, Turpan is the best place for you to learn the Silk Road Culture. Turpan Museum keeps hundreds of artifacts of Silk Road. Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves...Don't miss any of them.

Turpan Travel Map

  • Top Attractions
Flaming Mountain

Flaming Mountain

Type: Valleys

Recommended Length of Visit: Half Day

Flaming Mountain, as the name implies, is one of the hottest places in China. The highest temperature reaches 47.8 in summer. Stretching about 100km, Flaming Mountain is covered by red sandstones which look like flaming fire. While there are not only mountains, but also some small valleys which have rivers and green plants. Locals grow grapes in the valleys. 

Flaming Mountain is famous for the novel - Journey to the West. The famous monk Xuan Zang traveled from Xian to India to learn the Buddhism. He, with his three disciples, fought against the powerful demon Niu Mowang and his wife. 

Karez System

Karez System

Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Bodies of Water 

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

Karez is special kind of irrigation system existing in desert area. Turpan has the largest Karez system in China which includes nearly 1000 systems lasting more than 5000km. Karez consists of vertical wells, underground canals, ground canals and waterlogging pond. The  vertically dug wells are linked together to channel the water which occur during summer rain season, or melt from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands on the ground. 

The reason why Kares were built is the terrible geography of desert. Turpan is one of driest places in China with annual precipitation of only 13mm but evaporation of 3000mm. But Karez were built underground to keep from wind, sand and sunshine.

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Type: Caverns/ Caves, Landmarks/ Points of Interest 

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves is situated on a cliff at the foot of Flaming Mountains, 45km away from Turpan city. There used to be 83 grottoes, and now 57 grottoes have survived. Its highlight is about 40 large wall paintings covering more than 1,200 square meters which have different themes. Among all grottoes, the No. 17 and 18 are the oldest ones built during later Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). The No.20 painted portrait of King and Queen of Gaochang Kingdom. The No.33 grotto painted the lord Buddha and his disciples. The No. 38 displays the living scene of the ancient Manichean...

Emin Minaret

Emin Minaret

Type: Religious Sites

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Emin Minaret is a elegant and innovative Islamic pagoda, located in Grape Town(2km from Turpan). Built in 1778, it is the largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang province. Emin Minaret was built by the duke Emin Hezhuo to express his devotion to the lord Allah. The pagoda was constructed on a foundation of 10m's diameter, and used thousands of black bricks.  Emin Minaret looks like a awl which is 44 meter high. Nearby, there is an ornate mosque. 

Grape Valley

Grape Valley

Type: Valleys

Recommended Length of Visit: Half Day

Grape Valley is a natural wonder on the barren dersert of Turpan. This valley is about 15km away from Turpan city, located close to flaming mountain. Outside of the valley, all you can see is desert. While stepping into the Grape Valley, you will be amazed by the green world. Grapes grow everywhere. The rare small river makes it a fertile land for plants. Grape is the symbol of Turpan as well as the maijor source of income. Actually, grape is not the only fruits growing here. There are also mulberry, peach, apricot, pears, watermelon...

In this 5km long valley, about 6,000 locals of Uyghur, Hui people and Han people living here.

Turpan Museum

Turpan Museum

Type: Museums

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

The Turpan Museum is located on the Gaochang Road. It is a small museum, but has an interesting layout and modern facilities. The museum keeps more than 5,000 collections from prehistoric era to nowadays. Its highlights are relics and artifacts which were discovered in Turpan area. It also has a section of mummies, a section of fossils and dinosaurs. After visiting this museum, you will have basic knowledge of Turpan history as well as the Silk Road.

Recommended Turpan Tours

Top 3 Turpan tours chosen by most customers to explore Turpan in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Bezeklik Caves
2 Days Turpan Short Stay from Urumqi

Urumqi - Turpan

Turpan Grape Valley
4 Days Turpan & Urumqi Tour(Train Arrival)

Turpan - Urumqi

Jiaohe Ancient City
8 Days Xinjiang Classic Tour(Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar)

Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar

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