TurpanÂ a depression enclosed by mountains in eastern Xinjiang, also called Gushi in ancient times.Â In the center of the Turpan Depression is the Aydingkol Lake which is 154m below sea level, second only to the Dead Sea in Jordan, lowest in the world.Â The mean temperature there all-year-round is 12.1 degrees to 14.9 degrees Centigrade, and in the sweltering summer days it rises up to 40 degrees C, with a ground temperature as high as 80 degrees C.Â Hence the name the “Fiery Land”.
Ancient City of Gaochang
The ancient City of Gaochang, located in eastern Urumqi, was once a town of strategic importance on the Silk Road, covering two million square meters.Â It was deserted during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and its ruins are now for visitors to ponder on the past.Â
The Flaming Mountains
The Flaming Mountain, located east to Turpan, is 100km in length and 10km in width.Â Its highest peak rises 831.7m above sea level.Â The mountain is comprised of red sandstones and mudstones that were formed during the Cretaceous, Jruassic, and Triassic Periods of the Mesozoic Era.Â These red rocks on the crisscross gullies and ravines reflect the sunshine as if the hillsides were engulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.
Ancient City of Jiaohe
Jiaohe City is located on a river islet in the Yarnaz River valley 10km west of Turpan.Â It is 1,650 m long from east to west, 300m at the widest, and lined by cliffs 30m high.Â By 200 B.C. it was the seat of the imperial court of the Front State of Cheshi, abandoned after 1200.Â The ancient city is preserved pretty well due to its high location and scanty rainfall.Â The surviving ruins such as offical buildings, pottery kilns, courtyards, temples and pagodas are still distinguishable.Â The cit has been recognized by the UNESCO as one of the world’s natural heritage sites.