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Turpan Travel Guide

Turpan Overview

Turpan, an oasis city, is located at the southern foot of Bogda Peak and in the center of Turpan Depression. Because of the drastic 5,000-meter difference in height between the mountain tops and the bottom of the depression, the scenery too, varies greatly at different altitudes from perpetual snow at the summits to green oasis at the foot of the mountains. After a long journey from the desert, tourists are always fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of the depression with its snow-capped mountains, salt lake, and particularly the Flaming Mountains.

Thanks largely to the people here, this relatively small and economically unimportant place has blossomed in recent years, attracting numerous tourists and travelers, who come here to sample the easy going pace of life and to see the desert. The city itself, despite the intense heat, has been made livable by the construction of vines and trellises, providing avenues of shade from the sun. There are few cars here and donkey cart is the most common and popular mode of transport. The heat means that no one is in a real hurry to get anywhere and it is pleasant just to sit in the shade with a cool drink and watch the world go by.

Turpan is synonymous with grapes and wine which is the area’s most famous product. Despite the stifling heat and dry climate, delicious and succulent grapes are cultivated here due to the ingenuous irrigation system installed over 2,000 years ago that transfers water from the glaciers. Visitors go to the Grape Valley to sample the juicy fruit at its best.

Turpan Facts

Area Code: 0995

Zip Code: 838200

Area: The area of Turpan is about 70,000 square kilometers.

Population: According to the official statistics in 2008, the total population in the Turpan region is 606,758. 70% of the population is Uighurs and they mak e a concerted effort to make visitors feel welcome. Other minorities include Han, Hui, Kazak, Russian, Manchu, Zhuang and Miao.

Geography: 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.

Administrative Division: Turpna is divided into 1 city and 2 counties administratively.

Turpan Climate & Weather

Turpan Climate

Turpan is located in the Turpan Basin, has long been known as "Fire State" or "Land of Fire" for its extreme summer heat. This is due to it being in the third deepest inland depression in the world. It surpasses all other Chinese cities by having the hottest weather, lowest altitude, driest climate, and sweetest fruit.

The Turpan Basin has a hot and arid continental climate in which the precipitation is far less than the potential evaporation. July is the hottest month with an average high temperature of 39.7°C (103.5°F) and a maximum as high as 48 C. Because of its climate, the area has been nicknamed, "the Oven". January is coolest with an average low temperature of -2.2°C (28°F). Monthly rainfall is highest in June (3.3mm) and lowest in February (0.2mm). The annual average precipitation is less than 2cm and the potential annual evaporation rate is 3m. Generally speaking, the area receives little rain during summer but regional heavy rain sometimes causes flooding.

Turpan City

The city of Turpan's climate is not as harsh as many people imagine it to be. The water supply primarily comes from underground, fed by the melting snows in the mountains.

The best time to visit Turpan is Autumn when it has comfortable daytime temperatures and cool nights. Moreover, various fruits ripen and the air is sweet with the scent of fragrant fruits during this time of the year.

* Spring does not really begin until March and continues until May. Unpredictable weather conditions, strong winds and arid days make it a poor time to visit.

* Summer begins earlier than in any of China's other inner provinces, in June. Summer is extremely hot particularly for the area around the Flaming Mountain with some places reaching 48°C. Generally speaking, the area receives little rain during Summer, but heavy rain in the mountains sometimes causes flooding.

* Autumn is no doubt the best season to visit Turpan. It has clear skies invigorating air and the winds are milder in this season. The grape harvest season, July, August and September, is the best time for tourists to visit.

* Winter in Turpan is very cold and dry.

Always be prepared if you visit during the Summer months, carry plenty of drinking water, use Max SPF sunscreen, Lip-balm and a good hat! An umbrella is good anytime, to protect you and your camera; this place is picturesque!

Climate Data Table for Turpan

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average High
-3.3 3.1 12.6 21.1 28.0 32.3 34.1 33.3 27.5 18.7 7.3 -1.8
Average Low
-15.9 -11.3 -2.7 5.1 12.0 16.4 18.6 17.3 10.8 2.9 -5.4 -13.0
Rainfall (MM) 1.3 1.4 1.0 2.0 3.2 6.2 6.7 4.9 3.3 2.6 1.5 0.9

Turpan Tours & Tings to Do