Welcome to Turpan


Despite the heat, the ground water and fertile soil of the Turpan depression has made this a veritable oasis in the desert, evidenced by the nearby centuries-old remains of ancient cities, imperial garrisons and Buddhist caves. The city itself has a mellow vibe to it, and recovering from a day’s sightseeing over a cold Xīnjiāng beer under the grape vines on a warm summer evening is one of the joys of travelling through the province.


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Turpan activities

$139 Cultural & Theme Tours

Urumqi to Turpan All-Inclusive Private Day Trip with Bezklik

At 8 o'clock in the morning, your guide will pick you up at the lobby of your centrally located hotel in Urumqi. Then, you will take a 3-hour ride in a private vehicle from Urumqi to Turpan. On the way, you will see windmill farms, saltwater lakes, and valley of Tianshan. After arriving in Turpan, visit Bezklik Thousand Buddha Caves, which is an abandoned site that has ruins of fresco and statues from 15th century. Afterwards, you will go to ancient city ruin of Gaochang which was one of the most renowned kingdom along the Silk Road in the history. You can wander around to visit temples, stupas, city walls...etc among the ruin. Lunch will be provided in the yard of a local Uyghur house. Next, you will go to  Emin Minaret that was built in 1777AD with a typical Uyghur architectural style.  Later, before you head back to Urumqi, you will learn why Turpan could sustain itself in long history by visiting the Karez Irrigation System. After the irrigation system visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Urumqi where this wonderful day trip concludes.

$2250 Multi-day & Extended Tours

7 Days Silk Road Join in Group Tour

Day 1: Upon arrive at Kashgar Airport, our driver will pick you up on time, transfer to hotel, check in hotel, free and easy on your own arrangement.  Day 2: In the morning, you will meet the guide in the hotel lobby to start your journey. The first full day tour covers only one scenic spot: Karakuri Lake. The lake is 3 hours riding from downtown Kashgar. Together with the snow-capped Muztag Ata Mountain, they make up a fresh picturesque world.  Day 3: After breakfast, we will visit the Id Kah Mosque, a typical Islamic architecture like domes, minarets and arches, as well as pious prayers. It has a 500 years history. Then move to the Abakh Khoja Tomb, which is an ancient Islamic building complex and a cemetery. Five generations of a famous Islamic master were buried here. It is considered as the largest dome architecture in the east of the cemetery. The last stop of today is the Old Town of Kashgar and Local Livestock Market.  Day 4: Take the morning flight from Kashgar to Urumqi. When you land in, local guide and driver will pick you up from the airport and then transfer you to Turpan. It will take about 2.5 hours for riding. When you arrive at Turpan, you will firstly visit the Karaz Well, the gigantic underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. Next we will go to the existed largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang, Sugong Pagoda. The pagoda is a 44-meter-high (144 feet) Islamic pagoda, which bears a history of over 200 years. The last stop will be Jiaohe Ruins, which is one of the most important towns along the ancient Silk Road. It is also the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth construction in the world.  Day 5: In the morning after hotel pick up, you will pay a visit to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha, a series of caves with thousands of Buddhism murals. The vivid murals show many Buddhism figures, stories, and the social life about 1,000 years ago in Ancient Gaochang Kingdom. Then we will visit Tuyuq Village, the oldest existed Uygurs village in China where you will see the ancient earth-and wood structure Uygurs house and it is regarded as the Chinese Mekka due to its position in Muslim people. The last stop in Turpan will be the hottest place in China- the Flaming Hill, situated at the north of ancient Silk Road. The temperature is so high that nothing grows on the hill. When driving back to Urumqi, we will visit the Urumqi International Bazaar.  Day 6: In the morning our local guide will pick you up from hotel and then go to visit Xinjiang Museum to see the unearthed cultural relics full of Uygures ethnic taste. Then we will pay a visit the Heavenly Lake(Tianchi) in the rest of the day.  Day 7: After breakfast at the hotel, you may have all your belongings and luggage packed, check out of the hotel by yourself. Our driver will drive you to the airport to take the homeward flight.

$3099 Cultural & Theme Tours

Silk Road China

Day 1 Arrival / Beijing / Welcome Meeting & Dinner (D)Make your own way to the starting hotel. Group meeting is at 18:00 pm in the hotel lobby. Enjoy Peking Duck Dinner welcome dinner.Day 2 Beijing / Great Wall (B)Start early to visit the Great Wall Mutianyu. The scenery is definitely rewarding. Day 3 Beijing / Forbidden City & Hutong / Overnight Train (BL)Hop on a local bus or metro to explore the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Go deep into the Hutong for the family visit. Overnight train (First Class) journey to Xi'an.Day 4 Overnight Train / Xi’an / City Wall & Muslim Quarter (D)Arrive in the morning. Explore the the Muslim Quarter and learn making dumplings and enjoy the banquet dinner.Day 5 Xi’an / Terracotta Army Museum / Calligraphy Class (BL)Visit Terracotta Army which was buried underground for more than 2000 years. Learn about Han Zi (Chinese Characters) before free to explore the night beauty of Xi'an.Day 6 Xi’an / Han Emperor Tomb / Tianshui (B)Transfer to visit the 2000 years old tomb, which belongs to the fourth emperor of the Han Dynasty. Travel to Tianshui by bullet train.Day 7 Tianshui / Maijishan Grottoes / Xining (B)In the morning, visit Maijishan Grottoes. Explore this amazing cultural heritage then go to station for the bullet train to Xining, the summer city of China.Day 8 Xining / Ta’er Temple / Tibetan Cultural Museum (B)Visit one of the biggest Monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism, Ta’er Temple. Transfer to Tibetan Culture Museum, where the world's longest Tangka Painting in the world is kept.Day 9 Xining / Danxia Landscape / Zhangye (B)Take another 2-hour bullet train journey to Zhangye, enjoy the scenery along the way. In the afternoon, head out to visit the colourful and picturesque Danxia landscape.Day 10 Zhangye / Jiayuguan City / Jiayuguan Great Wall (B)Board on the bullet train for Jiayuguan. In the afternoon, visit the most magnificent pass of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Pass.Day 11 Jiayuguan / Hami (B)Enjoy a relaxing morning before travelling by bullet train to Hami. Free time to explore this less-known historic city on the Silk Road. Day 12 Hami / Wubao Ghost City / Muslim King Palace / Turpan (B)Explore Wubao Ghost City and visit the former Muslim King Palace. In the early evening, travel to Turpan by bullet train.Day 13 Turpan / Jiaohe Ruins / Kumutage Desert (B)Take a full day to explore Turpan and around. Visit the oldest and best-preserved earth building city ruins in the world. Enjoy the sunset in the Kumutage Desert.Day 14 Turpan / Tianshan Grand Canyon / Urumqi (BD)Morning bullet train to Urumqi. Visit Tianshan Grand Canyon, and enjoy farewell dinner in the evening.Day 15 Urumqi / Departure (B)Departure anytime for onward travelling.

$88 Day Trips & Excursions

Flexible Private Turpan Day Tour from Urumqi with Lunch

Your English speaking guide and private car will pick you up at 8:00am in your Urumqi hotel's lobby. Then heading directly to Turpan, it will take about 3 hours. The 3 hours ride towards Turpan is itself a fabulous sightseeing trip through Mr.Tianshan. You will passes a giant wind-farm,saltwater lakes,  different rivers,  and mountain pastures. The professional tour guide will give you an explication of the Silk Road and the related Chinese history and culture on the way.  Sit back and enjoy the sceneries along the way.  You can chose 2-3 attractions according to your interested in Turpan, feel free to discuss with your tour guide, and your guide will put together an itinerary for you. •  Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. It is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century. They are high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains,  and most of the surviving caves date from the West Uyghur kingdom around the 10th to 13th centuries. • Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta),the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China. Right beside the minaret stands Su Gong Ta Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Xinjiang. The grand mosque can accommodate 1000 people despite the inconspicuous appearance. • Karez irrigation system which is unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Here you can learn how the locals have irrigated a dry climate like Turpan for hundreds of years. • Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto)–the capital of the Anterior Jushi Kingdom. Like a willow leaf, the ancient city of Jiaohe has a history of 2300 years. Jiaohe ancient city was considered as the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world. It was listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO on June 22, 2014. • Flaming Mountains, which are barren, eroded, red sandstone hills. It is the hottest place in China with the highest temperature around 47.8 °C (118 °F) and surface temperature over 70 °C (158 °F) in summer.  • Astana Tombs which served mainly as the cemetery for the descendants of Chinese settlers in Gaochang from the 4th century to the first half of the 8th century.The complex contains over 1,000 tombs. Due to the arid environment many important artifacts have been well preserved at the tombs, including natural mummies.Your tour also including a delicious local lunch. Your full-day tour will end with drop-off at your Urumqi Hotel.

$204 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day Private Tour to Turpan from Urumqi: Karez System, JIaohe Ruins and More

Your English speaking guide and private car will pick you up at 8:00am in your Urumqi hotel's lobby. Then heading directly to Turpan, it will take about 3 hours. Your professional tour guide will give you an explication of the Silk Road and the related Chinese history and culture on the way. Feel free to discuss with your tour guide on which attractions you are interested, choose 4-6 attractions in Turpan, then your tour guide will put together an itinerary for you. •  Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. It is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century. They are high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains,  and most of the surviving caves date from the West Uyghur kingdom around the 10th to 13th centuries. • Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta), the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China.  • Karez irrigation system which is unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Here you can learn how the locals have irrigated a dry climate like Turpan for hundreds of years. • Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto)–the capital of the Anterior Jushi Kingdom. Like a willow leaf, the ancient city of Jiaohe has a history of 2300 years. Jiaohe ancient city was considered as the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world. It was listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO on June 22, 2014. • Flaming Mountains, which are barren, eroded, red sandstone hills. It is the hottest place in China with the highest temperature around 47.8 °C (118 °F) and surface temperature over 70 °C (158 °F) in summer.  • Astana Tombs which served mainly as the cemetery for the descendants of Chinese settlers in Gaochang from the 4th century to the first half of the 8th century. The complex contains over 1,000 tombs. Due to the arid environment many important artifacts have been well preserved at the tombs, including natural mummies. • Ancient City of Gaochang: Gaochang ancient city was a key point along the Silk Road. The city was built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century.  By the 14th century, the city was damaged and abandoned due to warfare between Mongolian aristocrats and Uigurs.   Please note: Your 2 days tour including the entrance fee to 4-6 attractions in Turpan, two days lunches in the local restaurant, English speaking tour guide and private vehicle, please book your own accommodation in Turpan.  After two days tour you can choose to be dropped off at your hotel in Urumqi or finish in Turpan.

$42 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Round-Trip Transfer to Turpan from Urumqi

You will be picked up from your Urumqi hotel or accommodation at 8:00am or your preferred time then transfer to Turpan which is about 2.5 to 3 hours drive. Along the ride, you will passes a giant wind-farm, different rivers, and mountain pastures. Sit back and enjoy the sceneries along the way. There are so much to see in Turpan, choose 2-3 sites you want to go, then your driver or phone translator will design an itinerary for you. Once arriving at each attraction, your driver will show you where to purchase your tickets, and where he will be waiting for you, then you will enjoy your own time to explore the historical sites, after you finish each site, you will meet your friendly driver and heading to the next destination. After your self-guided Turpan tour finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Urumqi. Attractions in Turpan: 1:  Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto)–the capital of the Anterior Jushi Kingdom. Like a willow leaf, the ancient city of Jiaohe has a history of 2300 years. Jiaohe ancient city was considered as the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world. It was listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO on June 22, 2014. 2:  Flaming Mountains, which are barren, eroded, red sandstone hills. It is the hottest place in China with the highest temperature around 47.8 °C (118 °F) and surface temperature over 70 °C (158 °F) in summer.  3:  Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves: it   is  a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century. They are high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains, and most of the surviving caves date from the West Uyghur kingdom around the 10th to 13th centuries. 4:  Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta), the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China.Right beside the minaret stands Su Gong Ta Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Xinjiang.  5:  Astana Tombs which served mainly as the cemetery for the descendants of Chinese settlers in Gaochang from the 4th century to the first half of the 8th century.The complex contains over 1,000 tombs. Due to the arid environment many important artifacts have been well preserved at the tombs, including natural mummies. 6:  Karez irrigation system which is unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.  Please note this is only a private transfer from Urumqi Hotel to Turpan, meals, entrance tickets or tour guide are not included.You may have a Chinese speaking driver, but they know exactly where to pick you up and where to drop you off. Guest can use their phone to call our translator if need during the ride.