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Uyghur cuisine is the dining scene in Turpan. Try some delicious laghman "pulled noodles" made fresh before your very eyes (more like "tossed and beaten noodles," given the almost violent but quite beautiful method of their making, which makes an Italian pizza dough tosser look like an amateur). Then there's liang ban huang gua, a simple cucumber salad that's heavenly on parched hot desert days. Lamb kebabs are, of course, par for the course, as are tasty flat breads baked in traditional ovens are delicious, and madang, a nougat-like concoction full of dried fruits and nuts makes for a great energy snack.

If you must have Western food, John's Information Cafe is pretty much the only game in town, aside from a couple of burger joints, including a golden arches franchise. The Chinese restaurants often cater to Chinese tourists, not surprisingly, but can be decent value (don't forget to check menus, which often include some form of English, and settle any confusion about prices before ordering) and many offer pleasant al fresco dining under Turpan's ubiquitous grape trellises, along with Uyghur song and dance performances (some of which push the kitsch envelope a little too far and which a culturally senstive viewer might well find tasteless).

Much of the best Uyghur food is to be had in the market area, though the Oasis Hotel's restuarant is a good higher-class option for both Uyghur fare and Chinese food.

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