The Flaming Mountains (Huǒyàn Shān, 火焰山) get their name from the way the light reflects off the mountains red rocks and surrounding desert, especially toward sunset and sunrise—an impressive site for today's travelers, though one that might have filled ancient Silk Road merchants with trepidation, as little in these regions reminds one of the inhospitability of these dry lands as the sight of Flaming Mountains in full glory.
Situated on the northern edge of the Turpan Basin, and stretching for over 100 km (62), this is an intensely hot part of the desert, with nary a blade of grass to be seen for miles. If you intend to spend time in the mountains, whether on rented camels, in a vehicle or even on foot, be prepared. Bring plenty of water, strong sunblock and wear a brimmed hat. The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are a good point of departure for a wander into the mountains, offering camels for rent.
The ancient city of Gaochang (Gāochāng, 高昌) is a sublimely impressive sight, likely to spur thoughts of the grand sweep of history and the insignificance..
The Emin Minaret (Sūgōng Tǎ, 苏公塔), located 2 km (1.5 mi) east of Turpan, stands 44 m (144 ft) high, and is proudly the tallest minaret in China...
The Astana Graves (Asītǎnǎ Gǔmù, 阿斯塔那古墓), nicknamed "The Underground Museum", and located 6 km (4 mi) from the ancient city of Gaochang, is..
Located in the Turpan Depression (Tǔlǔfānpéndì, 吐鲁番盆地), Xinjiang, is the Karez Water System (Kǎnrjǐng, 坎儿井), a qanat system adapted by the..