Turpan (Chinese: 吐魯番, Tǔlǔfān; Uyghur: تۇرپان‎, Turpan; Turkish: Turfan) is a city in Xinjiang, on the Silk Road.

Emin Minaret


The area around the city, the Turpan Depression is the lowest point in China and second lowest on Earth (after the Dead Sea) at 154 meters below sea level. It is very dry and sometimes very hot, well into the 40'sC. The local people have developed karez, an irrigation system composed of wells connected by underground channels, to counter the heat and drought of the place. No place in China is hotter than Flaming Mountain in Turpan, a mountain made famous by the classic Chinese mythological novel, Journey to the West.

Turpan is famous for their grapes, grown primarily for raisins but also wine. The locals in the area are called Uygurs.

Get in

By train

Turpan train station - located in the town of Daheyan, 50 km NW of the town center

By bus

Long Distance Bus Station is on Laocheng Road

Get around

Public buses, Y1.



A painting of merchants from the Tang Dynasty, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves


Plenty of delicious dishes can be found in the market, in front of the bus station, or in the pedestrian zone downtown. Cheap (but spicy) food is the norm, with plenty of meat options. Vegetarians better find a Chinese restaurant, many of which are north of the main square ("Grape Girls" square)

艾力热孜快餐店 (ai li re zi kuai can dian) on a parallel alley on the eastern side of the bazaar opposite the long-distance bus station serves excellent laghman (noodles), baked dumplings and barbecue skewers. Try the tandoori lamb or lamb dumplings in black-eyed pea soup for a different taste of Uighur food you won't find in other cities in Xinjiang.


Wusu beer - all around Xinjiang. Probably only 4% Chinese beer.

John's Information Cafe in the back of the Turpan Hotel sells wine, beer and imported spirits. Grab a bottle to enjoy under the grapes on their patio. (The white wine is maybe the best in China),





Stay safe

There are a lot of young locals who can speak some English and will ask to practise their skills with you before offering you "help" with getting around. This usually involves a lot of "friends" and "uncles" who can take you wherever you want to go, "all you need is money for gas." Of course, don't trust them!!!

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