Turpan - oasis city in deserts
Turpan (吐鲁番) is located in the east of Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang, China. It covers an area of 69,713 sq. km. (26,916 sq. mi.) and has a population of more than 600,000. 77% of which are Uighurs and over 2/3 are rural population. Turpan city, Shanshan (鄯善县) and Toksun (托克逊县) counties are all under its administration.
Historically, Turpan was an important city along the Silk Road and a hub in western regions for politics ,culture and economy. It enjoyes time-honored history and has a profound cultural background. According to statistics, more than 200 cultural sites, from the first excavated Jiaohe Ruins to subsequent sites such as Gaochang Ruins, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda, Astana Graves, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and so on, along with 40,000 cultural relics are discovered there.
These cultural relics as well as the 24 languages used in them are indicative of the fact that Turpan is an intersection for Eastern and Western culture. At present, Turpan boasts one 5A level Scenic Spot, one 4A level Scenic Spot,six 3A level Scenic Spots, and 9 key cultural sites all under national protection. Among these tourist attractions, Flaming Mountains, Turpan Desert Botanical Gardens and the Grape Valley are particularly famous both at home and abroad.
As is known to all, Turpan is extremely hot in summer and that's why it is nicknamed as "the Fire State" . It is in the warm temperate zone and enjoys a continental desert climate with an abundant amount of sunlight and a scanty rainfall. Its superior climatic and geological conditions contribute to the growth of cash crops such as counter-season vegetables, grapes and Hami melons. Thus, Turpan is credited as the Hometown of Grapes and Melons and That explain the reason why people in China will automatically think of Turpan when it comes to grapes.
Besides, Turpan is also rich in mineral resources. Currently, sixty-five kinds of mineral products like oil, natural gas, coal, gold, iron, copper, sodium sulfate and granite are exploited there. It is the second largest producer of Nitratine in the world and the famous brand "Shanshan Red" for granite is now well known throughout the country.Turpan ranks the second in Bentonite deposit in Xinjiang. All of the above mentioned facts about Turpan makes it a natural cornucopia for all kinds of mineral resources.
In May, 2010, Turpan Airport with the lowest elevation in China came into use. Besides, taxies and buses running from and to the Turpan Train Station are also available making it convenient for the tourists to linger in a variety of tourist attractions.