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II The Scenery of the Fiery Land
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2010-August-3 13:07:51

The beautiful scenery of Turpan is such that it will always have unexpected surprises for you: the silence of the parched desert; the fragrance of orchards; the dense forests and grasslands; the so-called Flaming Mountains; as well as the coolness of water from the melting glacier of Tainshan Mountains. Special geographical environment has created a special landscape. Whether it is The Flaming Mountains depicted in the "Journey to the West", or the world's second lowest place the Aiding Lake, they are the best attractions for visitors.

The Flaming Mountains

The Flaming Mountains are the most famous attraction in Turpan, located at the northern margin of the Turpan Basin, the northern pass of the ancient Silk Road, The Flaming Mountains are known in the Uygur language as "Kezierboge" meaning "Red Hill". In the Tang Dynasty (618-907) they are called as "mountains of fire" due to the high temperature of the place.

The mountain are more than one hundred kilometers long,with a maximum width of 10 km, average altitude about 500 meters and the main peak having a height of 831.7 meters. The flaming Mountains are full of bare ridges and balding peaks,completely barren. Ancient men of letters often put it to poetry when passing here.

The Flaming Mountains, branching out from the Tianshan Mountains, horizontally lies in the center of the Turpan Basin.During, hundreds of millions of years, the horizontal crustal movement has left countless fold belts to sustain the onslaught of nature'wind and rain and form the Flaming Mountains with its undulating ridges and valleys. In midsummer, when the flaming mountains are exposed to the scorching sun, the sandstones shine brilliantly due to the high temperature and dryness,with hot air rolling upwards looking like raging flames tonguing the sky,hence the name of Flaming Mountains.

Oil wells at the foot of the Flaming Mountains

The flaming mountains are the hottest place in China. In summer, the maximum temperature can be up to 47.8 ~C, the maximum surface temperature is up to above 70 ~C. There are many valleys and canyons in the mountain range due to crustal movement and river cutting, such as Taoer valley, Mutou valley, Tuyu Valley, Lianmuqin Valley and Subo Valley etc. Inside these valleys, it is a different panorama with sun-blotting green shades, beautiful landscape, gurgling water and the fragrance of fruits.

The Flaming Mountains are unique in its natural heritage; the more unique is because they have been written in Wu Cheng-en's novel "Journey to the West" in the late Ming. In the novel,he told the stories of how Tang Sanzang was stalled by the Flaming Mountains on his way to get the Buddhist Scripts, and the Monkey King had to borrow the magic palm-leaf fan 3 times in order to distinguish the flames. These colorful descriptions have made it a wondrous mountain.

(SOURCES:China Intercontinental Press)Editor: zhaoqian
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