Chinese Sand Therapy
The Donkey Riding Competition
Turpan New Chengdongmeng Market
Jun. 12, 2010 -- Mention of the name "Turpan" and the famous "Silk Road" is the first thing that comes to mind. Located in the middle part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, centuries ago it was known as Gushi. Since the Ming Dynasty's renaming of the area with the meaning "land of fertility and opulence", Turpan is both a mysterious and yet an extremely beautiful place with its long history and importance along the Silk Road. At that time, it was a strategic stop on the overland trade route linking China with India, Persia (Iran) and Rome.
Located in the Turpan Basin, it has long been known as "Fire State" or "Land of Fire" for its extreme summer heat. This is due to it being in the second deepest inland depression in the world, with more than 4,000 sq. kilometers of land situated below sea level. It has recorded some of the hottest summer days in China, with temperatures as high as 130 degrees F. or nearly 55 degrees C.
Turpan is unique with a combination of the ancient civilization and the present elegant demeanor of modern times, with its lovely straightforward, simple yet passionate characteristics and charm. Turpan is bound to make any visitor to the region want to do two things: the first to enjoy the beauty of the surrounds and buy many bargain priced souvenirs from the stall holders and the second is to return another day and bring friends with them.
With a long history, Turpan was the converging place of oriental and western culture as well as the intricacy of religions. Before Islam established a firm grip on central Asia, the Uyghurs practiced Buddhism, Manicheanism, Nestorian Christianity, and other religions. Priceless examples of this culture were found in caves at Bezeklik, near modern-day Turpan.
It was also one of the two centers of Uyghur Culture. Here, through the appreciation of Nazirkuma (mask dance of Turpan), Macilaifu (traditional singing and dancing of Uighur people), Mukamu (folk music of Uighur people), colorful and fresh flowery dresses and the simple but elegant architecture, travellers can fully experience the classic Uighur folk customs.