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An onward flight or overnight train from Dunhuang brings you to Turpan. This town, nestling in the world’s second lowest depression, is an improbable success story.

For over 2,000 years it has been inhabited by various peoples despite receiving almost no rain at all.

Turpan's history

It owes its curious longevity to an ingenious irrigation system once prevalent throughout Central Asia. Here 5,000 kilometers of underground tunnels channel glacier water from the high mountains down to the valley, sustaining a population of over 250,000 people and the grapes for which the area is famed.

Exploring Turpan

Surrounding the town are numerous fascinating sites, including ruined desert cities and ancient Buddhist caves.

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Enjoying hand pulled noodles

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Map of Turpan

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Turpan