September 27th, 2006 – by: hyo
After a 22 hour train ride through the Taklamen dessert aka the dessert from which you never return we arrive in Turpan
. In Turpan we hire some bikes to see the Emin Minaret and the city mosque. On our way to the Emin minaret we pass some of the old streets of Turpan and a lot of vine yards which were lovely. But as we decided we wanted to see the city mosque we raced to the other part of town just to find out the mosque was errrr.... not what we expected. Just an ordinary and modern mosque.
The following day we had to dig deep in our pockets because we went on a real tourist tour group package; 7 sights on one day. The day started early with the Aydingkul lake, worlds second lowest lake at - 154m.
Young Chinese Sinead O'Connor
After this free sight we went to see the Gaochang ruins for Y20, you could take a donkey cart to the ruins for an additional Y20 per person. I decided to walk, I know I know I'm cheap. The ruins are nothing more than some huge boulders piled together so it looks like there once was a big city. To get to all other sights in time we had to cut it short and raced to the Tuyoq valley (Y30) which was very nice and one of my favorites of the day. But why do I have to pay money to walk around a village that is inhabited by local people??? Yup time to board the bus again and we're off to the famous Karez, an underground irrigation system. We had to pay Y20 to get in and if the guide didn't take very long explaining the little things she knew about the Karez we'd be out in two minutes that's Y10 per minute. Not bad at all. On our way to the Bezkelik caves we pass the "Flaming mountains" as the're not on fire yet we don't stop and go straight to the caves (Y20). Unfortunately there are all empty, the Germans took the paintings to Germany and the Britisch bombed them during WWII. The Chinese still haven't figured out who to blame, but I think they'll go with the obvious choice; the Germans. So we saw some empty caves which is always fun, never seen those before in my life. As we are running late the program is cut short and we go only to the Jiaho ruins (Y30) they are magnificent and if you can stay there during sunset it must be quite a sight. Alas as half of the group didn't go in the ruins we had to return before sunset.