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Turpan Travel Blog

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Jiaohe ancient city

If you want to go directly from Dunhuang to Turpan you have to take a 13h bus ride. There should be a train connection in the future but who knows when... So I took the only overnight bus to Turpan, the soft sleeper and spent the night squeezed in a tiny bed on a very bumpy road somewhere in a desert. Do you think I slept? No way! :-)

At 7am (Bejing or China time, 5am of local time), and it was still darkness, the driver shouted at me Turufan, Turufan (in Chinesse) so I got off the bus but realized I'm in the middle of nowhere - at the crossing of 3 roads....You know, I kind of expected to "land" in a bus station.

...Well, I openned my Lonely Planet and looked at Turpan's map, picked the biggest street going through the city center and asked some people where to go. They all pointed at one direction so I was quite sure this is a correct direction...and set off for a journey. It took me about 1 hour to get to the bus station where I tried, unsuccessully, to call two hostels in order to ask them for directions  becase I was not able to find them. There was no response from them so I was about to switch to a plan B (which I haven't firgured out yet :-) when I saw two westerners coming to the ticket office. Guess what, they were Czechs and they took me to Turpan Hotel which also had dormitories....Pity, they had to leave shortly otherwise we would have had a very nice dinner together....It's always a pleasure to meet countrymen because, sadly, you don't see much central Europeans around.
Actualy I met only 4 Czechs and 2 Poles during the last 60 days! :-(

The number one attraction in Turpan is Jiaohe Ancient City, about 13km far away from the city and I went there by bike. People usually spend there several hours but my sighseeing was over in 15minutes. Why? Simply because of a sand storm, maybe a mild one, but I was in there alone, could not see much and my eyes, mouth and lungs were filled with sand....and I knew I would have to cycle back. Thus I shot few pics to prove I really was there and cycle away as far as possible before the storm gets more serious...Lance would be jelous of my speed! :-)  Lucky for me, the storm seemed to be raging only in the Jiaohe valley and after 2km towards Turpan the weather got back to normal.The rest of the afternoon I spent by strolling around little streets in anold Muslim quarter and around vineyard (they say grapes from Turpan are the sweetest)...

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Jiaohe ancient city
Jiaohe ancient city
pretty dusty in the background...
pretty dusty in the background...
an old mosque in the middle of vin…
an old mosque in the middle of vi…
a storage for grapes where theyll…
a storage for grapes where they'l…
on the way to Urumqi
on the way to Urumqi
a massive wind farm with thousends…
a massive wind farm with thousend…
Turpan
photo by: Biedjee