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A depression enclosed by mountains in eastern Xinjiang, also called Gushi in ancient times. In the center of the Turpan Depression is the Aydingkol Lake which is 154 m below sea level, second only to the Dead Sea in Jordan, lowest in the world.

The mean temperature there all-year-round is 12.1 degrees to 14.9 degrees Centigrade, and in the sweltering summer days it rises up to 40 degrees C, with a ground temperature as high as 80 degrees C. Hence the name the "Fiery Land".

As an important post on the northern route of the age-old Silk Road, Turpan ahs now many spots of interest such as the ancient cities of Gaochang and Jiaohe, Bezekilik thousand-Buddha Caves, Emin Minaret, Grape Valley, and Karez wells.

Grapes of Turpan

Turpan is known as a "land of grapes". Its most famous variety, the seedless white grapes, is labeled "green pearls of China" on the international market. During the harvest season, the local people used to hang clusters of grapes on specially-made wooden frames in cool rooms with good ventilation but without sunshine to dry them into raisin.

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