Turpan, the hottest city in China, is located in what is known as the “Valley of Fruits.” The wine grapes that are cultivated here are irrigated with a 2,000-year-old gravity-fed system that brings water from the glaciers of the Tien Shan. Turpan was a welcome oasis on the northern Silk Road, its green fields surrounded by one of the deepest waterless depressions on earth. During the Han Dynasty, from 202 BC to 220 AD, its sister cities of Jiaohe and Gaochang were famous trade and defensive centers. Their ruins remain in the desert near Turpan.
PUBLISHED: July 18, 2013