Turpan city is located to the southeast of Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and also has an area of 15,738 square kilometers (6,076.5 square miles). Turpan has a population of 250,000, made up of 21 different nationalities. Among these the Uygurs account for over 70% of the total number.
Turpan is an important city along the ancient Silk Road and the transportation here is very convenient, which enables people from different regions to keep contact easily. It is considered to be the hub between Xinjiang and the eastern part of China.
Turpan is an old city with a long history. Traces have been found of humans living there, dating as far back as 6,000 years ago. The city was known as Gushi in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD); and in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) it got its name Turpan. Turpan means 'the lowest place' in the Uygur language. Lying in the Turpan Basin, the elevation of most of the places in the area is below 500 meters (1,640 feet). Turpan is the city with the lowest elevation in China.
Turpan has a harsh, cold desert climate, with long and very hot summers and winters that are quite cold and moderately long, and brief spring and autumn in between. Annual precipitation is very low, amounting to only 15.7 millimeters (0.62 in). July is the hottest month, averaging 32.2 °C (90.0 °F), while January is the coldest, at -7.6 °C (18.3 °F), for an annual mean of 14.4 °C (57.9 °F). However, the very heat and dryness of the summer, when combined with the area's ancient system of irrigation, allows the countryside around Turpan to produce great quantities of high-quality fruit.
The most famous attractions in Turpan include Jiaohe Ancient City, Gaochang Ancient City, Grape Valley, Karez Water System, Bizalkik Thousand Buddha Caves, Emin Minaret and the Flaming Mountain and soon.