A joint application submitted by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was reviewed and approved by UNESCO on June 22, 2014, which had Gaochang Ancient City in Xinjiang Uygur Anonymous Region written into the World Heritage List.
Gaochang Ancient City is a time-honored old town. It was originally erected to store grains by Western Han Dynasty at the place about 40km east of Turpan in BC 1st century, when the area was still under the powerful rule of Cheshi Kingdom at that time. However, it became an important economic, cultural and political hub in the western area ever since armies from Northern Liang Dynasty annexed Cheshi in AD 460; and it declared independence before long. The glorious time had lasted for about 1, 000 years until a natural disaster stroke Gaochang during the 14th century which destroyed the city and left only earth and ruins there to remind the world of the once-great, lost civilization.
Presenting as an odd square guarded by thick, tall city walls with 9 main gates, Gaochang features a very strong atmosphere of Buddhism. Visitors could see Buddhist temples and shrines in the site. In addition, the grand royal palaces and majestic buildings are also worth seeing. Since it was once a busy trading center, it was a post for merchants and traders traveling on the Silk Road.
Location: Sanpu County, Turpan City
Ticket Price: ￥70
From Apr 21 to Oct 20: 08:00-21:00
From Oct 21 to Apr 20: 10:00-18:30
How to go: The site is 43km away from Turpan downtown so it would be better to charter an automobile. Another way to arrive the scenic spot is to take tourist coach at bus terminals in Turpan and get off at Shengjinri, then travelers need to change private motor tricycles to get there.