Jiaohe Ancient City is located at Yar Town, 13km west of Turpan City in Xinjiang Uyghur anonymous region.
It was built up as an isolated island plateau in the middle of a river which gifted the city natural defense. Perched on top of the hill between 2 deep river valleys, the small leaf-shaped island is renowned for being the largest, oldest, and the most-well-reserved cultural ruins in the world.
Visit Jiaohe is an indispensable way to take a look into the past of West China for the place is full of history and archaeological findings. The old city is a bit less than 2, 000 years old. It originally served as the capital of the Anterior State of Cheshi Kingdom from 108BC to 450AD, concurrent with the Han Dynasty, Jin Dynasty and Southern and Northern Dynasties in China.
Jiaohe Ancient City was an important site along the Silk Road trade route leading west. The city had been the seat of the Protector General of the Western Regions (the highest level military post of a Chinese military commander posted in the west) from 640 AD to 658 AD in Tang Dynasty.
Residents in the city had believed in Buddhism originally until 14 century when Mongolian army invaded Jiaohe and demanded all the citizens to believe Mohammed instead of Sakyamuni. However, the pearl of the Silk Road trade route had been fading in history ever since the locals’ faith had been destructed.
A large number of cultural relics were found in the ruins of Jiaohe including lotus eaves-tile ornaments of Tang Dynasty, an underground temple, some imperial tombs of Cheshi Kingdom and Buddha's relics as well.
Location: Jianggelemaisi Village, Yar Town, Turpan
Opening Time: 9:00-20:00 (depends on seasons)
How to go: There are direct tourist coach to Jiaohe costing ￥20 per one during April to October every year; other time you need to take Bus NO.1 or 101 to Yar Town; or you could go to Jiaohe by taxi for the site is only 11 km away from Turpan city so the fare won’t be expensive.