1. Turpan Museum
Turpan Museum is a small local museum, which most people skip, when visiting Turpan, the must-see destination for Silk Road tour . But I recommend ot visit. Bets way to visit is to take a tourguide with you. I was very lucky, that I had an expert tourguide with me, who showed me aorund in the museum. Unfortunately all exhibits are described in Chinese.
The exhibits show finds from the excavations at Gaochang, Jiaohe and other places. There is also a collection of mummies form the Astana tombs.
Other reasons, why I like the museum: as most museums in China it is a quiet place, no visitors, aircondition. The atmosphere is like in a church: solemn quiete a place, to escape the heat and the dust.
It is located on Gaochang Road, easily can reached by a short walk from Oasis Hotel
2. Grape Valley and Raisin Houses
As Turpan is mainly inhabitatet by Muslim people (Uygur) the wine, that is grown in and around Turpan, is not grown for the making of wine but for producing raisins. Turpan raisins are very sweet and a speciality which people know and cherish all over China.
You can see strange looking houses between the fields of grapes. This structure are made to dry the grapes into raisins. The holes in the wall have the prupose to let the wind into the room and circulate. It is an optional destination for affordable China tours.
3. Around Turpan
If you leave the center of the city, with it's chinese style "bizarro-world" architecture, you can actually find some Uighur rural farm style houses. These are mostly complexes with a large central gate, the walls mad from mud-brick. The farm area reminds me more of western style agriculture for some reason This is where the grapes grow in the summer, and many houses have vines growing over the porch/front yard area.
It would be fun to walk up the tree lined roads in the summer and see it all.
4. Buildings For Drying Grapes
Around Turpan in the area of the grape valleys you can see these buildings. They use them to make raisins in. The raisins are made naturaly. No machine is needed to make them. They just put the fresh seedless or other grape in it, after some days, you can enjoy the world famous Turpan natural raisins. We got to taste some at a grapevalley, delicious! You should try the grapes after popular China tours.
5. Make time to see the REAL...
Make time to see the REAL grape valley, not the fake one designed for the tourists. You can talk to some of the farmers there and they'll likely invite you in to see how they live - this is outside a farmer's house, where they sleep and eat under vines in the summer.
You can obtain more via China travel agents.
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