28 January 2015


The charming Grape Valley is located 13 km northeast of Turpan City, in a valley in the western part of the Flaming Mountains, 8 km long from north to south, 2 km wide from east to west.  The ditch, a natural grape museum, is covered with low hanging grapes.

A pool of refreshing clear spring water on the hillside running down from the Tianshan Mountains

Sheep wandering freely round the park

Low hanging grapes trellis forms into the vines intertwined corridor, people can easily reach the grapes by outstretching hands.

Wise old man, housekeeper of the big manor

Interior room of the manor

The walls of the manor are laced with intricate tiles

27 January 2015


We arrived at the hotel very late in the night.  It was pitch dark outside the hotel and we had no idea where we were.  The hotel is magnificent and opulent and it is as if we stepped into a harem in some middle east palace.  The deco is of Turkish style with huge hand-woven carpets hanging on the walls and a hugh glittering chandelier hanging high on the wall giving off brilliant lights and colors.

Lavish displays of gold and silver artifacts everywhere

We had a good look of the place in the morning after breakfast.  The hotel is built in the middle of a vineyard surrounded by trees hanging heavy with grapes.

A model of naan - hotel's trademark

It was disappointed that the rooms are of modern style which unlike the lobby

25 January 2015


Turpan has the Turpan Water Museum dedicated to demonstrating its karez water system, and the ingenious water irrigation system, as well as exhibiting other historical artifacts.  The museum has pictures and models instructing on the history of the karez system, and there are underground tunnels people can walk in and see a karez.

Turpan's karez water system is made up of a horizontal series of vertically dug wells that are linked by underground water canals to collect water from the watershed surface runoff from the base of the Tian Shan Mountains and the nearby Flaming Mountains.  While driving along highway 312 toward Turpan, it will look like giant ant piles or gopher holes lined up in a neat row.  A birds eye view would look something like this

Karez, an irrigation system of wells connected by under channels used in Xinjiang for its natural environment of the drought climate with being lack of water.  It was created by the local people in ancient times and has improved a lot on its digging skills

Grapes covering the long corridor leading to the museum

The underground great well -  Uyghur Karez

We exited the underground well up the surface area which turned out to be a big shopping mall