This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Turpan. To help you make friends with Turpan before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Turpan is sizzling -- and no, we're not referring to a bustling club scene. Turpan is the second-lowest point on earth, and without question, a "hot" highlight of any Xinjiang journey! An easy two-and-a-half hours from Urumqi, Turpan is a fantastic place to get a real taste of Xinjiang’s vibrant Uyghur culture. A relaxing few days can be spent exploring Turpan’s well-maintained Silk Road ruins, lunar landscapes, vineyards, and exquisite mosques. The scene for hostels in Turpan is still developing, but that means that those available are a fantastic meeting point for all travelers to Xinjiang!
Turpan’s cultural sphere is extremely rich. Regardless of where your Turpan hostel is located, you’ll probably have to hop on some public transport (or find a camel) to reach the outlying Flaming Mountains or Jiaohe Ruins. Within the town itself, museum lovers will relish in the rich archeological wealth of the Turpan Museum, situated in the heart of town on Laocheng Road and walking distance from most Turpan hostels. Similarly, the historic Emin Minaret is an enjoyable three-kilometer walk from the city centre. Presuming the heat is tolerable, get your hostel in Turpan to recommend some Uyghur neighbourhoods en route. This will ensure that the walk over to the Minaret is accompanied by the sounds of donkey’s peddling, watermelon vendors offering their goods, and friendly greetings from the locals.
When you’re staying in a Turpan hostel, no doubt a highlight will be a visit to one of Turpan’s bazaars. Akin to stepping back in time, these remnants of Silk Road offer colorful spices, freshly baked naan, and the ever-present kebabs! Once the sun sets, the Night Market on Gaocheng Street, a close walk from most Turpan hostels, will satisfy even the most fussy of travelers (although vegetarians beware!). Most Turpan hostels will offer the famous Xinjiang Beer or some fresh Turpan grapes to unwind after a long day out in the sun.
Dorms are normally available year-round, but do note that Turpan hostels tend to book up quite quickly during the high season (June to August), so early recommendations are advised. Also, if you’re planning to travel during peak Chinese holidays, ensure to pre-book your Turpan hostel.
Written by local enthusiast for Turpan hostels@dhersz