Posts Tagged ‘Turpan’


I left Turpan ready for the scorching desert without anything or anyone. Food for lunch and 11 litres of water. It didn’t seem like a desert – it was raining and quite cool, with villages, shops and people. Slowly, I navigated the fully loaded Drahtesel against the wind to above sea-level and beyond.

Mountain face

Mountain face

In Shanshan I met Achun who was also staying at my guesthouse in Turpan. He is cycling from Urumqi to Beijing with amazingly little luggage. Still, he has room for a good camera, and has taken lots of amazing photos from his bike trips around China.

In the mountains

In the mountains


Turpan is famous for its heat, so I left early and descended the last metres to the second lowest place on the planet. I passed barren rocky plains and some saltbush plains before arriving in my backpacker’s hostel. Its great to sink into the backbacker’s environment and be amongst travellers.

The low flat plains

The low flat plains

Turpan borders on what I thought was a salt pan. I imagined cycled through landscape similar to Lake Eyre in outback Australia. It was a bit underwhelming – just flat saltbush country. Also, it wasn’t as hot as I had imagined. Uzbekistan was hotter.

Arriving in a backpacker hostel was lovely. No worries about police registration. People that speak English and understand my questions. An oasis of familiarity amongst a sea of foreignness. And I could speak with people in lots of different languages. I love that. I spoke English, German, Swedish, Spanish and Chinese. Yay!

New friends in Turpan

New friends in Turpan