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The Flaming Mountain

The Flaming Mountain, as one of the hottest places on earth, has always been a famous tourist attraction with harsh but unique natural conditions and abundant cultural heritage.

Located on the northern edge of the Turpan Basin, Flaming Mountain runs 10 kilometers east of Turpan city, stretching up to 100 kilometers from east to west and about 10 kilometers from south to north. The mountain begins at Liusha River in Shanshan County in the east and ends in Peach Valley in the west.

The Flaming Mountain, in Well-known Chinese TV play 'The West Journey' or in the ancient novel of the same name, is a scene spot told that how the Monkey King borrowed a magic banana-leaf fan from Princess Iron Fan and cooled down the flames from the Flaming Mountains to give them a way out, so that his master the Tang monk Sanzang could safely passed cross the mountain on his way to seek Buddhist scriptures. Nowadays visitors to Turpan are eager to visit the scene of this adventure.

Flaming Mountain Turpan, Xinjang Silk Road Tours

Flaming Mountain Turpan, Xinjang Silk Road ToursFlaming Mountain Turpan, Xinjang Silk Road Tours

The mountain's average altitude is about 500 meters, with the highest peak, Shengjinkou, towering 831 meters above sea level. Known as Red Rock Mountain in ancient Chinese classics, or Keziletage ("Red Mountain") in Uygur, Flaming Mountain is largely made up of bare rock. Not a single blade of grass grows on the hills of Flaming Mountain and there are no traces of birds or animals there. Geologists say that the Flaming Mountains were formed 50-180 million years ago, by magma bursting forth from under the sea during movement of the earth's crust, while the ravines and gullies crisscrossing the slopes are the result of erosion since those times.

Flaming Mountain Turpan, Xinjang Silk Road ToursIn the summer, the region gets so hot that you can "hard boil" an egg by burying it in the sand for just a few minutes. With strong direct radiation from the sun, the highest temperatures can reach 47.8 degrees Celsius and the earth's surface temperature can top 70 degrees. In July, the bare russet sandstones are heated by the blazing sun; hot vapor rises, blazing air current rolls up and look like burning flames in the distance, which gift  the mountains the name.

However, its natural allure is not characterized by mere heat. Behind the sterile rock mountains, there are many hidden valleys shaped by diastrophism millions of years ago. The natural conditions of these valleys, which abound with various plants and trees, are quite different. The most famous ones include Grape Valley, Peach Valley, Wood Valley and Shengjinkou Valley. Among them, Grape Valley is best known for producing the best grapes in the country. These "green islands" add extra glamour and diversity to the deserted Flaming Mountain.

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