The Flaming Mountain is very popular thanks to a classical novel, The Journey to the West by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) writer, Wu Cheng'en and its charming hero - the Monkey King.
In the Han account of the legend, it is said the Monkey King stirred up trouble in Heaven and kicked off the oven for making immortal pills. Charcoals fell from the sky to where the Flaming Mountain now lies-- in the middle of Turpan Basin.
According to the Uigur version, a vicious dragon lived in deep Tianshan Mountain and ate little children. A Uigur hero fought gallantly against the dragon for three days and three nights and cut the dragon into eight parts. The remains of the dragon turned to a scarlet mountain colored by its blood. The eight scars turned into the eight valleys in the Flaming Mountain, including the famous Grape Valley.
Scientific explanation cites tectonic plate movement on the earth's surface during the formation of the Himalayas 50,000,000 years ago. The mountain is barren and extremely hot in summer. During the trek approaching it, visitors will find the soles of their shoes soften in the intense heat. With the red sun overhead, the red mountain looks like a fiery dragon-truly an unforgettable spectacle!
|Barren and Extremely Hot Flaming Mountain || |
|Flaming Mountain, Turpan |
The mountain lies 10 km (6.2miles) east of Turpan city, covering about 100 km (62miles) from east to west with a width of 9 km (5.6miles). The average height is 500m (1640feet), while the 831-meter (2726-foot) - high peak rises above Shengjinkou, a vital pass of the ancient city of Gaochang
"...Grapes in Turpan grow up; Anarhan's heart is ecstatic..." This folk song of the last century is well known in China. Turpan, a place truly flowing with milk and honey in the Turki language, is famous for its fruits. Among them, grape is the most famous.
Every August the sweet air will herald the vintage. The best place to enjoy the grapes is Grape Valley.
|Grape Valley, Turpan || |
|Grapes on the vines |
Located in the Flaming Mountain
13 km (8 miles) of Turpan, the Grape Valley runs 8km (5miles) from north to south at a width of 0.5km (03.miles). This green paradise of 400 hektares (988 acres) is covered with layer upon layer of grapes.
It seems that all the water in the desert of Turpan flows into the Karez systems
in the Grape Valley. Every single grape is crystal and watery-some are as green as emerald; some as red as agate, some as small as pearls while others are like olives. Among dozens of kinds of grapes, Wuhebai (white seedless) is reputed as a green pearl with the sugar content as much as 22%.
Escaping from the fiery Flaming Mountain, you may take a seat under the vintage frames, savor various grapes, enjoy the beautiful Uigar girls in their ornate costumes, and be fully intoxicated by this refreshing palace of grapes!
|Vines form a green and cool corridor || |
|Uygur people in Grape Valley |
Taking a walk along the grape corridor, you will find drying rooms on nearby slopes. Every year over 300 tons of raisins are made here.
Mellowness penetrates your heart as the sweetness of grapes melts in your mouth. This unique experience will leave you with an enduring memory!