Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan)
It became very popular due to a classical Chinese novel, The Journey to the West by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) writer, Wu Cheng'en, and its charming hero - the Monkey King. It is described that 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. Therefore, the mountain is hot throughout the year. Hundreds of years later, when the Monkey King escorted his master, Tang Sanzang (a famous Chinese monk in Tang Dynasty 618 - 907), to acquire Buddhist scriptures in the Western Paradise, they were interrupted by the mountain. So the Monkey King borrowed a magic palm-leaf fan to stop the flame in order to pass the mountain safe and sound.
Now, the scenic area includes the mountain, a Culture Gallery of Journey to the West, Flaming Mountain Geographic Culture Museum, Gaochang Historical Celebrities Hall and a 12-meter high thermometer. In the Culture Gallery of Journey to the West, 24 pieces of relief pictures, basing on 24 stories from the Journey to the West, lively show how the Tang Sanzang struggled to the destination. The Turpan’s culture and the geographic features can be known in the Geographic Culture Museum. 14 statues of local famous people such as Tang Sanzang, Cen Shen (a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty) and Lin Zexu (an official in the Qing Dynasty 1644 - 1911) are collected in the Historical Celebrities Hall, and all these people have close relationship with Turpan. The thermometer, recorded in Guinness World Record, has an appearance like the Golden Cudgel, the weapon of Monkey King, and the exact surface temperature is shown on it. Taking a photo with the thermometer and recording the high surface temperature may be an interesting thing.
If one intends to enjoy the wonder of the mountain, they can use carts pulled by goats or camels to travel. Just in front of the mountain, some big statues from Journey to the West, having relationship with the Flaming Mountain, are placed for photographing. The roasted egg in the sand is a popular food there. It has a flavor different from the boiled and fried ones.
How to Reach Flaming Mountain from Urumqi?
From Urumqi Southern Bus Station, there are frequent buses for Turpan and the buses are from 09:00 to 20:00 with an interval of around 20 minutes. Upon reaching Turpan Bus Station, visitors can take the bus to Shanshan and get off at the scenic spot. The buses from Turpan to Shanshan operate from 08:00 to 20:00 with an interval of around 30 minutes. Or one can try the donkey carts to the mountain.
If visitors do not want to get off the bus to enjoy the mountain’s magnificence, they can also easily see it on the bus from Turpan to Shanshan, since the mountain stretches several miles along the road.
The best visiting season is from June to October and during that period August is the best month. August is the harvest time for local fruits, especially the grapes. Besides, the Silk Road – Turpan Grape Festival falls on around August 20 annually and lasts for several days. Singing and dancing shows, picking grapes with ten thousands of people, intangible cultural heritage show and other various activities definitely can impress travelers.
The best place for photographing is at the west mountain of Tuyu Valley.
A pair of comfortable shoes is necessary, because you need to walk a long distance. Sunscreen items and sunstroke prevention medicines are necessary.
|Entrance Fee||CNY60 |
Children under 6-year-old or below 3.9 feet (1.2 m) and seniors over 70-year-old are free of charge.
|Opening Hours||08:00 to 21:00 from April 21 to October 20; 10:00 to 18:30 from October 21 to the next April 20|