1)Buses: Buses to Tuyoq leave Turpan several times a day. It only costs about 10 RMB since the distance isn't far. The last bus back may leave early in the evening. Make sure about bus schedule times for returning to Turpan and be aware that the buses might not show up or change their schedule.
2)Taxis or private drivers: might charge 200 or so for a day's tour of sites. If there are more people in a vehicle or a tout is setting up a tour, the charge is less.
Traveling north to south, Tuyugou's attractions are the Subeixi Village of Uighurs and the Gushi or Yuezhi people archeological site that is about 3,000 years old near Subeixi Village. Further south, there is a narrow ravine about 300 meters wide or so that has a stream. A road called County Road X065 follows the stream a little higher up in the ravine and about 200 meters away to the west of it. It makes transportation easy since it connects the whole valley. At the southern mouth, the valley opens out over the Turpan Basin. There are about 4 Uighur villages in an agricultural area about 8 kilometers or 5 miles long and about a kilometer or less wide in the southern mouth of the valley. The Uighur houses or restaurants amid the fertile vineyards are places where you can meet the people and have a Uighur meal and buy food. You can hike on the Flaming Mountain canyon sides and take wonderful pictures of this harsh environment of stone, mud brick houses and irrigated vineyards. About 8 kilometers south of the valley is another Yuezhi graveyard called the Yanghai Tombs. In 2008, it was in the world news because a Caucasian mummy 2,700 years old was found with pot next to it. There were also equestrian equipment and a harp that showed that he probably rode horses and played his harp.
For many local Muslims, the famous site in that southern valley is a cave in Mazar Village or "Mazacun" in Chinese. It is called the Al-Sahab Kahfi Mazar. They believe that a miracle that is described in the Koran happened in a cave there. The world "mazar" is an Arabic word that means "place to pray." For many Uighurs, it is a holy shrine. Some local Muslims say a dog defended the mosque during the Cultural Revolution so that it wasn't damaged. It is an old pilgrimage site. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter.
Mazar Village is a small Uighur town, but it isn't quite a regular Uighur town, because people have to pay a fee to get in. It is a little like a Uighur theme park. It has been purposely made to look ancient and rundown. There is a gate where visitors have to pay a fee to get in. It looks like a dusty old town in the Middle East. Though it is an actual place people live, the people are used to being photographed by the tourists who visit it, and the kids might demand money for any photos. The people earn money from the tourists by selling goods and serving meals in their houses An eye-catching feature in it is a green mosque with green minarets that rise above the reddish houses. It looks out of place, like something out of a movie. The sides of the Flaming Mountains of the valley are reddish.
About a mile from the Moslem shrine, there is a Thousand Buddha Grottoes with about 40 grottoes. About three were open for tourists, and they have patches of Buddhist and Nestorian Christian works of art. Lately, they have been closed. There is no telling when they might be open. This grotto complex is said to be about 80 years older than the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes that are about 20 kilometers away to the northwest. The Bezeklik Grottoes are said to date from 400 AD, but it is said that these date from the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). However, there was less to see inside. Still, the site has been less built up than the Bezeklik Grottoes so that even the sight of rectangular openings in a cliff face is kind of strange.
Touring Tuyugou Valley is sort of like a mini-Turpan tour, because by going from one end to the other people can visit sites and scenery like the more famous places around Turpan.
1.Small Uighur valley with an array of historic sites spanning 3,000 years and lots of vineyards all within a day's tour.
2.Situated in the Turpan Depression that is the second or third lowest point on the planet.
3.By road, the southern Mazar Village of the valley is about 70 kilometers or 43 miles from Turpan, and the northern Subeixi Village is about 75 kilometers from Turpan.
4.The cave at the Al-Sahab Kahfi Mazar in Mazar Village is considered holy by many people. They say it is described in the Koran.
5.Thousand Buddha Grottoes is older than the Bezeklik Grottoes. There are some remaining Nestorian and Buddhist artworks.
6.Vineyards like Grape Valley. People can have meals and buy produce.
7.Location of ancient Caucasian archeological sites older than the Astana Tombs.
8.Scenic desert canyon and some hiking paths.
9.A road that goes through the valley makes transportation between sites convenient.
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