Flaming Mountain in Turpan

Why isThe Flaming Mountain So Special?

The Flaming Mountain is a legendary mountain, running from Shanshan County on west, 98 kilometers in length and 9 kilometers across, with a relative height of 500 meters and the highest peak 831.7 meters.

Where is The Flaming Mountain

 The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain , formed in the orogenic movements of the Himalayas. It is located on the northern edge of Turpan Basin, the northern road of the ancient Silk Road.

History of The Flaming Mountain

It should be noted that spontaneous combustion of coal seams is not uncommon in Xinjiang. Today, the sulphur ditch coalfield, 42km from Urumqi, has been “crisscrossed with fissures, thick smoke, flames whirring between rock crevices, which have lasted for many years” since the Guangxu period of the Qing dynasty. It has been more than 110 years now (2019). This coalfield fire area took four years (1999 -2003) and was only extinguished in 2003. “Tianshan is a region with intense geological activities. The horizontal coal seam buried in the stratum is mostly turned into inclined coal seam after many geological movements. The coal seam comes into contact with the air after outcrop. After oxidation, the accumulated heat increases, causing spontaneous combustion, which eventually leads to coalfield fire.” The nursery engineer, technical director of the sulfur ditch coalfield fire area project, explained. The heat and dryness of the volcano are all attributed to the unique natural and geographical conditions here. The real volcano is one of the branches of the Tianshan Mountains and was formed 50 to 60 million years ago during the Himalayan orogeny. For thousands of years, numerous fold belts left by the lateral movement of the earth’s crust and the wind erosion and rain stripping of nature have formed the undulating mountain potential and vertical and horizontal ravines of the volcano. Temperatures in mountain areas can reach 47℃ in summer and 80℃ in direct sunlight. Eggs can be baked in sand.

Brief Introduction of The Flaming Mountain

 Its highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees centigrade in summer. For this reason and its natural geographical features, people vividly call it “ Flaming Mountain ”. Through the well-known story about this mountain in the novel “Journey to the West”, the mountain has enjoyed great popularity and become an ideal place for tour.

Main Attraction of The Flaming Mountain

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.

Recommended Xinjiang Tour Packages

Best Time to Travel The Flaming Mountain

Every autumn, that is, August and September, is the best time to visit Turpan.

At this time, the weather began to cool and the fruits began to mature. This is a very suitable time to travel. At this time, most scenic spots began to hang attractive gold. Let’s travel in the golden ocean. The natural scenery around Turpan is very beautiful. In our spare time, we take our family to Turpan to play, eat delicious fruits and enjoy different local conditions and customs. I believe this is a very beautiful moment and a very happy memory.

How to Get There

  • 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.

Useful Travel Tips

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


  • 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.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋