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Getting There

As yet, talk of an airport at Turpan remains just that, and the nearest airport is at Ürumqi.

The railway station is located 54km (33 miles) north of Turpan in drab town of Daheyan. Minibuses connect with Turpan's long-distance bus station for ¥7.50. The bus station in Daheyan is reached by heading up the hill in front of the station, turning right, and continuing along the road for about 180m (600 ft.). The bus station is on your left. Some buses wait at the station, along with individual taxis that charge ¥80 to Turpan, or ¥20 per person, as long as they are able to fill a car with four passengers. Getting to Daheyan from Turpan the same options are available; either flag a taxi on the street or head to the long distance bus station to take the bus or a share taxi.

To connect with Kashgar, the best choice is the N9786 at 3:01pm; the trip takes 22 hours. Except in peak season, sleeper tickets are readily purchased in Daheyan. Those heading to Ürumqi are better served by bus. Heading east, sleeper tickets are tighter; your chances are best on the T194 to Hankou at 8:59pm or the T198 to Zhengzhou at 9:18pm, both of which make stops at Jiayuguan (11 hr.), Lanzhou (18 hr.), Tianshui (23 hr.), Xi'an (27 hr.), and Luoyang (32 hr.). It's easiest to proceed through a travel agent; CITS charges a commission of ¥40 or John's Information Cafe, which charges ¥30 to ¥50.

The bus station is at Lao Cheng Lu 27 (tel. 0995/852-2325), about 90m (300 ft.) west of the central intersection. Buses for Ürumqi (187km/116 miles; 2 1/2 hr.; ¥40; taxi [Santana] ¥65 per person) leave every 20 minutes from 7:30am to 8pm. There's a daily sleeper bus at 1pm for Kuqa (638km/396 miles; 14 hr.; ¥120 lower berth, ¥110 upper berth) and Kashgar (1,385km/859 miles; 20 hr.; ¥210 upper berth, ¥200 lower berth).

Getting Around

Turpan is a small town, and nearly everything is within walking distance of the center, marked by the intersection of Lao Cheng Lu and Gaochang Lu. Taxis within the city cost ¥5. Most sights are outside town and require a taxi, minibus, or bike, the latter of which can be hired from John's Information Cafe for ¥5 an hour or ¥45 for the whole day. Your presence is noted by local drivers when you arrive. They will politely but insistently offer tours of the eight sights (bage difang). Decline.

Tours

CITS (tel. 0995/818-2318; turpancits@sina.com; 8am-9pm) is located in the Yiyuan Binguan on Qingnian Lu.

Fast Facts

Banks & Foreign Exchange -- You can change traveler's checks and draw money on your credit card from counters 3 to 5 at the Bank of China, at Lao Cheng Lu 18, just west of the intersection with Gaochang Lu. It also has an ATM and is open April to September from 9:30am to 1pm and 4:30 to 8pm; October to March 10am to 1:30pm and 3:30 to 7pm.

Internet Access -- Zhixin wangba is up the decrepit looking stairwell at Gaochang Lu 441 next to the China Construction Bank, just north of Wenhua Lu. It's open from 10am to 2am and Internet access costs ¥2 per hour. You can also use the Internet for ¥5 per hour at John's Information Cafe in the Turpan Hotel on Qingnian Lu.

Post Office -- The main post office (9:30am-8pm summer; 10am-7pm winter) is next to the Hongyuan Hotel on Gaochang Lu, just north of the junction with Lao Cheng Lu. There's another branch with the same hours just west of the bus station.

Visa Extensions -- The PSB office (Mon-Fri 9:30am-1pm and 4:30-8pm) on Gaochang Lu (tel. 0995/856-4409) can process visa extensions.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.