Less than 20km (12 miles) beyond Gaochang, the idyllic Uighur village of Tuyoq is a fine day trip, and can be included in a tour. A leisurely day trip to Tuyoq, stopping at Gaochang on the way back, can be arranged with individual taxis for ¥250. Direct buses to Tuyoq (¥7.50) leave Turpan at noon, 3pm, and 5pm. Buses to Lukeqin (¥12) pass Tuyoq, and leave from 10:30am; the last bus back to Turpan leaves Lukeqin at around 5pm, passing Tuyoq about 20 minutes later. If you catch the Lukeqin bus, you will be dropped at the south end of the sprawling settlement, leaving a hot but fascinating 5km (3-mile) walk north to the village proper. Three-wheelers also make the trip for ¥3.
Tourist officials hoped that the recent opening of some Buddhist caves here would boost revenues; in spite of the fact that the caves are currently closed to visitors, the village still charges a ¥30 fee (8:30am-8:30pm) to walk around. If the caves have re-opened by the time you get here you'll see all that's left are small patches of cave paintings with the faces of Buddhas scratched out. Bring a flashlight for a closer look. The village itself is nice to wander through, and several courtyard homes will open their doors for you at lunchtime. The cost of a meal should be ¥20 -- make sure you agree on the price before you settle in. Something else to be wary of is young children approaching you and asking to have their photograph taken and then aggressively demanding money; best to avoid the situation and only photograph people with whom you've had some prior interaction.
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.