Flaming Mountains are situated in the north of Turpan Basin. Along the Turpan-Shanshan road, the northern edge of the Turpan basin, and stretching over 100 km long and 10km wide, this is an intensely hot part of the desert with not a single blade of grass to be seen for miles. The highest peak is 850 m in height. The flaming mountains are mainly composed of red sandrock. In summer, it is very hot here and under the hot sun, thermal air current rises, and the red sandrock gives out red light just like fire. In the evenings the red clay mountains reflect the heat and glow of the desert and seem to burn!! So the mountains are named Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan).
In the severe heat of July, the mountains seem to be on fire in the burning sun and become a purplish-brown color. Hot steam rises upwards from the burning cliffs and it is no surprise that this is where the hottest temperatures in China ever, were recorded! Here is the hottest place in our country with the summer air temperature reaching 47℃, and it was said that at the top of the mountain the air temperature is as high as 80℃. Among the local ethnic groups spreads a fairy tale: there was a evil dragon that ate children. Later, the dragon was killed by a hero. Before killed, the dragon flew around the mountains that were dyed red by blood from the wound of the dragon.
Make sure you go prepared for this spectacular spot with ample drinking water, a good sunblock and a hat to stop your head from frizzling!
Story of Flaming Mountains
Long long ago, a vicious dragon lived in deep Tianshan Mountain and ate small children. One day, a Uygur hero fought gallantly against the dragon for three days and three nights. Finally, he cut the dragon into eight parts. The remains of the dragon turned to a scarlet mountain colored by its blood. The eight scars turned into the eight valleys of Flaming Mountain, including the famous Grape Valley.
Another story comes from the classical novel, The Journey to the West by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) writer, Wu Cheng'en and its charming hero -- The Monkey King.
In the Han account of the legend, it is said the Monkey King stirred up trouble in Heaven and kicked over the furnace for making immortality pills. Charcoals fell from the sky to where Flaming Mountain now lies -- in the middle of Turpan Basin.
However, scientific explanations cite tectonic plate movement on the Earth's surface during the formation of the Himalayas 50,000,000 years ago.
The mountain is barren and extremely hot in summer. During the trek approaching the mountain, visitors will find the soles of their shoes soften in the intense heat. With the red sun overhead, thermal air currents rising, red sandstone gives out red light looks like a fiery dragon. Therefore, its name.
China tours inclusive of visiting Flaming Mountain, Turpan