Turpan, or Tulufan as the Chinese call it, is in Xinjiang province. The population in this province are of the Uyghur minority - descendants from Alexander the Great or the Turkish people. Even their language sounds like Turkish. Turpan is the lowest point in China, and the hottest spot too in summer. It was around 47 Celsius when I was there in Aug 1999. In the desert are remains from some ancient civilisations, but if I say remains, it's really ruins. Besides that they had some weird kischy sand art - which looked like out-a-space. Old Buddhist remains as well with an old mosque next to it. From there I took a sleeper bus for 2 days through the desert to Kashgar.