Gaochang - the largest ruins of the ancient city left in ancient China
Originally built between 99 BC and 1 BC, Gaochang Ancient City is located near Khara-khoja, about 40 kilometers east of Turpan. It is about 6.5 kilometers away from the Shengjinkou at the southern foot of the Flaming Mountains. In a shape of rectangular with a circumference of 5.4 kilometers, Gaochang is divided into three parts: outer city, inner city and palace city.
Gaochang Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Gaochang Gucheng (高昌故城)
- Area: 198 hectares
- Things to do there: Photography, Archaeology, Chinese History
- Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Archaeologists
- Time required: 2 – 3 hours
The temple at the southwestern corner in the outer city covers an area of nearly 1 hectare. Judging from the feature of its structure and the left frescoes, the temple was built in the 6th Century. There is also a temple where you will find a pagoda at the southeastern corner in the outer city. The frescoes at the temple are the best-preserved one in Gaochang. The frescoes show that the temple was built between the 12th Century and the 13th Century.
A small fortress in the shape of square stands in the middle of the north part of the inner city. On the high platform in the north side of the fortress is a tower-shaped building with a height of 15 meters. Walk for a minute westward and you will find the ruins of a palace. You could expore the bases of the palaces in the north part of Gaochang. The bases are between 3 and 4 meters tall. 500 tombs were excavated in the north part of Gaochang. Thousands of cultural relics have been found there, such as ancient coins, paintings, corps, official documents, etc.
Best time to visit Gaochang
If you are planning to visit Gaochang for photography purposes, the best time to visit is during the sunset.
The best months to visit are from April to July and from September to October.
How to get to Gaochang
There is no direct bus to Gaochang from Turpan. The only option is to rent a vehicle.
Additional Gaochang Travel Advice
- Opening hours: 08:00 – 21:00 (April 21 – October 20); 10:00 – 18:30 (October 21 – April 20)
- As at 17th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the ancient city is 70 CNY per person; the ticket for the shuttle bus is 50 CNY per person. It is suggested to take the shuttle bus as Gaochang covers a large area.
- If you are interested to visit other attractions, such as Flaming Mountains, Ancient City of Jiaohe and the like, you could also get the combo tickts.
- The combo ticket for Ancient City of Gaochang, Ancient City of Jiaohe, Bezeklik Caves, Astana Tombs, Duke Office, Emin Minaret and karez system is 325 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Flaming Mountains, Emin Minaret, Duke Office and karez system is 275 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Emin Minaret, Duke Office and karez system is 235 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Tuyuq Valley and karez system is 240 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Flaming Mountains, Desert Botanical Garden and karez system is 250 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Flaming Mountains, Astana Tombs and karez system is 250 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket for Grape Valley, Ancient City of Gaochang, Flaming Mountains, Tuyuq Valley, Ancient City of Jiaohe and karez system is 310 CNY per person.
- The combo ticket is valid in 48 hours (If you buy the ticket at 10:00am on Wednesday 20th December 2018, the ticket is valid by 10:00am on Friday 22th December 2018).
- Children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge.
- For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- Please take enough food with drinking water with you.
- Please wear the sunscreen cream, sunglasses and the like to stop the strong sunlight shining your body directly in the dry weather.