Friday Mystery Photo

I could tell you her name, but that would give it away. One clue I give you is that I have one or more photos from this place posted on my blog. So if you don’t know where it is and her name, you can find some answers right here on the blog. You guys are great at it, knowing it all and getting it right every time. Like last Friday, most of you quickly figured out that it was inside Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. I would never guess it, if I didn’t have a chance to actually step into it.

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some good guesses guys. here is the plate describing the Iron-Fan Princess.


Turpan–Hottest Place on Earth?

I’m not sure if it is the hottest place, but it is definitely the hottest I’ve ever had a chance to visit. Day time temperatures get to around 65-70C, which is around 150-160F! The bellow giant thermometer shows 65C. This is the home to the Bull Demon King and Iron-fan Princess.

Do you think people live in those conditions? Of course they do. They adapt to it and make very interesting architectural changes to their houses.  

Turpan is located in western part of China, in Xin Jiang province, about 150 miles east from Urumqi. We rented a car from our hotel – with a driver – to take us there. It was not cheap, but money spent is totally worth the experience we got from the trip, and convenience of a good car, with good AC, with local driver who knows how to drive Chinese highways is really priceless.

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Tuyu Valley

In the their own words:

“The Tuyu Valley Scenic Spot is located in Shanshan County, Xinjian, which is the confluence of various world-famous religion, history and culture, 43 kilometers from the west of Turpan and 46 kilometers from the eat of Shanshan. The Scenic Spot is composed of four parts: the Grand Canyon, the Mazar Village, the Thousand-Buddha Grottoes and the Huojiamu Mazar.
The Grand Canyon of Tuyu Valley is the most mythological and spectacular part of the Flaming Mountains, where Nvwa (the Goddess who created human being and patched the sky in Chinese myth and legends) “collected water from the South China Sea and smelted colorful stones to patch the sky”. The Mazar Village of Tuyu Valley is one of the China’s Famous Villages of Historical and Cultural Interest, where the residents are all Uygur nationality and their folk customs are in an excellent state of preservation. The Ancient Folk House, blending all the earth architectures, is a museum of buildings and commonly referred to as a “Living Fossil of Folklore”. The Thousand-Buddha Grottes, excavated in the Wei-Jin and Northenr-Southern Dynasties with about 17000 years’ history, is a Key Cultural Relics under State-level Protection. The Huojiamu Mazar which is commonly called the “Stage Tomb” is one of the seven holy lands of Islam.”

And in my own photo:

Tuyu Valley - Click on it to open in my Photo Gallery

It looks bright and sunny, he? It was, just about 120-130F, in fact.

Resting Camel and Flaming Mountains Extreme Heat

During the day at the Flaming Mountains in Turpan China temperatures under the sun can get up to 65C, maybe more. When we were there it actually was 65C. That is something like 145F. Hot, very hot.

Take a look at this guy. He doesn’t mind. Just hanging around there like nothing happens. Camels are amazing animals.


How are humans keep themselves cool in such heat? Some choose the following tools:


While the locals are making very interesting architectural choices. Second level with all those holes draws hot air up and keeps the ground level at somewhat manageable temperatures.


Annoyingly, I had some reflection from the car window, we were driving as I took them and in such bright light the map on my lap was reflecting in the window.


Bull-Demon King

Flaming Mountain in Turpan China is one of the hottest spots on earth. The legend goes as following: “Tangseng and his disciples are stranded in the Flaming Mountain, and the Iron-fan Princess refuses to lend her palm-leaf fan to Wukong. A firce battle is to break out at any time. Riding on his golden-eye animal, the Bull-demon King is staring angrily at Tangseng and his disciples and is ready to fight at any moment.” This place is awesome.