The city of Turpan in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is harnessing its abundant thermal energy capabilities as part of a new economic growth model to boost its travel industry.
Surrounded by deserts and mountains, Turpan is known for its immense heat energy in the summer, which has provided beneficial resources for the development of areas of heat therapy, health services, ecotourism and sand heating cures, as well as a myriad of other uses in the light of its geographical and climatic conditions.
According to the local meteorological bureau, the scenic area of Flaming Mountain, a tourist attraction known for its fire-like sandstone, has recently seen its temperature rise to its highest in a year, with a maximum daily temperature of around 45 degrees Celsius.
A giant thermometer in the picturesque location shows that the surface temperature can reach around 70 degrees Celsius between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day
During the summer vacation, many tourists flock to Flaming Mountain.
Local vendors are ready to impress travelers from other places with eggs boiled in hot sand. It takes about an hour to cook the eggs in a sandpit, but the unique cooking method, the “egg mound,” has attracted many travelers and shutterbugs.
The sand not only serves as a stove, but also as a bathtub.
The city has built numerous “sand therapy” sites so that people can bury themselves in the sand in the sun.
Long-term studies show that thanks to the combination of heat, drought, sun rays, and minerals from the sand, sand therapy helps treat diseases such as arthritis and sciatica.