Turpan / China
Tuyugou Canyon is hidden on the back roads of the Flaming Mountains, a dramatic range of hills that rise out of the desert near Turpan. Originally a 5th century village, built from mud and timber, it is one of the many towns near Turpan that grow grapes and mulberrys and is the location of Xojam Maxar.
The village draws life from the spring water that flows through the valley, adding a touch of green to the read hills. Spring fills the air of Tuyugou, sweet and heavy with scent from flowering trees along the river bank. In the heart of town is a beautiful mosque and the Xojam Mazar, the burial place of one of seven holy saints of Islam. Locals call it "the saint's tomb".
The town of Tuyugou is also refered to as Tuyoq by the Uyghur people. Turpan is known as Tulufan by the Chinese. Special thanks to Simon Foster who helped me to discover this gem when he guided me on a similar journey in 2008.
We visited Tuyugou as part of the 2013 Silk Road Photography Tour, visiting in the late afternoon on a hazy spring day. The Silk Route is a journey, not a destination, but it is treasures like Tuyugou that make this journey special.
Ewen Bell's other website is called "Photography for Travellers", an online guide rich in features both practical and philosophical. Field guides to wonderful locations, insights into techniques plus inspiring idea to help you think differently about the art of photography.
Photography for Travellers
Ewen's guiding principles are simple...
"Go slow. Get closer. Look for the light."
"Photography is about showing other people how to see, to share the beauty of life. It's not a job, it's a lifestyle. We only get one lifetime, one chance to add some light into the world. Photography competitions are mostly silly. Cats are excellent."