With an area of 629 square kilometer, Yining is a village level city in northwestern Xinjiang province of People’s Republic of China. It is the seat of Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. The city is also known as Ghulja and before it was called as Ili and Kulja. The city is developed in the banks of Ili River, today Yining is the pulsating center of cultural, economical, transportation and political activities. The city is erected in the center of Ili River banks and valley. The city start from the northern stretch of Ili River and extended to the West side till the border of 312 National Highway. Western border meets with Huocheng County and eastern border meets with Yining County. The other side of river on the southern portion is Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County and Kequerqin Mountain on the northern border. The Kequerqin Mountain is part of Tianshan Mountain ranges.
Yining City is famous for ecological tourism. Some of the important tourist destinations are the City Sea View Amusement Park, the Lin Zexu Memorial Hall, the People’s Park, the Ili National Cultural Tourist Village, Hanbinxiang orchard, the Almaty Fort Custom Garden, Ili Museum, the Han Princess Memorial Hall and the Cemetery of Revolutionary Martyrs. Also there are the famous Batul and Yining Hui mosques, which have a history of more than 200 years. Further you can explore ski resorts, roam through the Uyghur Residential Street and get lost in the Folk Tourist Spot.
Yining City was originally built during Qing Dynasty during 1762. The city was christened as ‘Ningyuan city” by the Emperor Qianlong. The meaning stands for “remote peaceful city”. Yining City was considered as one of the 9 famous cities during the Qing Dynasty. Archeologists have recovered more than 100 cultural relics from the ruins of the city, marking the existence of a vibrant civilization of the past. Yining also acted as a cultural exchange center between the east and west since it is located in a strategic location on the Silk Route.
The Han Princess Memorial Hall has displayed the historical records and artifacts of Princess Xijun. The Princes was an important cultural icon, as she was sent to the border to marry from the rulers of minority communities. There are lots of historical evidences to confirm that more than 37 ethnic minorities lived in the city peacefully and they considered Yining as their home country. The city is also nick named as “Asia Ethnic Museum”.
The city is well connected with road, rail and air travel system. The Yining Train station is just 5 kilometer away from the city center. From Urumqi to Yining by train it will take 12 hours and from Shihezi it will take about 8 hours. Yining Airport is 3.5 kilometer far from the city center. The airport is one of the oldest airports in Xinjiang Province. The city is well connected with all major routes and international routes. The bus terminal is located near the west side of Ili Normal University. Most of the major cities are connected with long distance bus service. Hence travelling by bus to Yining City is quite easy.