Home: City Guide: Korla
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Located to the north edge of Takla Makan Desert, Korla City is about 500 km (about 311 miles) south of Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As a chief traffic junction on the Silk Road, Korla means 'Look around, Lookout' in Uighur language. As an important city in south Xinjiang, many famous tourist attractions are scattered in and around it. Known as 'City of Pear' since old times, Fragrant Pear is the most famous of the local products. Distinctive ethnical flavors and cultures in Korla also allure millions of tourists every year.

Since the annual amount of precipitation is only 40-50 mm and the annual average temperature 11 °C (51.8 °F), it is very dry and cool in the Korla area. The average maximum temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F) in June and the lowest is -7.9 °C (17.7 °F) in January. Thus, August and September are the best times for traveling. What's more, many kinds of fruits will be ripe at that time and the Korla Fragrant Pear Festival will also be held.

Covering an area of 7,116.9 sq km (about 1,758,623 acres), Korla boasts a long history. In the Western Han Dynasty(206 BC-24 AD), the area belonged to Quli Kingdom, which is one of the 36 kingdoms to the south of Mt. Tianshan Range. In 176 BC, Hun people invaded the West Region (the vast area to the west of Great Wall, including today's Xinjiang and some other countries in Middle Asia) and controlled Quli Kingdom. Later, Emperor Wu defeated the Hun and Quli Kingdom became a part of Western Han Dynasty. This area came back to the control of nomad tribes after inner China experienced hundreds of years of wars, disunions and turmoil. It belonged to Tang Dynasty in 648 and soon Tubo (an early Tibetan kingdom) controlled here in 670. In 692, Empress Wu Zetian ordered her army to recapture Korla, but again it fell into Tubo's hand in 789. In 1122, the area belonged to Liao Dynasty (916-1125) and in 1218 Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). In 1677, Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) marched to the south Xinjiang and the area became an important military base for Qing. Korla County was established in 1938 and Korla City, the capital city of Bayin Guoleng Mongolia Autonomous Prefecture in 1979.

Korla is a beautiful city. The Swan Lakes in the vast Bayanbulak Grassland is the summer resort for groups of swans, gulls and many other rare birds. Each year in April, thousands of birds, which migrate back from the south, make the area's scenery perfect with swans, lake, mountains, grass, cloud and cows. Bosten Lake, which is one of the largest fresh water lakes in China, is the cradle of the Mother River of Korla City, Peacock River. There is also the longest inner river of China, Tarim River, and the biggest as well as the most beautiful and dangerous desert of China, Takla Makan Desert, world renowned Lop Nur and Yadan Spectacle. In addition, historical and cultural relics such as Ancient City of Loulan, Tiemen Pass (Iron Gate), Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves and Subashi Ruins in and around Korla City let people know more about Chinese culture and history.

Recommended China Tour with Korla

  • 22 Day Silk Road Tour

    Luxury tour to Beijing, Urumqi, Korla, Kuqa, Aksu, Kashgar, Hetian, Minfeng, Turpan, Dunhuang, Xian, Shanghai

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