Discover the region or prefecture of Ili, situated in the northwest part of Xinjiang on a private sightseeing tour. Experience the famous lavender gardens of Ili, which is one of the largest lavender cultivations in the world.
Ili is endowed with a pleasant climate and has become one of the most favourite spots to visit when travelling to Xinjiang. It is home to nearly 20 ethnic groups, and each has its distinctive lifestyle and folk traditions which add to the fascination and charm of here. A sightseeing tour is a great way to explore the Yili grasslands and basque in beauty for the day.
Take a visit to the bazaar to experience the unique features of the region. Here you will meet the locals and see all the local handicrafts and taste delicacies. There is also a distinct influence of Russian architecture with many buildings imbued with Russian style and design. After you visit Ili, you will feel overwhelmed by this truly under-appreciated travel gem. Read More...
Sail Away in a Dream on a Private Boat Tour of the Stunning Sayram Lake.
You may sail away in a dream when you take a private boat tour of the stunning Sayram Lake. Known as the 'Pearl on the Silk Road, Sayram Lake is the largest and highest alpine lake in Xinjiang and it is a popular tourist attraction from Ili.
From where this Ili prefecture is located, there are many great activities to do. One of the main ones being hiking tours of the Tianshan Mountains.
There are many beautiful sceneries and sights to see when you visit here. During the Spring and Summer, there are stunning flowers and butterflies and you can see the most amazing sunset.
Top 10 Things to Do in Ili
Enjoy a leisurely private boat tour in the Sayram Lake which is also known as the 'Pearl on the Silk Road'. It is the largest and highest Alpine Lake in this region. It also happens to be known as the 'Atlantic Oceans last teardrop' because it is the last place the Atlantic Ocean's warm air current reaches. The views of the banks and backdrops are stunning from this peaceful lake with swans and ducks.
The Yili Grasslands
The Yili Grasslands is a location for your Ili travel itinerary. It is a lively and verdant grassland that sits at the Tianshan range of mountain peaks. A sight not be missed. Because of its remote and quiet location, it is often missed by tourists, but those who do discover this hidden gem are always left feeling more than happy. Talk with your guide to arrange a sightseeing tour to the amazing Ili grasslands.
The Baytullah Mosque is located in the centre of Ili. It is an impressive building with old and new architecture. The old building is a Hui mosque, and the larger building behind it is a structure built in Uyghur architectural design. Fridays are the busiest days as all the locals come to pray. The entrance is quite small and can easily go unnoticed; it is ideal to go on a private guided tour.
Kazanqi Handicraft Market
The Kazanqi Handicraft Market is located in central Ili and is an interesting place to stop and see when on a city tour. It is a great to take a walk and shop here. There are many markets selling everything from souvenirs to leather jackets and bags. There are also many stalls selling a variety of fruits and snacks. In the summer months, Ili can get extremely hot, so it's advisable to go later in the day.
Guozigou Valley also known as "Fruits Valley" is a popular attraction due to its beautiful scenery. It has been and still is regarded as the ‘No.1 Beauty’ in Ili throughout the ages. The valley itself is 28 km long and grows wild fruits, rare herb and exotic flowers. The appearance of the valley changes with the passing of the seasons when the different aromatic flowers and fruit grow. A great sightseeing tour!
Ili River is about 16 kilometres south of Ili city. It originates in the Tianshan mountains and winds it way westward through the Ili valley right to the Lake Balkhash which is in Kazakhstan. The river banks offer the perfect place to view the snow-covered mountains and verdant forests. The great Ili bridge is considered the best location for watching the sunset and a popular spot for photographers on sightseeing tours.
Ili Tokkuztara Yehetaogou Scenic Area
Ili Tokkuztara Yehetaogou Scenic Area is a great place to spend part of the day or all of the day. On a sightseeing tour explore this beautiful Scenic Area and be impressed with the colour and diverse plantation. There are easy going or energetic walking trails to do as well as excellent relaxation and picnic areas. The views from the high spots are breathtaking and very popular with amateur photographers.
With lavender in full bloom in Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, it makes Ili one of the four major regions in the world that produce lavender. Tourists flock here in high numbers to take in the beauty and the scent of lavender mist that fills the air. Lavender begins to bloom each year from mid-June and which would be the ideal time to take a sightseeing tour to visit China's largest lavender cultivation.
Bayinbulak Grasslands is another excellent and popular destination for tourists on sightseeing tours. The scenery is beautiful and there are many great activities to do. Enjoy such activities as walking, hiking, travelling the grasslands on horse back or spend an intriguing night in a traditional yurt. Also if you time your trip right, you may have the opportunity to partake in a local ethnic festival.
Xibe Folk Customs Park
Take a very interesting private guided tour of the Xibe Folk Customs Park which is located in Ili Prefecture. Here you can see and educate yourself about the old and traditional customs in the Folk Custom Museum and walk around the beautiful and pristine park and grounds. There are regular showcases and displays by locals in traditional costumes performing an array of things such as traditional dance routines.
Travel Tips for Ili
Best Time To Visit
Anytime during the months of June to August is regarded to be the best time to visit the prefecture Ili. This is mainly due to the density of grasses in the Nalati Grassland at this time. These months are when can do great activity tours with only a chance of a drizzle of rain. April and May are good times too especially for sightseeing tours to the Lavender gardens or any botanic gardens.
Ili is cheap and a great place for a tourist avail of bargains in the bazaar. However, be sure to haggle with the vendors as they expect it. It is advised to book any private sightseeing tours before your arrival for lower prices. Accommodation prices will vary on the type of place you want to stay in. An evening meal for two people in a local traditional restaurant can cost as little as US$10.
Know Before Visiting
Do your research on this prefecture before travelling and make sure you can get accommodation there for the time you want. Some of the sightseeing tours you are doing either to or from Xinjiang can be lengthy, but the views are exceptional along the way. When you are on a group tour, it is very important that you do not stray away from the group, you may get lost or worse the group leave without you.
Ili Prefecture has a continental climate zone. The weather is mild and humid. The summers tend to be short while the winters are long. Also, the weather varies in different areas and there is a noticeable difference in the temperatures during the day and night. The average highest temperatures during the summer is 43 degrees Celsius and in the winter -51 degrees Celsius on average. There is some rain during the year.