county-level city

Yining (伊宁; Yíníng Uyghur: غۇلجا Ghulja) is a city in the Xinjiang Province in China. Though the official Chinese name is Yining, the city is almost never referred to by that name even by the Chinese who live there. Local people call it Ghulja, Kulja or Yili.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

Yining Airport is a 15 minute taxi ride north of town. The only destinations for flights out of Yining are Urumqi and Aletai.

By busEdit

The Long Distance Bus Station is at the northwest end of Jiefang Road near the intersection with Ahemaitijiang Road.

  • Almaty, Kazakhstan - takes about 12-15 hours, but apparently no direct buses
  • Altai City via Burqin - takes about 48 hours
  • Khorgas - Small bus ¥25, Large bus ¥?. Use this to cross the border to Kazakhstan by foot. Takes about one hour after which you can walk to the border by foot in ten minutes. Once through the Chinese passport control and customs you must use a bus to travel over the border for ¥20. Bribes appear to have been formalised so that you need to pay a further ¥20 after the bus departs. On the Kazakh side there is another little bus that apparently costs 500 Tenge to take you to the taxi-stand. Do not forget to ask for your (apparently) free registration at the Kazakh border, you need two stamps on your immigration card for this. Otherwise it costs 767 Tenge, atleast in Almaty, to register. It is not really necessary but can save you a lot of hassle with corrupt officials.
  • Kashgar - takes about 48 hours
  • Korla - takes about 18-30 hours
  • Urumqi - takes about 15 hours, pretty rough road

By trainEdit

As of 2013, there are 3 overnight trains between Urumqi and Yining. One of the trains continues beyond Yining to Khorgas, on the Kazakhstan border. (Yining train schedule, in Chinese).

Get aroundEdit

The police and the military are pretty touchy in Yining. No taking photographs of mosques and obviously don't take pictures of the military. The hassle is mainly due to them being confused how to deal with foreigners - best option seems to be to ask them to take you to your hotel, who can clear things up in about a minute.


The small amusement park at the Yining River is worth a look.








  • Jinshuiyuan Hotel (Opposite the bus station), +86 999 8165555, fax: +86 999 8191777. Double ¥228 (July 2008).
  • Yili Hotel, 8 Yingbin Rd, +86 999 8024964, fax: +86 999 8024964. Not a bad option, central and in a nice park. Double ¥140-180.


Go nextEdit

  • Qapqal - sleepy little village of the tiny Xiao minority (PSB permit required)
  • Almaliq - medieval Mongol city, once capital of the Chagatai Khanate
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