Top things to do

Lake in Northern Xīnjiāng

Kanas Lake Nature Reserve

Stunning Kanas Lake (哈纳斯湖; Hānàsī Hú) is a long finger of water surrounded by soaring mountain peaks nestled in the southernmost reaches of the Siberian taiga ecosystem, pinched in between Mongolia, Russia and Kazak…
Lake in Northern Xīnjiāng

Sayram Lake

Vast Sayram Lake, 120km north of Yīníng and 90km west of Bólè, is an excellent spot to get a taste of the Tiān Shān range (Tengri Tagh in Kazakh). The lake is especially colourful during June and July, when the alpi…
International in Yīníng

Zǐxiānggě Coffee Club

Within the grounds of the enormous Yīlí Bīnguǎn, this surprisingly lavish multiroom restaurant specialises in coffee and tea, but also has a small Western menu serving up pizza, steaks and even a club sandwich, alon…
Mosque in Yīníng

Shǎnxī Mosque

A couple of blocks southeast of the People's Sq is the Uyghur Old Town and the impressive 260-year-old Shǎnxī Mosque, which looks far more like a piece of traditional Chinese architecture than a Muslim place of wors…
Market in Bù'ěrjīn

Bù’ěrjīn Night Market

Specialising in grilled fish, fresh yoghurt and kvas (a yeasty brew popular in Russia), this riverside night market makes for very atmospheric dining, even if the whole riverside development has been a little Disney…
Square in Yīníng

People’s Square

The heart of the city is People’s Sq, a popular place to fly kites. It's rather a well-tended plaza, with ornamental trees and is surrounded by local government buildings. The south side is lined with ice cream, fru…
Village in Kanas Lake Nature Reserve

Hémù

This gorgeous little Tuvan village is an alternative place to base yourself when you visit Kanas Lake. It's 70km southeast of the lake, but far less crowded come the summer months. May and June are great times to vi…