Population: 601, 700
Total Area: 7116.9 square kilometers (2747.9 square miles)
Nationalities: Mongol, Uyghur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz, Xibe, Tajik, Uzbek, Tatar, Daurr, Manchu and Russian
Zip Code: 841000
Area Code: 0996
Administrative Divisions: nine counties, three towns, five farms and five sub-district Offices
Location: The city is the capital of Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, in the centre of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in the Northwest of China. It is located at 86° 07' east longitude and 41° 68' north latitude.
Physical Features: The land is higher in the north, sloping to the lower south in a fan-shaped oasis of fertility. The Kongque River has the whole of its course through the area. This tributary of the Tarim flows through the south of the urban area into the largest river basin in China, the Tarim Basin. To the north of Korla, there are the Tianshan Mountain’s branches-Kuluke Mountain and Hualashan Mountain, and to the south lies the Taklimakan Desert, the second-largest desert in the world.
Neighboring Areas: Yuli County, Bohu County, Hejing County, Heshuo County, Luntai County
History: With thousands of years of history, Korla was an important staging post in the middle of the Silk Road, because of the bottleneck of the Iron Gate Pass between Yanqi and Korla. It was set up as a county early in 1940, as a prefecture in 1954, and merged into the Bayin'guoleng Mongolia Autonomous prefecture in 1960. Finally, it was approved as a city in October 1979.
Climatic Features: Dominated by continental climate, the area is dry with light rainfall, a high evaporation rate, lots of sun and a huge temperature disparity between day and night; the total sunshine is about 3000 hours per year, and there is an average frost-free period of 210 days. In summer, the temperature can be as high as 40 C and in winter as low as -30 C. The prevailing winds in the area are northeasterly. The annual precipitation of the rainfall is 25-100 mm.
When to Go: The best time to visit this area is from August to September due to the comfortable weather conditions.
Mountains: the Tianshan Mountain Chain; Mt. Aerjinshan
Rivers: the Bosten Lake, Kongquehe River, Tarim River, Kuerchu Brook, the Yinyanghu Lake, and the Lianhuahu Lake
Special Local Products: Sweet Pear, Tomato, Muskmelon, Little Apricot In White, Fig, Mulberry, Raisin, Badamu, Cantaloup
Local Highlights: Singing and dancing are integral parts of the local life and have been around for centuries. Influenced by the ancient Silk Road civilizations, the song-and-dance styles have developed their own unique charm. Uyghur traditional and folk dances are very popular here, including the Bowl Dance, Big Drum Dance, Hoop Dance, Puta Dance, and the Synime, Xiadiyana, Nazirkom and Maixilaipu dances.
Scenic Spots: With its long and rich history and the specific physical features, the city is among the first group of National Excellent Tourist Destinations boasting many places worth seeing, such as Ancient City of Loulan, Bosten Lake, Bayanbulak Grassland, Lop Nur, Takla Makan Desert, Iron Gate Pass and Yadan Spectacle.
By Air: Korla has its own airport with flights to Chengdu, Jinan, Beijing and other big cities in China every week. It also has daily flights to nearby cities, such as Yining, Urumqi and Kashgar.
By Train: Korla Railway Station has trains running to Urumqi, Turpan and Hami in Xinjiang, then to the other provincial cities like Lanzhou, Xian and Chengdu.
By Long-distance Bus: There are several major national highways linking Korla with the nearby cities and tourist destinations in and around Xinjiang. Everyday, there are buses to Urummqi, Aksu, Kashgar, Karamay City, etc. The newly built dessert road runs through the Taklimakan and reaches Minfeng County and Hetian City.
By Taxi: It is convenient to hire a taxi in this city. The flag down fare is 5 Yuan and may vary according to the size of the vehicle.