Aksu Travel Guide

Aksu (Akesu) Travel Guide

Mystic Grand Canyon
Mystic Grand Canyon

Aksu Facts

Full Name: Aksu Prefecture
Chinese Name: 阿克苏地区 (ā kè sū dì qū)
Location: Aksu Prefecture is located in the southwest portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It shares a 235 kilometers-long boundary to the northwest with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In the south, it is separated from Hotan by the Taklamakan Desert. It is about 450 kilometers northeast of Kashgar.

Population: 2,310,000  
Area: 132,500 square kilometers (51,159 square miles) 
Nationalities: Uygur, Han 
Administrative Division: 8 counties (Wensu, Kuqa, Xayar, Toksu, Bay, Uxturpan, Awat, Kalpin); 2 cities (Aksu, Alar) 
Seat of the Prefecture Government: 3, Xi Da Jie

Useful Telephone Numbers: Tourist Complaints: 0997-2143133;  Weather Forecast: 121;  Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China: 1, Xinhua Dong Lu
China Post: 1, Nan Da Jie



 Kuqa Mosque is a grand Islam temple second only in size to the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar. It is about four kilometers from the newly formed district of Kuqa County.  This is an area that dates back to the fifteenth century.

 The Mystic Grand Canyon of the Tianshan Mountains is located on the Dushanzi-Kuqa Highway about seventy kilometers from the Kuqa county seat. This canyon is famous for its russet rocks formed by wind and rain over millions of years. The mysterious Aay Grotto which is about two kilometers from the canyon entrance was built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

 Tumur Peak marks the apex of Tianshan Mountain. Around Tumur there are many peaks over 6,000 meters above sea level.  Five of these peaks actually exceed 6,800 meters in height. There are enormous glaciers here and the snow and ice caps provide an important water source for the vast lands in the area.

 Other Scenic Spots: Thousand Buddhas Cave of Kizil, Subashi Ruins, Tarim River, Aiximan Lake
Ghost City, Kuqa
Ghost City, Kuqa
Kuqa Mosque, Aksu, Xinjiang
Kuqa Mosque

How to Get to Aksu

Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves
Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves

Aksu Airport is 10 kilometers north of the city center. It operates two to three scheduled flights a week to Urumqi. Additionally, there are four flights a week between Urumqi and Hotan that connect in this airport.

The south Xinjiang Railway has been extended southwestward to Kashgar. There are conveniently scheduled trains from Urumqi, Kashgar and Lanzhou to Aksu. The Aksu Railway Station is located six kilometers southeast of the city center. High-speed trains take about sixteen hours from Urumqi to this railway station.

Being the traffic hub of southern Xinjiang, Aksu's network of roads is well developed. Visitors can find the city's main bus station on Wuka Zhong Lu.

Send your friends an Aksu Postcard!



The region's climate is dry and chilly in the winter and arid and torrid in the summer. Temperatures vary greatly between day and night.  While there is abundant sunshine, the area gets inadequate rainfall. The average annual temperature is around 10 C– 11C. September and October are the best times to visit the region. 

Aksu Travel Tips

 History: Before the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD) brought the region under the central government in 60 BC, several kingdoms existed here. The Protectorate of the West Region (Xiyu Douhufu) was established by the court with Aksu as its political, economic, military and cultural center. On the ancient Silk Road, the city became important as a connecting point for Central China with Central Asia and West Asia.

 Physical Features: The Prefecture lies at the south foot of Tianshan Mountain on the north edge of the Tarim Basin. The Tianshan Mountains are in its north while the Taklamakan Desert lies to its south.  

 Local Highlights: Islam is the chief religion in the region. The Corban Festival on the tenth day of the twelfth month and the Ramadan Festival in the ninth month of the Islam calendar are the most important festivals during the year. Corban is also called the 'butchering' festival since it features the sacrifice of livestock. During Ramadan, Muslims avoid eating in the daytime. They usually take two meals a day—one before dawn and one after dusk. In addition, the Qiuci Culture and Tourism Festival is celebrated from June to August. Tourists and business travelers from far and near attend to witness unique folk performances.

 Special Local Products: Agricultural output includes melons; walnuts; apples; pears and apricots. Uygur apparel featuring folk costumes; riding boots and embroidered caps and waist bands.

- Last modified on Mar. 26, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Aksu Travel
Asked by ho ying sam from MALAYSIA | Mar. 26, 2019 00:46Reply
I am 79 years Old . no health problem. any high altitude problem in Aksu?
what is best time to visit?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nina from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 26, 2019 01:30

Hi, the altitude of the city is around 1,100m and generally people don't have the altitude problem. However, you can also prepare some related medicine just in case. September and October are the best months to travel in Aksu.
Asked by Tania from NEW ZEALAND | Aug. 04, 2018 11:01Reply
What is the best way to arrange a tour/hire a taxi to visit Kuqa Grand Canyon from Kuqe hotel?
I am a solo traveller who is planning on visiting Kuqa in either August or October, would like to visit Kuqa Grand Canyon, and a few of Kuqa's main attractions. Can you please advise on any 1 day tours or the contact details for hiring a taxi to visit the sights, and how much does it cost?

Thanks in advance
Answers (1)
Answered by Bob from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 07, 2018 02:38

If you only go to the Canyon, the fare is around CNY 320 in general.
Asked by Lim siok chin from MALAYSIA | May. 17, 2016 16:59Reply
What will the weather be like between May and June this year of Urumqi and Aksu?
I will be going there on 29 may. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Cheryl from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 18, 2016 02:47

In Urumqi, it will be cloudy, and rain sometimes. The temperature will range from 65F to 85F of both two places.
You are advised to pack light jackets, shirts, T-shirts, pants, and an umbrella. May you have a nice trip! :)
Asked by D from CHINA | Jul. 11, 2015 13:26Reply
Kuqa or Aksu for Mystic Grand Canyon and Kizil Thousand Buddhas Cave
I will be traveling from Urumqi. Is it better to stop in Kuqa or AKS to visit Mystic Grand Canyon and Kizil Thousand Buddhas Cave (eg which is closer)? Is it easy to get to these sights once in Kuqa or AKS (such as by bus or by tour group)?
Answers (1)
Answered by Daniel from SINGAPORE | Jul. 15, 2015 04:54

Actually, the distances from these two scenic areas to Urumqi are almost the same.
If you have to pick one, Kizil Thousand Buddhas Cave is nearer.
As far as I know, joining a local tour or hiring a private car is the easiest way for you to choose.
Asked by Nizam u mozumder from BANGLADESH | Aug. 24, 2014 09:56Reply
can i know about the Hemu village?

where the village in.and what is famous in that
village? pls send me details.
Answers (1)
Answered by Tiana from SINGAPORE | Aug. 25, 2014 02:02

Hemu Village is also named Hemu Scenic Aarea. It is in Burqin County, Xinjiang. It is one o the three villages where Tuvas live in. All the houses there are made of wood and the surroundings are serene and beautiful to be an attractive destination.
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