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Yining (伊宁; Yíníng), also known as Ghulja or Kulja (Uyghur: غۇلجا‎; Kazakh: قۇلجا), and formerly Ili and Kulja, is a city in the Xinjiang Province in China.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

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

By train[edit]

  • Urumqi - takes about 12 hours
  • Shihezi - takes about 8 hours

there is no direct train from Yining to Almaty

By bus[edit]

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 apparantly no direct buses
  • Altai City via Burqin - takes about 48 hours
  • Chorgas/Horgos - 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. There is no official money changer at Chinese side, but there are few guys exchanging yuans to tenge and they will surely find you - you definitely need some tenge as there is nothing on Kazakh side - they actually had good exchange rate. You are not able to go to the border customs without the bus ticket (you are not allowed to walk to between Kazakh and Chinese customs), not sure where tickets can be bought. On Kazakh side there are taxis waiting, it cost 5000 Tenge/person to Almaty takes 6-8 hours (july 2016). There is apparently also a bus to 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 at least in Almaty, to register. It is not really necessary but can save you a lot of hassle with corrupt officials. Border is closed on holidays and Eid (end of ramadan).
  • Kashgar - takes about 48 hours
  • Korla - takes about 18-30 hours
  • Urumqi - takes about 15 hours, pretty rough road

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

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

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Yha China Hosteling International, Liqun Rd West 9th Alley (Close to bus station), +86 182 9996 2623 (). Dorm ¥60 (July 2016). This is the only hostel in the city..  edit


  • Jinshuiyuan Hotel, (Opposite the bus station), +86 999 8165555 (fax: +86 999 8191777). Double ¥218 (May 2019).  edit
  • Yili Hotel, 8 Yingbin Rd, +86 999 8024964 (fax: +86 999 8024964). Not a bad option, central and in a nice park. Double ¥288 (July 2013).  edit


Get out[edit]

  • Qapqal - sleepy little village of the tiny Xibe minority (PSB permit required)

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