Yili, China’s most varied city

Yili, China's most varied city

Recently, there is a place in Xinjiang that has been frequently searched for because of its appearance-“How beautiful is Yili, Xinjiang”. The old artist was on a whim when he saw it. As early as April and May, I regretted that I missed the Apricot Flower Festival, and now we will usher in the lavender flowering season in June and July. Coupled with the opening of the Duku Highway just a few days ago, it must be able to catch up!

Yili is now becoming an online celebrity tourist destination. In the spring of 2021, the big data of the “tourism bee target” shows that the popularity of Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture has risen by 317%, becoming the destination with the highest increase in domestic tourism popularity in the spring.

During the May 1st Golden Week this year, Yili received a total of 2,166,700 domestic tourists, a year-on-year increase of 111.68%.

Xinjiang is a place you can visit all year round, and don’t expect to see the scenery of Xinjiang, because every year is different. Indeed, Yili alone has an indescribable beauty, and every frame is so beautiful that it makes people speechless.

I missed the Xinghuagou in Turgen Township, Huocheng County, known as the “Hometown of Lavender in China”, Zhaosu County, which is full of rapeseed and sunflowers, and the Nalati grassland dotted with colorful flowers… these are far away. is not enough, you’ll never see through Ili in the end how many faces, perhaps China’s most amazing Yan Pa place , this is it.

How beautiful is Yili?

They all say, “You don’t know the size of China if you don’t reach Xinjiang, and you don’t know the beauty of Xinjiang if you don’t reach Ili.” The vast expanse of Xinjiang is beyond doubt, almost every place is beautiful. But to say the most blessed place in Xinjiang, I think Yili must have a name.

Located on the border of northwestern Xinjiang, Yili is the only sub-provincial autonomous prefecture in the country that also has jurisdiction over regions, counties and cities. It is named after the Yili River, the inland river with the largest flow in Xinjiang. It is located in the hinterland of the Tianshan Mountains and is surrounded by mountains on three sides.

The Arctic Ocean and the Siberian cold current are shielded to the north, and the Tianshan Mountains to the south block the heat wave of the Taklimakan Desert. Therefore, Ili is surrounded by mountains and water, and is the wettest zone in Xinjiang.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the richest ecological resources in the west. It has both fertile and vast grassland forests, vast expanse of worlds and rivers, and majestic and magnificent Xuefeng glaciers. ——”China’s most beautiful grassland”, “China’s most beautiful green valley”, “China’s most beautiful forest”, “Lavender Country”, “Tianma Country”, “Apple Country”…

Yili is changeable. Especially in the flowering season, you don’t know how many different colors it can change.

Apricot blossoms bloom in spring in April, especially in Daxigou in the northwest of Huocheng County. You will see a picture of wild apricot blossoms blooming in the ditch. In May, the red flowers on the Tianshan Mountains became a sea of ​​red flowers, and the intense red fire signaled the arrival of Ili’s midsummer.

From June to July each year, it is the season when Zhaosu rape blossoms. On the Zhaosu Plateau, you can see endless sunflowers and rape blossoms. Here is the country’s largest rapeseed field, just like strips of golden woven carpets sweeping across the vast Zhaosu prairie, and in the distance there are continuous snowy daytime mountains and fields and villages dotted.

Now it is the lavender season in Yili. Every June, Huocheng is the city of purple lavender. This is the third largest lavender planting base in the world after Provence in France and Furano in Japan, and it is also the only main producing area of ​​lavender in my country.

There is a lavender-themed tourist park in Huocheng called “Princess Jieyou Lavender Garden” . This name is so wonderful that the entire Ili River Valley has become a world of fragranced purple, and any worries and troubles seem to dissipate with the faint fragrance.

The most famous scenery in Yili is the grassland. Different from other grasslands in China, the grasslands of Yili have a transcendent and beautiful temperament.

The most famous epicenter and outside of the country is the Nalati Grassland, which has been a famous pasture since ancient times. The river valleys are flat, the water plants are rich, the grasslands and the snow-capped mountains complement each other. Nowadays, the various wild flowers blooming all over the hills break the tranquility and harmony of the mountain village.

Known as “Ili’s First Scenery”, Guozigou is named for its many wild fruits. Fruit trees grow, wild flowers bloom, and canyons revolve. No wonder the ancients once wrote poems and praised its “wonderful landscape, comparable to Guilin’s cliffs and rocks.” The strangeness is better than Yanyan.”

If you want to appreciate the unsculpted original appearance, the Tangbula Grassland may be a good place to go. Here, the Kashgar River flows through, the water scene shifts, and there are scattered mountains, glaciers, valleys, mountains and lakes.

Those who like the snowy spruce green valley will go to Kurdening, where there is the most concentrated distribution area of ​​snow mountains in the world, and enjoys the reputation of “the most beautiful green valley in Tianshan”.

The most amazing thing for old artists is the Xiata Ancient Road, which starts in Xiata Township in Zhaosu County and runs south along the Xiata River Valley to Wensu County.

When you see the Xia Ta River, which is a thousand miles in the mountains, there is a vast grassland in the middle, and then the Xia Ta River merges into the smoky Turks River. On both sides of the river, there is another open plain world. The countryside is criss-crossed, quiet and picturesque.

You can never generalize what Yili is

To sum up Yili with only “beauty”, it is really thin. The variety of Yili lies in the thickness of its culture.

Regardless of Yili’s location in the northwestern border, historically it was at the key point of the North Silk Road on the land and was an important town on the Silk Road.

There is a channel connecting the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains, controlling the Yanqi area in the middle of the Tianshan Mountains to the east, controlling the Qiuci area in the south, crossing the Tianshan Mountains to the north, connecting with the northern Silk Road, connecting with the Mongolian Plateau, and connecting the Kazakh grasslands to the west. The advantages.

The superior geographical environment has made Yili a place where many ethnic groups live since ancient times. It was a Serbian pastureland in the Pre-Qin Dynasty. It was occupied by the Dayue clan in the early Western Han Dynasty. It was also the seat of the Wusun Kingdom. Wusun is the modern Kazakh. One of the ancestors of the country; it was the gathering place of the Western Turks in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it became the nomadic land of the Zhungar tribe of Mongolia.

The former Yili was in the center of Xinjiang both economically and geographically. The Qing Dynasty once formally established the post of General Yili to govern the entire province of Xinjiang. During the late Qing Dynasty, Tsarist Russia invaded. Because the terrain here is not easy to defend, the center of Xinjiang has to be Moved from Yili to Urumqi.

The thickness of Yili culture lies in blending. Mr. Ji Xianlin once said: There are only four cultural systems in the world with a long history, vast territory, self-contained and far-reaching influence-China, India, Greece and Islam. And the places where these four major cultural systems converge are only China’s Dunhuang and Xinjiang regions.

Yili, China's most varied city

△ Yili has always been a place where multi-ethnic cultures blended. /unsplash

The migration of ethnic groups in the past wars and the multi-ethnic exchanges of the ancient Silk Road have made Yili this area, there are 47 ethnic groups, including Kazakh, Uygur, Hui, Han, and Mongolia. It is known as the “Museum of Oriental Races”, Islamic culture, Central Asian culture and Central Plains culture converge and accumulate here, forming Yili’s unique and rich multiculturalism.

Here is the most unique county town in China-the ” Bagua City” Turks . It was once the seat of Wusun Kingdom, the largest ancient nomadic country in the Western Regions. The only Wusun culture and Yijing culture in the world are intertwined here. It is also the place with the most existing Wusun tombs in China, and it is also the place where ancient Chinese history records far. The place where the most princesses are married.

The legend here is well known: the whole county is famous for its gossip layout, and it is the only city in China that has no traffic lights and never gets stuck in traffic. The 8 main roads are interlocking, no matter which way you go, you can go where you want to go, but the crisscross alleys can easily make outsiders get lost.

The more than 50-meter Bagua Sightseeing Tower is the only C position in the city. As soon as you climb the tower for a bird’s-eye view of the bottom of the tower, the blue-gray streets and green grass criss-cross, giving you a panoramic view of the Bagua Pan.

There is also Horgos Port , the largest land port in western China . It is the earliest highway port opened to the west in China. It is an important post on the ancient Silk Road and the new North Road. It is also the closest to Central Asia, West Asia and Europe. Open window.

Now Khorgos has become a unique exotic border town, where you can buy handwritten letters from Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as unique ethnic handicrafts, and it will also become the largest duty-free shopping area in western China.

If you want to appreciate the exotic scenery of the “South of the Yangtze River outside the Great Wall” and a deep sense of history, you might as well take a walk in Yining, the capital of Ili.

Known as the “Western Tianfu”, Yining City is filled with a strong mixed-race temperament in Liuxing Street in the city center. Russian-style houses with spires and thick walls, big oak trees, Orthodox churches, and Russian cemeteries are everywhere. Traces of blending.

Yili is just a bowl of hot tea, rough and warm

How to describe Yili’s temperament?

The writer Bi Shumin was born in an old Russian-style house in Bayandai Town, Yining City. From a young age, her mother said to her: “Yining, where you were born, is a city of hundreds of flowers and a city of white poplars.” Come, Yili may be the sunny, warm and green hometown.

This was once the “hometown” of the Russians in Yining. Maybe you can hear the chants and accordion sound that accompany the church when you walk on the street or on the river bank.

Nowadays, there are many more imprints of the life of Uyghur people. The patterned doors and windows with ethnic characteristics and the yard planted with flowers and vines make the sun look soft. From time to time, you can hear the long hooves of horses, and you are still in a trance. I thought it was an idyllic dreamland.

In the essay collection “Ili Memory” by Ikebair Mijiti, Yili is a kind of memory, tulips blooming in the mountains and plains, and poplar trees densely populated in the city, with various flowers blooming in the courtyard of each house.

Yili is the most populous city of the Kazakhs in China. As the only ethnic group in Xinjiang that continues to live a nomadic life, horses are an indispensable animal in their lives and even become their belief. Therefore, it is known as the “Hometown of Heavenly Horses”. , Tianma refers to Yili horse.

Today, there is a statue of a marble war horse carrying two buckets and raising its mane and hoofs on Yuanpan Mountain in the west of Yiwu Mountain City at the northern foot of Tianshan Mountain. This statue was created by the People’s Government of Yiwu County to commemorate the military heroes who made special contributions in the 40-day defense of Yiwu.

From the 7th century BC to the 2nd and 3rd century BC, the Kazakh ancestors who lived in the vast areas of Kazakhstan and Central Asia were engaged in animal husbandry. They raised a lot of horses, sheep and cattle, and they had the habit of drinking horse milk at that time. .

There is a Kazakh proverb: “Milk is the food of Kazakh”. With three meals a day and drinking tea, they also like to drink salty milk tea. They can drink more than ten bowls at a time. They must drink enough and thoroughly until they sweat.

Yili, China's most varied city

△The mare kumiss has a special flavor.

Kazakhs are known for their simplicity and hospitality. Their etiquette to entertain guests is also very interesting: before the meat is cooked, they will spread the napkins and serve borshak (oil fruit) , milk bumps, milk tofu, and ghee. Wait, when everyone was sitting on the floor with napkins, the housewife squatted beside the pot to make milk tea, and after drinking the milk tea, she changed to mare kumiss.

At this time, the host will play Dongbula, sing songs, and invite guests to sing and dance. In the interlacing of gold cups and silver cups, the white marquee is soaked with the fresh breath of Ili.

Yili, China's most varied city

△The Dongbula of the Kazakhs is a must.

In Wang Meng’s “Light Gray Eyeballs”, Ili’s multiple faces are transformed into the eyeball images of the three protagonists-dignified, kind and bottomless light gray, passionate impulse, like the jet black of a horse that has not yet been halted. , And the endless blue and green like the sky and grass.

The complex, magnificent, and tolerant cultural tone of Yili, Wang Meng called it “various colors”, that is, “unity of multiple colors.”

When you stroll through the streets and alleys of Yining, you may be more intuitive to feel the “variegated colors” of life here. There is a well-known “Hanren Street” in Yining City. It is impossible to say that Hanren Street is not counted as having visited Ili.

There is a lot of traffic and commerce here, and now it has transformed into a delicious world-grilled lamb kebabs, smoked horse intestines, face lungs, yogurt bumps, Xibo cakes, thin-skinned buns… authentic Xinjiang flavors that are well-known and not well-known, All gathered here.

Yili, China's most varied city

△ Today’s Han Street is also a food street, all-encompassing. /YouTube

For outsiders, Yili seems more like a spiritual hometown.

Wang Meng, a writer who has lived here for a long time and claimed to be a “Beijing-Bayandai”, recalled the time in Yili, saying that although bitter, the whole is still sunshine- “Xinjiang culture is a wrap for people in adversity. A bowl of hot tea.”

Yili to him, maybe that bowl of hot tea, rough and gentle. He recalled: “A few of us men, wearing shorts, patted their belly, drinking hot tea, blowing the sea breeze, talking about the earth, the sea and the sky, writing and reading, talking and cursing, and we have a fairy-like life.”

With a few strokes, it seems that no matter how much suffering there is in life, it can be ironed out by Yili’s vastness and vastness. After all, who doesn’t greedy the affection of all plants and trees.

Reference materials:

Yili is so beautiful, I want to see National Pictorial

Yili, Xinjiang, the “Heavenly” Place in the Northwest China National Geographic Book

What is Yili? Vernacular Human Geography

Research on the Renewal of Historic Districts in Yili Area

Yining, the Far-away Russian Countryside|City Travels Traveler Magazine

A Brief Talk on the Formation of Multi-ethnic Culture in Yili Area Xue Wenxia

Thoughts on Yili’s Multiculturalism Bi Shumin

Yining, Xinjiang: The Tianfu of the Western Regions where God and Human Live Together Southern People Weekly

Wang Meng’s Novels and Yili Culture

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