Being located at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains and on the northeastern edge of the Tarim Basin, 470km south of Urumqi, Korla is the capital of the Bayinguoleng Mongolian Prefecture, which is the largest prefecture in China, with a total area of over 7,000 square kilometers, encompassing the eastern half of the Taklamakan Desert and extending to the borders of Tibet, Qinghai and Gansu. With thousands years history, Korla served as important outfitting station on the Silk Road.
Korla has a cold desert climate with extreme seasonal variation in temperature. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −7 °C (19.4 °F) in January to 26.4 °C (79.5 °F), and the annual mean is 11.66 °C (53.0 °F), which is still warmer than most locales at the same latitude further east in the country. The frost-free period averages 210 days.
Korla is an ideal site for exploring and adventuring, featuring many cultural relics, historical sites and natural attractions, such as the Bayanbulak Grassland, Bosten Lake, the green corridor - Tarim River, Taklamakan Desert, etc., which represent the typical landscapes of South Xinjiang.
It is advisable for those who are interested in archaeology to travel to Loulan, Ruoqiang, or farther to Niya, where there are many historical sites, on which experts and scholars can make researches and explorations.
The main attractions are Bayanbulak Grassland and Swan Lake, Loulan Ruins, Yadan Spectacle, Lop Nur, Tiemen Pass. The best time to visit grasslands is Autumn; June is the best time for traveling to Bayanbulak Swan Lake.
It is possible to get to Korla by plane from Urumqi Kuqa, Qiemo and Beijing; by train and bus from Urumqi and Kashgar.
Budget lodgings in Korla are centralized on Renmin Nanlu, Available at the Bus Station Guesthouse, tel.: (0996) 207-6561, or in the centre of town at the Bayinguoleng Binguan, tel.: (0996) 202- 2248, on Renmin Dong Lu, with Western and Muslim restaurants
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