As so many places in China, specially the ones located in Minority Areas, Lake Sailim has many ways of spelling the name. You can find it under Sairam Lake, Sayram Hu and Sailim Lake. I even found more ways of spelling and an explanation for the name:
Sayram Lake, also called 'Santai Haizi' received its name because the Elezhuyitubomu military dais was built on the east bank of the lake during the Qing Dynasty. Sayram in Kazak means 'blessing'. It lies in the Botala Prefecture in the western section of the Tianshan Mountains.
Sailim Lake is about 30 kilometers long from east to west and is over 20 kilometers wide. The lake is about 85 meters deep and is 2,073 meters above sea level.
The land around Sayram Lake is vast green grassland which provides abundant grazing land. So it the place to see yurts of the Kazak or Mongolian herdsmen. The grassland, which stretches to the horizon, is dotted with the tents of the herdsmen. Smoke from kitchen chimneys curls upward, as groups of cattle and sheep move like clouds in the sky. In August, the Mongolian people celebrate the 'Nadam Fair' for six days beside the lake. Nadam means recreation or games in Mongolian. Mongolians, Kazaks, Han Chinese and the people of other ethnic groups in Xinjiang participate in the festival. During the Nadam Fair, competitions are held in horse-racing, wrestling and archery, which are considered the three basic skills of men.
In winter, snow falls and the water of the lake turns to ice. Only a small portion of the lake can be seen in the vast whiteness of the ice and snow.
Throughout the ages, poets and writers have used vivid and glowing words to describe Sayram Lake. During the middle period of the Qing Dynasty, Ye Honggao called Sayram Lake a 'clear sea'. Later, Song Bolu used verse to describe the natural scenery of the wide and clear Sayram Lake, 'The surrounding mounts engulf; the emerald lake wipes the sky clear.'
For more pics please see my travelogue!
In most Chinese cities the Peoples Square is the center of the city. This is the place were people meet, do their Tai Ji in the morning, where parades are held and where the big holidays are celebrated. In Yining it is the same. I recommend to go to the Peoples Square before breakfast to watch people doing their morning exersizes. You can also be sure to find a lifely nightmarket near the square.
Yining is the capital of Yili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, whichhas jurisdiction over Tachen and Aletai two regions and ten counties. The total area of the prefecture is 350 thousand square kilometers with the population of 4.08 million of Kazak, Hanzu, Uygur, Huizu, Mongol, Xibe etc are all together forty-seven nationalities, among them Kazak takes 25.4%, Han-Chinese takes 45.2%; Uygur takes 15.9%; Huizu takes 8.3%; Mongol takes 1.69%; Xibe takes 0.83%. In Yining you'll find people of all this cultures with different dresses and faces. It is very good place to watch people.
In the city center of Yining is the Peoples Square. This wide square is dominated by an old building, which in my eyes looks like a rest of an old temple of Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately I did not find any informations about this. But it looks really nice and old. Today it is not used as a temple anymore.
This is an old city. Actually, I should call it old tower. The tower in an quiet town in an quiet area. For difficult traffic, quite a few people have visit this tower but many Chinese know it reasoning that is the place in which Lin Zexu banished to. Lin Zexu is a hero at the end of Qing dynasty. He led Chinese people to against opium and he made the famous event what called " perish opium in Hu Meng ". However, fatuous government of Qing exile him to Huiyuan. Although Lin Zexu died dismally, he will be commemorated by offspring year by year.
Tuheilutiemuer is the seventh generation of Emperor Chengjisihan. He was the first emperor who lead people to believe islam. This relate to the history of Tufan and Mongo dynasty in Chinese history.
Yili River was used to be called Yilie water that is the most important river in the north western of China. It originate from western of Tian Mountain in Xinjiang and its drainage area is around 570 thousand sq.km. The volume of water is the most among all the river in Xinjiang. Approximate 3/4 volume of water from China flow to other countries which nearby China.
In history, Yueshi folk , Wusun folk and Tujue folk had lived this area. Today, people like cooking fish, broiling mutton and drink, dance at the bank of the river.
If you have been to Xinjiang, you should go to grapery. What special in grapery? I can't tell you because I can't describe. As well known, Xinjiang is an area which is farthest from sea. This area is dry and long time under the sun. Maybe reasoning the hot and passion, I like the grapery there most. You can feel a kind of special breath. Grape what growing in this area seems alive and have nimbus. Well, you must not believe me. So, you'd better go to see it by yourself. ^_^
Yining is a modern city with mainly modern Chinese Architecture. But you can also still find buildings which remind of Communist times and Russian architecture.