Korla is not only the capital of the Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, but also the largest prefecture in China. What's more, it is the center of economy, culture, education and information of the Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. And Korla is remarkable for its fragrant pears which are extremely sweet and luscious. Furthermore, Korla is one of the most important cities on the ancient Silk Road and nearly 200 kilometres southwest from ürümqi. And there is sufficient water and extended farmlands in Korla. At the same time, Korla controlls the main routes to the south and west of Karashahr. At the present, Korla becomes much more populous and developed than Karashar on account of the discovery of oil in the Taklamakan Desert. As a result, Korla is now a very important place which PetroChina exploits. However, As of July 7th, 2009, all international telephone communication and internet connections were cut in the whole province of Xinjiang, so was Korla. And as of February, 2010, the province is still cut from global communications, and tourists from other provinces and abroad can't keep in touch with their families and friends in the distance. They were so worried, panic - stricken and homesick. Fortunately, in May, 2010, internet access was restored to the province of Xinjiang. So tourists needn't worry about anything now, it is quite safe for everyone to travel in Korla in every respect. And Konqi River also known as Kongue River, flows through the center of Korla, which is a unique feature amongst cities in Xinjiang. The majority of the inhabitants in Korla were Han Chinese, and the minority of them is Mongols and Huis. The unique tourist resources have much to do with the distinctive geographical location of the city Korla.
In history, Korla is an important city of the Silk Road. And at present, there are 14 Class A Heritage sites under state protection and 40 Class B Heritage sites under state protection aside of Korla. Meanwhile, 240 historical relics were brought into line with the state department for cultural administration. Numerous tourists and scientific workers from home and abroad are attracted here. And there are also a lot of unique natural landscape aside of Korla, such as the beautiful Boston Lake, vast expanses of Bayinbuluke grassland, fantastic Swan Lake, the world famous Lop Nur, Triplophysa Kungessana with a vast stretch of forest, the elegant Tarim River, Tianshan stone forest, the fantastic Yardang spectacular sight, and the longest Desert Highway in the world are all admirable places for people to visit and go on an expedition. Besides, as an excellent tourist city in China, Korla develops itself by building all-dimensional, multitiered and wide-ranging pattern on the basis of natural landscape and it's composed mainly of ethnic folklore and folk culture.
Moreover, the rich resources of agricultural products have much to do with the soil and water of Korla. For the agricultural products are grown in a favorable condition of plenty of sunshine, great difference in temperature during day and night, and the field with abundant light and heat resources, beautiful environment, and pollution free. So Korla is rich in marvelous crops, such as the fragrant pear, fruits, cotton, tomatoes, Carthamus tinctorius, Humulus lupulus and so on.
Fragrant pear, for example, becomes world-renowned for its sweet taste and abundant nutritive Value. And it is one of the perfect fruits which sell well all over the world in Xinjiang province. Besides, it is celebrated as the most precious of pears on the overseas markets. In late autumn, trees laden with fragrant pears really gladden the heart and refresh the mind. In September, 1986, Elizabeth, the Queen of England, tasted the fragrant pears in the magnificent Great Hall of the People. The she positively beamed with satisfaction and said: “great pear, it is really the fruit prince.” From that time on, fragrant pears become one of the precious fruits which appear on the dinner tables when people give a dinner in honor of distinguished guests. However, when we enjoy the pear, we must never cut it, for fragrant pears serve as a type of love.
According to the old tradition, a long time ago, a king near the Iron Gate Pass built a magnificent palace whose garden was overgrown with peach trees，apricot trees, apple trees except pear trees. As a result, the king’s stable boy, Yi Ming, experienced all kinds of hardships and finally collected 50 pear tree shoots which were planted in the garden of the palace. With the pear trees’ bearing fruit, burgeoning forth and coming into flower, Yi Ming fell in love with the king’s beautiful sister, Kangbaerhan. When they live in hopes of better times to come, Yi Ming was killed with poison. Kangbaerhan cried at the trees which were planted by Yi Ming and she, numb, too heart broken. The king who suffered bereavement left this heartbreaking palace in order to avoid missing his sister. As Kangbaerhan’s dying wish, the king and the court ladies sowed the pear seeds as they went on, until the seeds which represented love were sowed in Korla.
Best time to come to Korla
The best time for people to come to Koala is in August, September and October. That’s not only because of its mild temperature, but also lots of fresh fruits on sale. The most famous fruit in Korla is of course the Fragrant Pear. You’d better not buy the pears in the center of the city for they are much more expensive and not very fresh. You can go to the pear garden where there are numerous fresh and cheap fragrant pears. What’s more, the fragrant pear festivals are often held during this time of year. However, if you admire to watch the swans of the swan lake in Bayanbulak Grassland, you need to come in June. Besides, Korla is also remarkable for tomatoes, figs and grapes.
There are so many festivals in Mongolian, such as Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ninth Festival, Festival of the fifteenth day, Nadam Fair, Genghis Khan Memorial Day and so on. It describes a happy scene in which Mongolian people are singing and dancing happily on festivals.
Mongolian’s traditional festival with a long history, occupies an important place in Mongolians’ material life. It is often held in July and August when the livestock are fat to celebrate the harvest. It is so ceremonious that the Mongolians in proud array in the neighbouring towns all go to attend it from all directions with their families and all kinds of food and junks. Nadam Fair means pleasure and fun in Mongolian. In Nadam Fair, people can enjoy the breathtaking racing horses, wrestling, the admirable archery and the ravishing songs and dances. Besides, it is also the trade fair of agricultural products. And there are many special foods of national characteristics in this grand gathering, such as mutton, beef, dried milk cake, yogurt, cheese, cream and so on.
Spring Festival, before which people need to prepare the nice Mongolian robes, stewed mutton, all kinds of dairy products and fine wines. In New Year's Eve, the families all sit on the center of the Mongolian yurt, dinning and drinking to their hearts’ content. Besides, they eat dumplings at the table, play chess and stay up to see the old year out and the New Year in. They indulge in pleasure all the time. In the first day of the lunar year, people wearing polychrome ride horses to towns to visit every Mongolian yurt. They give people their best wishes and celebrate the New Year, singing and dancing happily.
The Horse Milk Festival
A traditional festival of Mongolian, is usually held at the end of August when the grasslands are at their greenest. The festival, which is held in order to celebrate the harvest and bless the best wishes with each other usually lasts for a whole day. But it is not fixed. In the early morning, the participants in the celebration all dress in their finest traditional clothes and bring with them extremely delicious horse milk and scrumptious meat. And then the horse racing is held ceremoniously. It’s such a breathtaking horse race that the participants all try their best to win the game. It’s really quite exciting to watch horse racing!
Lighting Festival, which falls on the fifteenth day of August, Chinese calendar, is held in order to commemorate Lama Tsong.Ka.Pa who is the reformer of Buddhism. During the day, herdsmen from every village burn butter lamps up until dawn in the altars inside and outside the temples and their own scripture halls. However, in Usu city, Mongolians do not burn butter lamps during this festival, instead, there are plenty of distractions. For example, horse racing, wrestling, archery, singing, dancing and so on. Especially the dance of Mongol nationality which is so elegant and wonderful that shows rich characteristics of grasslands.