Area: 153,000 square kilometers (57,915 square miles)
Nationalities: Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui
Administrative Division: 1 autonomous county (Barkol Kazak Autonomous County); 1 county (Araturuk); 1 city (Kumul)
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tourist Complaints: 0902-2251985
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China: 0902-2234543, 2234205 (Credit Card Departmet)
Location: Kumul is located in the northern end of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, neighboring Gansu Province in the east, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the south. It shares a 587 kilometers (365 miles) boundary with Mongolia.
History: Kumul Prefecture was called Yiwu throughout the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), and Yizhou during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is believed that the county was initially established in the year 327, during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. After the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it gained its present name - Hami, also Kumul.
Physical Features: Kumul has elevated terrain in its center and lower terrain to the north and south. The Eastern Tianshan Mountains are located in the northern portion of Kumul, while deserts comprise the eastern and western regions. The central land is made up of a flourishing oasis. The Tianshan Mountains traverse the region and divide Kumul into its southern oasis and northern river valley and prairie.
Climate: Kumul enjoys a typical temperate continental climate. The weather is dry and seldom rainy. Northern parts are cool in summers, filled with vast grasslands. The southern Kumul Basin is dry, with a temperature that varies greatly between day and night.
When to Go: August and September are the best times to travel to Kumul, when it experiences cool weather and local fruits are in season.
Local Highlights: Traditional Moslem festivals: Noruz Festival (the ninth month of Hui calendar), Corban Festival (70 days after the Noruz)
Special Local Products: Hami Melon, Cotton, Grapes
Barkol Lake: This alpine lake is surrounded by continuous mountains. In the summer, herders, tents, and flocks surround the lake, forming a picturesque summer resort.
Devil City: Devil City is reputed as the number one scenic spot in Xinjiang for Yar-dang ecology and geology. Located in the vast Hashun Gobi (southwest of Kumul) the Devil City features unique natural scenery of mounds, valleys, and grooves.
Other Scenic Spots: Hill with Strange Rocks, Singing Sand Mountain (Mingshashan)
Buses to Urumqi, Jiuquan and Dunhuang usually depart Kumul beginning at 7:00am in the summer and 8:00am in the winter. Visitors can also easily find buses to Turpan. Occasionally, busses also run to Mongolia.