Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture

Source: Travel China Guide [18:01 July 14 2009]

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Administrative Division: four counties (Hutubi, Manas, Qitai, Jimsar); one autonomous county (Mori Kazak Autonomous County); two county-level cities (Changji, Fukang) 

Location: Situated in the center of Xinjiang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture is bounded on the east by Urumqi and Hami in neighborhood of Turpan in the south, while Mongolia lies to the northeast of the prefecture.     

History: China's central government of the day extended its sphere of influence to Changji with the establishment of the Protectorate of the West Region (Xiyu Duhufu) in 60BC during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD). In 1884, a province was set up to administrate Xinjiang, and the Changji region belonged to Dihua Fu.      
Physical Features: The prefecture lies at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains on the southeastern edge of the immense desert in the Junggar Basin. The terrain in which Changji is situated inclines to the south and is part of the hinterland of Asia.

Climatic Features: Basking in a continental climate, the prefecture has characteristically dry weather with great temperature variations between day and night. To the south, there are the obvious climatic features of the mountains, while to the north there is the typical climate of a dry desert. The average annual temperature is 6.8℃ (44.2℉). The transitional spring and autumn seasons between summer and winter, are short.     
When to Go: Summer and autumn are the best seasons in which to visit Changji. By avoiding the burning sun at noon, the summer in Changji can be refreshing.

Local Highlights: Hua'er refers to the most popular folk songs of the Hui people. These are native to the area around Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai province and later included Changji. The irregularly held folk song festivals attract the participation of many local singers.
Corban Festival and Ramadan Festival are the festivals for the Uygur, Kazak, Hui and many other ethnic minorities who are followers of Islam.

Special Local Products: Melons, hops, grapes, Fernle mushrooms, roast lamb, roast whole sheep, hand-made yellow noodle.

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