Yining is located near the board between China and Kazakhstan. It is also known as Ghulja in Uyghur and formerly Ningyuan (寧遠) is a county-level city in northwestern Xinjiang, People's Republic of China, and the seat of the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. Historically, Yining is the successor to the ruined city of Almaliq in neighbouring Huocheng County.
The city of Yining is a county-level administrative unit located along Ili River. As of 2015, it has an estimated population of 542,507, with a total land area of 629 km2 (243 sq mi). It is the most populous city in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.
From 13-15th century it was under the control of Chagatai Khanate known as Mughulistan empire with its capital Almaligh, Turpan, Tashkent, Yarkent and Kashgar. Another Mongul empire—the Zunghar Khanate—established around Ili area. In the 19th and early 20th century, the word Kuldja or Ghulja was often used in Russia and in the West as the name for the entire Chinese part of the Ili River basin as well as for its two main cities.
Until the 1860s Huiyuan to the south of Suiding was the regional capital. Then the capital city was moved to Dihua, the modern Urumqi in Xinjiang.
Yining is getting very popular recent years for the tourists who come to visit the stunning grassland, snow-covered mountains.