Aksu Overview

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 阿克苏
  • Location: Located in Southwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China
  • Area: 14,450 square kilometers
  • Population: 507,700
  • Language: Mandarin, Uyghur, Kazakh
  • Minority: the Han, the Hui, the Kazak, the Uyghur
  • Zip code: 843000
  • Tel code:0997

Administrative Division

Aksu is a city of Xinjiang. It is located in the northwest edge of the Taklimakan Desert and the upper reaches of the Tarim River(塔里木河). The name “Aksu” literally means white water (in Turkic). Aksu administers 1 county-level city and 8 counties. See more about Aksu Administrative Division.


Aksu is 14, 450 square kilometers, and stretches in longitude from 79°39′ to 82°01′E and in latitude from 39°30′ to 41°27′ N. It is located in the southwest of Xinjiang, the northwest edge of Tarim Basin, the southern foot of Tianshan Mountain, and on the alluvial fan of Aksu River. Aksu City is located on the banks of the Duolang River. It is bordered by Wensu County (温宿县) in the north, Awat County (阿瓦提县) in the south,Wushi County (乌什县) and Kalpin County (柯坪县) in the west, Xinhe County (新河县) and Xayar County (沙雅县) in the east. Aksu City is 666 kilometers away from Urumqi. Aksu is an important city in the south of Xinjiang because it is a transportation hub between Urumqi (乌鲁木齐) and Kashgar (喀什).


Located in the depths of Eurasia and far from the ocean, Aksu has a typical temperate continental climate. Aksu has rare precipitation and large evaporation throughout the year. The climate is dry and the frost-free period is long. The rainfall is obviously reduced and temperature is suitable. And the climate change is abrupt in Aksu. Due to its wide range and complex topography, the climate is different from place to place. See more about Aksu Climate.

The Best Time to Go

It is agreeable for visitors to visit Aksu from June to October, and the best season to travel Aksu is autumn. Actually, the best time to visit Aksu is about the fifteenth day of September because the autumn of Aksu is very short. In autumn, there is picturesque autumnal scenery that travelers could enjoy. Besides, there are many kinds of fruits that are juicy and delicious. Travelers could enjoy scenery of the bright green grass in summer. However, strong ultraviolet light and radiation will make people’s skin become brown even they even though they put suntan lotion on. Travelers could enjoy snow-covered landscape in winter. Shocked by Aksu’s snow scenery, the cold weather also gives you a shock at the same time. Aksu's spring is the alternate season of winter and summer, and the dry and cold weather will not end until early summer.

Things to Do

Aksu is a place filled with magic where visitors could enjoy different cultures and scenery. And visitors could get various travelling experiences by visiting Aksu. First of all, visitors could experience different cultures by visiting scenic spots, like Kuqa Temple (库车大寺), Kuqa Royal Palace (库车王府), Thousand Buddhas Cave of Kizil Besides (克孜尔尕哈千佛洞). These scenic spots reflect different cultures, like Qiuci culture (龟兹文化) and Duolang culture (多浪文化). Second, travelers could enjoy landscape by travelling along Tarim river (塔里木河). Visitors could enjoy the scenery of poplars. Third, visitors could enjoy snow scene and experience climbing. There are a lot of mountains in Tienshan Region. Among which, Tomor Peak is the highest. Finally, visitors could visit some places to enjoy the magic of nature, like Tianshan Grand Canyon (天山大峡谷), Wensu Grand Canyon (温宿大峡谷), Kizil Ghost City (克孜尔魔鬼城) and Miraculous Trees Garden (神木园).


Although Aksu's transportation is less developed than that of other developed cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Aksu's transportation is still relatively developed than that of cities of Xinjiang as a transportation hub. Many kinds of transportation have made great progress in recent years. Many coach stations and railway stations were been built in recent years. The airport was also been built in Aksu. More importantly, the government has taken measures to improve transportation by collecting money for building roads, like the national highway of GD 314 and GD 217. In addition, public transportation in Aksu is very good. See more about Aksu Transportation.

History & Culture

Aksu has a long history and its culture is different from that of other provinces of China. It is the birthplace of Qiuci culture (龟兹文化) and Duolang culture (多浪文化). In ancient time, it was also an important post on the ancient Silk Road. In the Qin and Han dynasties, it belonged to Gumo and Wenzhu, which were two small countries. Aksu did not belong to China until the Qing Dynasty when the Qing government sent troops to settle the Junggar rebellion (准噶尔叛乱). On August 19, 1983, with the approval of the State Council, Aksu County was abolished and Aksu City (county level) was established. See more about Aksu Culture


There is no exception that people create festivals to honor somebody or something and to celebrate what they like and enjoy. In China, there are some festivals that all people to celebrate, like National Day and Mid-Autumn Day. As an ethnic group, Uighurs has their own festivals, such as Corban Festival (古尔邦节), Eid al-Fitr (开斋节/肉孜节), Noruz Festival (诺鲁孜节). See more about Aksu Festival.


With the help of Aksu provincial government and the development of tourism, Aksu City has made great progress in economy. The gross regional product (GDP) of the whole city was 9211 billion yuan, with an increase of 8.6% over the last year (2017) in terms of comparable prices. Among which, the added value of the primary industry was 2441 billion yuan, growing by 7.0%; the added value of the secondary industry was 3350 billion yuan, growing by 10.1%; and the value added of the tertiary industry was 3419 billion yuan, up 8.3%. The proportion of the three industries is 25.51: 36.67: 37.12.


Aksu Prefecture is blessed with a variety of unique tourist sites and diverse culture so that it attracts a great majority of people. In order to support the development of tourism, Aksu provincial government had taken many measures. Aksu provincial government cooperates with Hangzhou provincial government. All scenic spots in Aksu are free to visitors from Hangzhou. Besides, Aksu provincial government developed different tours according to different themes, like desert trip, canyon trip and savannah trip. What’s more, many hotels, restaurants and travel agencies were opened with the support of Aksu provincial government.


Aksu has variety of food and the raw material comes from prairies, plains, rivers and lakes. Local people mainly eat Halal food (清真食品). Their breakfast and dinner are usually relatively simple, and they just drink milk or tea, eat naan (馕), or eat some noodles. Their lunch was very generous, including naan (馕), Pilaf (手抓饭), hand-pulled noodles (拉面), steamed buns (包子), wonton(混沌), steamed twisted roll (油馓子),roast lamb (烤羊肉) and so on. Besides Halal food (清真食品), there are Sichuan cuisine and Lu cuisine because there are many visitors from other cities in Aksu.And in order to support family, industrious Sichuan local people and Shandong local people went to Aksu and open restaurants. See more about Aksu Dining.