Hami Overview

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 哈密
  • Location: Situated in east of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China
  • Area: About 138,919 square kilometers
  • Population: 619,700
  • Language: Northern mandarin, Uygur language, the Kazak language, Mandarin, etc.

Administrative Division

As a prefecture city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Hami administers 1 district where the municipal government locates, 1 autonomous county and 1 county.

These counties and the district are further divided into 10 town and 27 townships (including 3 nationality townships).


Hami is located in the most eastern end of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, across the Tianshan Mountain from north to south. The most east place is at east longitude 96 ° 23 'where the Xingxing Xia (a mountain pass) lies; the most west is at east longitude 91 ° 06' 33 " where the Qijiaojing Town lies on its east; the most south is at north latitude 40 ° 52 '47 " where is close to Bailongshan Mountain of Gashun Gobi; the most north is at north latitude 45 ° 05' 33" whereDahafutike Mountain (大哈甫提克山) lies. Hami has a 404 miles’ length from west to east and 440 miles’ width from north to south, covering an area of 138,919 square kilometers.

It neighbors Jiuquan City of Gansu Province in east and southeast, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in south, Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Changji and Turpan City in west and southwest, and Mongolia in north and northeast, with about 586.6 kilometers of boundary.

Tianshan Mountain lies across the Hami City, which divides the whole city into 2 parts: southern part of the mountain and northern part of the mountain. In northern mountain areas, forests, grasslands, snow-capped mountains and glaciers integrate together. In southern mountain areas, Hami Basin is an oasis on the alluvial plain, surrounded by majestic Gobi desert. The two quite different landscapes in south and north makes Hami City be known as the "Epitome of Xinjiang".

High mountains account for 4.5% of total area of Hami, and desert areas account for 1.5%. Plain and Gobi areas take up 27.9%. Hilly places are about 65.5% of total area. The water areas account for 0.1%, and cultivated agricultural land accounts for 0.5% of the total area. Cultivated land, grassland, forestland and water areas are about 29.35% of the total area. The rest areas are uncultivated land, gobi areas, desert and high mountains, with a percentage of 70.65.


Hami city belongs to a typical temperate continental arid climate, with the characteristics of dry and little rain as well as many sunny days. The annual average temperature is about 9.8℃. The annual average rainfall is about 33.8 millimeters, with annual evaporation of 3300 mm. The annual average sunshine hours are 3358, with 182 days of frost-free period. To know more about Hami Climate

The Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Hami is the time from May to October. Hami city is quite well-known about its Hami melons in China. In autumn period, you could taste juicy and sweet melons and other fruit there. Also, during the period, the temperature welcomes the period of cooling down so it is not so hot. Actually, Hami city is worthy to visit all year round because its landscape varies a lot in southern and northern areas. For example, for those who would like appreciate snow-covered mountains, winter would be suitable time though it may be cold for some people.

Things to Do

Hami city is quite well-known for its Hami melons or honeydews, so the first must-do thing is to taste melons there. Thanks to the large temperature differences, fruit there are quite delicious, so visitors are recommended to eat from there. Then, the marvelous landscape of Tianshan Mountain is worthy to appreciate. Also, in addition to the Ghost City of the World in Karamay, Hami enjoys Yardang landform as well, such as Ancient castle of Aisikexia’er (艾斯克霞尔古城堡). In addition to the national spots, you could also visit cultural sites like The Ancient Residence of Balikun, Hami King’s Tomb, etc.


Hami city is connected by railway, highway and airway with other cities in China. For expressway, 312 National Highway and Lianhuo Highway go through Hami city, with 7,230.3 miles of highway mileage of for the whole city; for railway, Lanxin Railway helps it; and for airport, Hami Airport supports conference. The Lanzhou–Xinjiang High-Speed Railway, a passenger dedicated high speed rail line running 1,776-kilometre from Lanzhou of Gansu Province to Urumqi passes through the city. To Know More about Hami Transport.

History & Culture

Hami was called “Ximo”(west desert) ,“Gurongdi”(古戎地) or Kunmo (昆莫) in ancient times. In Han Dynasty, it got the name of Yiwu (伊吾) or Yiwulu (伊吾卢). Yizhou (伊州) and Hamili (哈密力) were called respectively in Han and Tang Dynasty. After Ming Dynasty, it kept the name of Hami. A large number of found grinding stones of Sandaolin and Qijiaojing showed that the ancestors of Hami people have been living there during the Neolithic Age of primitive society about 7000 years ago. The city is far away from the nation’s development center so its saws unpleasant development history compared to some places with good location. During different dynasties, the central government would take various to help the growth of the land and to protect it the inbreak of other nations, such as the Protectorate of the Western Regions ( 西域都护府) in the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24).

Until the beginning of the 20th century BC, a variety of minorities had live in the oasis. On January 6, 1977, the State Council decided to set up Hami as a county-level city. On February 18, 2016,it became a prefecture city and got the name of the youngest city born along the Silk Road. To know Hami Culture.


The Hami area is known for the large amount of high quality raw resources with 76 kinds of detected metals. The major mineral resources of this area cover coal, iron, copper, nickel and gold. A newly discovered nickel mine in Hami is estimated to contain reserves, which makes it rank as China's second largest nickel mine. Around 900,000 tons of nickels have already been detected. Some local copper and nickel mining enterprises are reported to have begun operation, with Xinjiang Nonferrous Metals Group mining company running its nickel smelter crude production furnace at Hami Industrial Park.

In addition, with large differences of the temperature between day and night, the planting industry like fruit growing also drives the city’s development. Also, as one of the most popular tourist destinations which is blessed with a variety of tourist resources, its tertiary industry growth contributes to the local development as well.

In 2016, with GDP totaled 40.368 billion yuan, calculating at comparable prices, it sees an increase of 8.9% compared to 2015. Among them, the first industrial added value of 3.841 billion yuan, up by 5.3%; the secondary industry added value of 21.946 billion yuan, up by 9.8%; the tertiary industry added value of 14.581 billion yuan, with an increase of 8.5%.


Hami was the ancient town of Silk Road, standing at the intersection of Central Plain and the Western China culture, with long history and profound culture. Integrating views and climate of northeast and southern Xinjiang there, it brings Hami the title of “the epitome of Xinjiang”. The development of Tianshan Mountain Scenic Spot in eastern Hami, together with cultural and historical tourist areas of Turpan and Dunhuang, a tourist line from west to east formed. There are 11 tourist spots with A levels, among which 6 ones belong to 3A level.

The main national landscapes there are Tianshan Mountain Scenic Spot (a national 3A tourist attraction), Ya’erdang Scenic Area (雅尔当风景旅游区) which is also known as Wubao Castle of Demon (a national 3A tourist attraction), etc.

The main historical and human landscapes are Hami Emperor's Tomb (哈密王陵), the Ancient City of Lafuqueke (拉甫却克古城), Dahetang City (大河唐城), Ruins of Baiyanggou Buddhist Temple (白杨沟佛寺遗址), Wubao Ancient Tombs (五堡古墓群), Moslem King Palace in Hami (哈密回王府), Yishuiyuan Scenic Spot, etc.


Except the Uighur and Han nationality, there are 28 nationalities living in Hami, such as like Hui, Kazak, Mongolian, Kirgiz, Xibe people. Multi-ethnic people live together so that unique and diverse customs and living habits formed. Entertainment activities with thick ethnic culture like Xinjiang dance and singing, Twelve Mukam dance and songs, Maixirefu dance, wrestling, horseracing, ropewalking, etc.attract visitors from home and abroad. Thanks to the diversity of minority groups there, various festivals and events are brought. To know more about Hami Festivals


People of all ethnic groups live there in the long time so that unique food with western China characteristics gradually formed, such as meat food series of Hami melons , braised cake with mutton (羊肉焖饼子), edible wild herbs series (mushroom, tarragon,allium mongolicum regel), Yousumo (a kind of local fried cake), stewed mutton, rice roll soup of Hui people, shish kebab, roast whole lamb, XinJiang baked Nan-Bread, cold rice noodle roll, baked samosa, yellow noodle (a kind of cold noodles), etc. To know more about Hami Dining