Altay is located at the foot of south Altay Mountain in Xinjiang. It borders Juggar basin in the north and is adjacent to Burqin County. Sharing a boundary with Jeminay County, it is also next to Mongolia in northeast. Altay covers an area of 11,500 sq. km. (4,440 sq. mi.) and is under the governance of Altay District. It is 450 km. (280 mi.) away from Urumqi by airplane and governs nine villages, two towns and three street offices. More than 180,000 of people from 26 ethnic groups inhabit in this city. They include Uighurs, Kazakhs, Han people, Mogolians and people from other minorities.
Altay is endowed with rich natural resources and is thus reputed as "gold mountain". There are over a hundred of rivers of all sizes lie in this city with three big river systems: Irtysh River, Kelan River and Sumudayilie River running through making it a natural reservoir of water. Currrently, 270,000 mu fertile arable land are under cultivation. Altay is the most inportant animal husbandry base with 13.68 million mu grasslands. It is has a high deposit of all kinds of minerals including 24 kinds of exploitable mineral substances like iron,copper, lead, gold and zinc from 200 ore occurences. Among these mineral resources, the total gold deposit reaches 186,000 liang (两; an ancient unit) from 19 already exploited gold occrences.
Besides, it's also covered by 1,030,000 mu natural forests and 260,000 mu planted forests which add to the beauty of the famous lake: Kanas lake. Other tourist attractions include Hemu village (one of the five most beautiful villages in China), the mysterious and wonderful Demon City and Bosten Lake. Altay is surrounded by snow mountains and pictureque landscape. You can either go there to appreciate the charm of its scenery or go hunting and skiing in a certain sports venue.