Here are some pictures of Altai and Ili.
The pretty Ili Valley is centred around the city of Ili/ Kulja, just 60km east of the border with Kazakhstan, and 400km northwest of Urumchi. As it is right off the principal Silk Road routes, Ili is one of the three so-called Kazakh Autonomous Prefectures within Uyghur Region the other two are Karamay and Altai, which form a block along the northwest frontier.
The climate in the whole valley is relatively cool and fresh even at the height of summer, and the views of the Tangri Tagh mountains from all routes into Ili , especially if you're coming up from Kucha to the south, are fabulous. Another draw, 180km east of Ili on the road from Urumchi , is the beautiful Sayram Lake,
Two thousand years ago, the area was occupied by the Uysun kingdom. The Uysun people, , kept diplomatic relations with the Han court and were responsible for introducing them to the horse. By the eighth century, its value as a staging post for a newly developing branch of the Silk Road was too great a temptation. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the area was controlled by first Genghis Khan from the east, and then Tamerlane from the west.