Huocheng is a district of the Kazakh Autonomous Region of Ili in the northwest of the Uighur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China. At the same time, it is also a city in this district. The city of Yining, also called Ili, is about 45 km east.
Once a key city on the northern path of the ancient Silk Road, it served as the capital of the Chagatai Khanate during the Qing Dynasty. In the district of Huocheng lies the important ruin of ancient Almaliq. The mausoleum of the first Khan of Moghulistan Tughlugh Timur is also located here. In the 1760s, nine fortresses were built in the Ili River basin, four of which were in the district Huocheng. The southeastern city of Huiyuan was the headquarters of General Ili, and as such, it was the military and administrative center of Xinjiang until the 1860s.
Huocheng County is one of the world’s eight most prestigious lavender production sites and the largest in China. Here, 95% of all lavender and essential oils are produced in the country. It has become one of the most famous plant bases in the world, as famous as Provence in France. In fact, both regions are at the same latitude with similar climate and soil conditions. The best time to see the ‘Lavender Sea’ is in June.