Hami (哈密) lies in the eastern part of Xinjiang. It is close to Gansu province in the east and to the north is Mongolia.
Just west of Hami is a the Balikun (巴里坤) grassland region, where many Kazak people live as herders. The biggest settlement is the Balikun town, with population of 20,000 people. The Kazak people here have their unique culture and dances. One of the dance is the unique bear dance. Nearby is the beautiful Balikun lake. The lake is rich in mineral deposits, particularly a substance called mangxiao or sodium sulphite.
Hami city is a bustling and growing city. The Hami melon which is reknowned throughout China for its flavour and sweetness. comes from here. There is a well known melon grower here whose family has grown the melon for 13 generations.
The Uighur people live in the area, and there is government built cultural centre to promote their music, dance and arts. Their famous dance performance is called the Hami mukamu (木卡姆) dance.