Huiyuan City is located 30 kilometers to the west of Yining City. In 1762. after suppressing the Jungar Rebellion and reuniting Xiniiang in 1757, the government of the Qing Dynasty officially set up the Ili General to administer the military and polilical affairs of whole silkroad
and the areas to the east and south of Balkhash lake, and built Huiyuan City in the next year. Huiyuan City includes an old city and a new one. The old city was firstly built in 1763 and expanded in 1793. It is 4.2 meters in height and 8.15 kilo meters in perimeter. It was destroyed in 1871 when Tsarist Russian invaded and occupied Ili. The new city is located 7.5 kilometers to the north of the old city. It was built in 1883. The city is about 5 meters in height and 4.6 kilometers in perimeter. The overall architectural arrangement of the city is very clear and neat with four avenues straightly leading to the four gates. Huiyuan City was the largest city in Xiniiang at that time.
The tower is the principal construction within the Huiyuan City. This timber-structured tower, 20.4 meters in height, has the stories and four gates towards east, west. south and north respectively. The flying-leaved roof, carved beams and painted pillars lend mainly vigor to the building.
Lin Zexu (1785-1850) held imperial envoy of the Qing Dynasty in 1839 and applied to ban opium-smoking and the opium trade in Guangzhou. In 1842, he was framed and removed from the post and banished to Ili. In 1994, the Lin Zexu Museum was built in Yining city for the 150th anniversary of his being exiled for penal servitude to Ili.