Khotan (和田; Hétián; also known as Kotan or Hotan), is a town on the southern (Jade) Branch of the Silk Road in Xinjiang Province in China. Khotan was once center of a Buddhist empire. The old capital, Yoktan, is about 10 km west of the current city.
Khotan Airport is located south of the city and can be accessed by taxi. Flights are available to/from Urumqi only.
Railway to Kashgar has been completed, passenger service is expected to open in a few months.
The Long Distance Bus Station is north of the city center on the main highway.
The area has been famous for jade for centuries. Khotan jade is first mentioned in written history about 200BC. There are mines, but much of the stone is found in riverbeds. This is one of the few areas with black jade and white jade. Be prepared to bargain hard.
There are plenty of cheap places, but foreigners are often not allowed to stay there but are referred to the more expensive foreigner places.
If you decide to go by car west out of Khotan to Kashgar stop in Yengisar and visit the knife factories. Knives are handmade and you can bargain with the owner for some very nice peices.
If you stop in Yarkand you can find handmade pocket knives as opposed to the sheathed knives of Yengisar.