Khotan, also spelled Kotan or Hotan, is a town on the Southern (Jade) Branch of the Silk Road in Xinjiang. Khotan was once center of a Buddhist empire. The old capital, Yoktan, is about 10 km west of the current city.
Hotan airport is located south of the city and cn be accessed by taxi. Flights are available to/from Urumqi only.
Long Distance Bus Station
Location: north of the city center on the main highway
- Kashgar - takes 7-10 hours (express buses are faster)
- Korla - takes about 15 hours
- Turpan - takes about 20 hours
- Urumqi - takes about 24 hours
- Yecheng - takes about 8 hours
- Yining - takes about 40 hours (shorter as soon as buses start using the new Hotan - Aksu highway)
- Qiemo - takes 11 hours -- daily morning bus leaves from East Bus Station, not Main Bus Station
There is a road west to Kashgar, about 500 km, or east via Dunhuang and on toward Central China, a long way away.
- Hotan Bazaar - almost as large as the Sunday Market in Kashgar but more chaotic and free-spirited
- Hotan Carpet Factory - an industry over 2000 years old, tours and sales of carpets available
- White Jade River - locals search the riverbead for rare white jade but beauty lies in all the other stones left behind
- Silk Factory - tours of the local silk factory can be made
- Hotan Winery - produces specialty pomegranate and rice wines
The area has been famous for jade for centuries. Khotan jade is first mentioned in written history about 200 BC. 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.