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
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 in Hotan, carpets woven by hand in a small workshop, 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 Workshop - tours of the local silk workshop, where Atlas Silk is made entirely by hand, in nearby Jiya township northeast of the center.
Silk Factory - tours of the local Shatuo Silk Factory can be made, northwest of the center, a larger and more mechanized factory.
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.
After 2 hours of walking from hotel to hotel I was always redirected to the expensive "foreigner" places. There are plenty of cheap places I just couldn't talk my way into any of them...yet.