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 can 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
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.
If you decide to go by car west out of Hotan to Kashii/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.