Kuqa (库车 Kùchē) is a city in Xinjiang in China.
Kuqa is divided between the New Town (Chinese) section to the east and the Old Town (Uighur) to the west. Wenhua Road runs between both sections east to west.
UPDATE: As of June 2019, Kuqa is one of the most heavily policed cities in Xinjiang province. Expect to be detained and controlled several times. You need to provide a train ticket leaving the town on the same day to enter the town. Controls usually take 5 minutes to 1 hour.
Kuqa Railway Station is 7km southeast of the center of the New Town It will cost about 7-8RMB in a taxi from the train station to downtown if the driver uses the meter. Due to the lack of trains in south Xinjiang, there are only limited choices from Urumqi, Kurla and Kashgar and Turpan.
- Kashgar - takes about 9-11 hours
- Urumqi - takes about 12-18 hours
- Turpan - takes about 8 hours
The Long Distance Bus Station is in the southeast of the center of the New Town.
- Kashgar - takes about 20 hours,and is difficult to find a sleeper as Kuqa is not a terminal, you have to wait for passing buses in front of the bus station in the morning. Alternatively, you may take a direct bus to Aksu, and catch a bus from there to Kashgar.
- Korla - takes about 4 hours,around 5 buses every day.
- Urumqi - takes about 18 hours
- Yining - takes about 48 hours
- Hotan - takes about 8-9 hours, leaves Hotan 14:00 (Beijing time), sleeper-bus (as of September 2012) Leaves Hotan 16:00 takes 14-15 hours including a break and 03:00 restart.
- Kizil Caves (克孜尔千佛洞 Kèzīěr qiān fo dòng) - The 10,000 sq m of murals, kept in 236 caves are still in place today, are of high value for artists and researchers alike. 70 RMB entry, 25 for students. Be advised you must go with a guide when visiting the grottoes who will open the door to each individual cave for you from the outside. However unless you pay 100RMB for an English guide you will have to do this with a Chinese group for free. As all the guides are volunteers they're (rightly so) very interested in their subject, which means you'll be subjected to very long descriptions in Chinese about each grotto and frescoes meanings, which can get a bit tedious if you don't speak the language! The caves are about 75km from Kuqa train station.
- Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves (库木吐喇千佛洞 Kùmùtǔlǎ qiānfódòng) - a site of Buddhist grottoes located roughly 25km from Kuqa. It is divided into two areas, north and south, about 3 kilometers apart. The caves in the northern part are more concentrated, with 80 caves numbered, but less than half of the caves and murals are kept intact. The southern caves are scattered in the east bank of the river and in several valleys. There are 32 numbered caves, and less than 10 caves are well preserved.
- Senmusaimu Thousand Buddha Caves (森木塞姆千佛洞 Sēnmùsāimǔ qiānfódòng) - a site of Buddhist grottoes from the Jin Dynasty to the Song Dynasty. There are not as many grottoes here as compared to the Kizil and Kumtura caves. About 62km from Kuqa train station.
- Kizilgaha Grottoes (克孜尔尕哈石窟 Kèzīěr gǎhā shíkū) - a small collection of Buddhist grottoes dating back to the 5th century AD. As the name is very similar to the much-more famous Kizil Caves, make sure your driver knows the difference.
- Kizil Gaha Beacon Tower (克孜尔尕哈烽燧 Kèzīěr gǎhā fēngsuì) - located 10km southeast of Kuqa, this was the site of a military facility built during the Han Dynasty. All that remains now is the beacon tower.
- Subashi Ruins (苏巴什古城 Sūbāshi gǔchéng) - ruins of an ancient city (mainly ruins of the temple) located about 22km north of Kuqa train station.
- Kuqa Mosque (库车大寺 Kùchē dàsì) - a mosque that was built in the 1920s and is a center for the community.
- Tian Shan Grand Canyon Scenic Area (天山神秘大峡谷 Tiānshān shénmì dà xiágǔ) - a surprisingly impressive mountain trail through some beautiful red mountains, relative low on the annoying tourist groups and some fantastic photo opportunities, especially on a clear day. 40RMB entry, half price for students. A driver to take you to both the Tian Shan Grand Canyon and Kizil Grottoes (and a few other "sights" if you like...) can be arranged through the bus station adjacent Jiao Tong Hotel (交通宾馆 Jiāotōng bīnguǎn) front desk. It'll cost anywhere between 300 and 600 RMB depending on your bargaining skills / how Chinese you are (the guy started at 600, we managed to get him to 450 being Western but speaking Chinese, and then I was later told by an amused policeman that I shouldn't have paid more than 300).
- Kuqa Mansion (库车王府 Kùchē wángfǔ) - a building that was ordered to be built by Emperor Qianlong in 1759 to commend the Uyghur chiefs for suppressing a rebellion. By the 20th century there wasn't much left of the structure, so in 2004 the government constructed a new mansion.
- Bazaar. Do not miss the Friday Bazaar in the Old Town. edit
- Old Town. Download the city map of Kuche and explore the old city ie where the network of streets looks more intricate(opposite side of the river when you stay in one of the 2 hotels). edit
UPDATE: As of June 2019, it was not possible for foreigners to stay overnight in Kuqa.
266 Tianshan Road, KuChe Xinjiang
tel: + 86997 799 9999
Located sorta close to the train station. This is one of the few if not the only hotel taking in foreigners in Kuqa. Cost is 130rmb per night in a double room. Comfortable and clean with utilities provided. Free breakfast included. This hotel has its own bus stop, the stop called 库车饭店 served by bus line 2 & 8. When you reach it, you will see a very big and fancy luxury hotel in the front, that one cost 380 rmb per night. The affordable one is behind it. You can go in and ask, the staff will tell you where it is. (Updated June 20th 2018)
The Traffic Hotel (Jiao Tong Binguan) is right by the bus station. Unless you have some serious bargaining skills its the only place you'll get in Kuqa that accepts foreigners (as of April 2012 only about 5 hotels do)for less than 200RMB a night. There are grim rooms for 160 RMB(for foreigners, 80RMB for Chinese) and less grim (but not fantastic) for 180, both with ensuite.
- KuChe Hotel, Tianshan Zhong Lu 266 (a bit off the main road, walk through the huge fake stone arch), ☎ 86-997-7233156 / 7316790, . Double room ¥280 in the left wing, 380 in the central wing (august 2013). edit The rooms are airy but a bit run down, moderately clean. The (very Chinese) breakfast is served in a large hall, which you reach through a huge glasshouse with palm trees and a swimming pool.
- Big Dragon Lake and Little Dragon Lake - scenery similar to Tianchi Lake but without the tourists
- Train to Kashgar : at 1.55 AM everyday (arrival at 12 PM the same day) and 7.04AM everyday (arrival at 6PM the same day).