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.
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.
- Kiril Grottoes. One of China's four grottoes which was built earlier than Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang. 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. edit 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 frescos meanings, which can get a bit tedious if you don't speak the language!
- Kuqa Old Town Mosque. Sleepy town mosque, center of the local community. edit
- Tian Shan Grand Canyon Scenic Area 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 (transportation hotel) 交通宾馆 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).
- 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
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).