Khotan (和田; Hétián; also known as Kotan or Hotan), is a town on the southern (Jade) Branch of the Silk Road in Xinjiang Province in China. Khotan was once center of a Buddhist empire. The old capital, Yoktan, is about 10 km west of the current city.

While the main Silk Road route from here goes west to Kashgar and on toward Central Asia, an important branch cuts off here over a pass to Leh in the north of India. That pass is thought to be the route by which Marco Polo reached China.

Get in

By plane

Khotan Airport is located south of the city and can be accessed by taxi. Flights are available to/from Urumqi only.

By train

Daytime trains at least once a day from Kashgar - did not have night trains as of 10/2011.

By bus

The Long Distance Bus Station is north of the city center on the main highway.

By car

There is a road west to Kashgar, about 500km, or east via Dunhuang and on toward Central China, a long way away.

Get around

CITS (China International Travel Service) phone: 09032516090 --> Organizes trips and transportation to local sights.

Bus 101 passes in front of the Main bus station and goes to the sunday bazaar and the sunday animal bazaar (a couple of stops after "New Hotan..." monument roundabout. 1¥.



Necessary camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags and blankets etc can be provided by.Guide on Line


The area has been famous for jade for centuries. Khotan jade is first mentioned in written history about 200BC. 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.



There are plenty of cheap places, but foreigners are often not allowed to stay there but are referred to the more expensive foreigner places. The hotels accepting foreigners in the Main Station road seem to take advantage of lack of competition and no regulation and raise prices. With such a few number of places accepting foreigners bargaining hard gets minimum discount from posted tariffs, if any. It would not be a bad idea to go to a midrange hotel and at least get what you pay for.

Go next

If you decide to go by car west out of Khotan to Kashgar stop in Yengisar and visit the knife factories. Knives are handmade and you can bargain with the owner for some very nice pieces. (As of 2012/04, it is not possible to ship knives out of China via the China Post, all packages are inspected thoroughly and even boring things like scissors and even some calculators can not be shipped).

If you stop in Yarkand you can find handmade pocket knives as opposed to the sheathed knives of Yengisar.

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