The remote place in the south of Xinjiang, Khotan, has been famous for centuries for its jade, silk and carpets. It is a very authentic Uigur town to visit and still now it is fascinating to see the factories where the famous materials are worked out or produced.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit this province is in autumn (September to late October), when the days are long, the sky is clear and temperatures are more comfortable than in the heat of summer. Another excellent reason to visit at that time is the abundance of delicious melons and other fruits and vegetables which are then available.
How to get there?
Khotan's airport lies 10km west from town, and access is either by taxi, or by the airport bus that meets incoming flights - the only flights in or out of Khotan at present are the daily connections to Ürümqi.
From 9:00am to 6:30pm, there is a bus from Hotan to Urumqi (via the new desert route) every 2 hours.
What to see
The museum shows over 400 pieces of cultural relics excavated from the ancient cities of Niya, Mallikurwatur and Yotkan. It offers a window on Silk Road contributions to cultural exchange and trade between central China and border areas.
At the Jade Factory you can see craftsmen bent over small lathes and the
Hotan's fine jade
In the White Jade River a lot of jade has been recovered and it still today yields the odd stone for casual searchers.
You can discover the secrets of modern silk production at the silk factory and see the whole process from the initial unpicking of the cocoons to the weaving and dying of the beautiful cloth.
Every Friday and Sunday the Local bazaar takes place. It mainly sells silk and spices but it’s well worth wandering around to watch the innumerable smiths and carpenters working among the stalls.
The Melikawat Ruins, 25km southwest of Hotan, show ancient stone tools, pottery pieces, coins and beads of a formerly important capital on the Silk Road.
It is offensive to shake water off your wet hands in public.
Protect yourselves against the elements in all seasons. Be careful about your drinking water. Boil it first.
Bring your camera as there are many very scenic spots in Turpan.
Though the 'clock time' in Xinjiang is just the same as the rest of China, in fact there is a two hour difference in longitude between Urumqi and Beijing. For this reason the daily working hours are: 10:00 - 14:00, 15:30 - 19:30
While in Urumqi, you should modify you rest and dining times to be two hours later than if you were in a city in Middle China, otherwise you might feel out of step with local life. But don't forget that bus, train and flights all adopt Beijing Time. If you booked a flight to arrive or depart Urumqi at around 08:00, then you may find it is quite dark at that time. Please keep this in mind when making reservations.
Khotan is the hometown of jade, famous for its good quality and various kinds. Khotan jade includes white jade, yellow jade, green jade, jasper, black jade, and mutton-fat jade. With a fine and smooth character and a moist color, the mutton-fat jade makes the top grade in white jade. Be prepared to bargain hard.