Hotan Travel Guide

Hotan (Hetian) Travel Guide

Hetian (Hotan) Map

Hotan Facts

Chinese Name: 和田 (hé tián)
Population: 2,324,300
Area: 248,100 square kilometers (95,792 square miles)
Location: in the south of Xinjiang, northwest China
Administrative Division: 1 county-level city (Hetian); 7 counties (Hetian, Pishan, Moyu, Luopu, Cele, Yutian, Minfeng)
Area Code: 0903
Zip Code: 848000
GDP (2018): CNY 30.557 billion (USD 4.618 billion)
Nationalities: Uygur, Han, Hui, Kazak, Kirgiz

Famous for Producing Hetian Nephrite Jade

Located at the northern foot of the Karakorgan Range and on the southern fringe of the Taxkorgan Desert, Hotan is an oasis lying in the Tarim Basin, neighboring to Bayingolin to the east, Aksu to the north, Kashgar to the west, and Jammu and Kashmir to the southwest. Hotan is a historic city where a brilliant ancient civilization including the Kunlun mythology was created. The mythology influenced by Taoism mainly records a series of stories about the gods, goddesses of ancient China.

Hetian is also the main producing area of Hetian jade, one of four high-quality jade in China. Hetian jade was used as ornaments or sacrificial utensils for the royal family. Confucianism also endows virtue to Hotan jade, thereby it was favored by gentlemen in ancient China. Tourists can go to Hotan bazaar to purchase special tourism products such as Hotan Jade, silk and carpet, and taste local snacks.


As a bustling center on the southern stretch of the ancient Silk Road, Hotan was one of the three thriving commercial centers in the history of Xinjiang. The ruins of many historical cultural sites still stand in desert in today's 'silk capital' Hotan, as a reminder of their brilliant past. In the main these are: Ancient City of NiyaAncient City of Mallikurwatur, Ancient City of Yoktan. The Hetian Museum has a fine collection of cultural relics.

 Other Scenic Spots: Kunlun Mountains, Muz Mountain of Cele (Qira) County, Hotan Oasis

Typical statue in Hetian
Typical Statue
Bazaar in Hetian
Local Bazaar

How to Get to Hotan

1. Hotan Airport is located about 11.5km (7 mi) south of the city downtown area. It has 6 daily flights to Urumqi and other direct flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Aksu, Kashgar and Yining. Airport shuttle bus is available to Hotan Railway Station.
2. There is a daily train service from the Railway Station to Urumqi.
3. This area is served by China National Highway 315, which runs along the southern Tarim Basin from Ruoqiang to Kashgar, and the Trans-Taklamakan Desert Highway, which run north to Aksu. There are regular buses running daily to Yining, Kashgar, Aksu, Kolar, Turpan, Wushentala, etc. 
4. There are ten public bus lines traveling around the city. Passengers can take them easily to the passenger distributed centers.
5. The taxi fares in the city are CNY5 (Daytime)/CNY7 (Nighttime) for the first three kilometers and then CNY1.3 per additional kilometer.
6.  Since most attractions in the city lie in the desert, car rental is the best option for travel to them. A cross country Jeep is recommended in view of the nature of the terrain.
7.  Hotan Yutian Airport will start to build in 2019 or 2020. Around 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from downtown area, Hotan Yutian Airport is located in Yutian County, Hotan City of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.



Located in the warm temperature zone, the area is dominated by a dry continental desert climate. It is hot in summer and not too cold in winter. The temperature has a great disparity between day and night. There are about 182~226 frost-free days a year. It has little rainfall and a high evaporation rate with an annual rainfall of 28.9 to 47.1 mm. The average annual temperature is from 11-12.1 C (51.8-53.8F)  with an average sunshine time of 2470.4 to 2875.9 hours annually. August to September is the best period for visiting the area due to the beautiful scenery and nice weather. 

Hotan Travel Tips

 Physical Features: The hypsography slopes down from south to north in this area with Karakorgan Mountains to the south and Taxkorgan Desert to the north. It has an elevation of 1,372 meters.

 History: Hotan was where the states of Pishan, Yutian, Yumi, Qule, Jingjue and Shulu were established. Since 60BC during the West Han Dynasty, it has been recognized as Chinese territory. In 1883, this place was established as a prefecture to be supervised directly by the court, while in 1920, it became a prefecture. In history, this place was a town of military importance along the ancient Silk Road. It was also the crux of the four most important civilizations in the ancient world.

 Local Highlights: Corban, Roza, Jade Cultural Festival, Yutian Music Dancing

 Local Products: jade, sheep, silk, carpet, Uighur medicine medicine, gelatin, pomegranates, yams, apricots

- Last updated on Apr. 12, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Hotan Travel
Asked by Gerd from GERMANY | Sep. 08, 2019 03:08Reply
I want to go from Hetian to Aksu via the Trans-Taklamakan Desert Highway on Wednesday, 16 October.
Are there buses in the morning and how long takes the bus trip to Aksu?
Thanks in advance
Answers (1)
Answered by Ruby from USA | Sep. 09, 2019 17:59

You can take bus from Hetian Coach station at 9:30 and it takes around 7 hours on the way.
Asked by Rui ke from FRANCE | Jun. 12, 2019 10:15Reply
I visit Hotan in August and I would like to know if there is a direct bus from hotan to urumqi ?
If so, could you please tell me where to take this bus and what time does it leave ?
Thanks in advance
Answers (3)
Answered by Austin from NEW ZEALAND | Jun. 12, 2019 19:33

Yes, there is a direct bus departing from Hotan Long Distance Bus Station at 13:00. However, it takes about 25-30 hours for a single journey and takes about CNY390. It is more recommended to take train.
3 trains depart from Hotan at 14:39 15:24 16:05 and it takes about 22-26h to Urumqi. The train tickets costs CNY217-585.
Answered by Rui ke from FRANCE | Jun. 13, 2019 10:39

Thanks a lot, actually I will arrive all the way from Xi'an by train so I would like to cross the taklamakan desert via the road G217 to go to urumqi. Do you know if the bus actually takes this road ? Thanks in advance
Answered by Austin from NEW ZEALAND | Jun. 13, 2019 18:50

Sorry but I'm not really clear about that.
Asked by Christina Higgs from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 04, 2019 18:19Reply
How long the journey is by bus from Kashgar to Hetian and the estimate cost?
I will be traveling with older children and possibly another two or three families. Is it suitable??
Answers (1)
Answered by Mandy from NEW ZEALAND | Apr. 11, 2019 20:12

I found no information about bus but you can take a train. The duration is about 5-7 hours and it costs CNY70 for a hard seat and CNY123 for a hard sleeper.
Asked by Sissy from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 14, 2018 06:00Reply
Which is the best option (Kuqa or Aksu) to Hotan via Taklamakan Desert (Hihgway 315)
4 of us plan to travel to Hotan across the Taklamakan Desert by road. Is it true that there are more frequent express buses to Hotan from Aksu rather than from Kuqa? What is the bus timetable from Aksu and from Kuqa and the fares? Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Oscar from POLAND | Jul. 15, 2018 23:40

There are 2 buses departing from Aksu at 11:00, 12:30 and another 2 departing at 20:00. The ticket fare is about CNY 200. There is only one bus in Kuqa and depart from 12: 00 to 16:00.
Asked by Alison Sae Sue from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 19, 2018 22:47Reply
Hi... could you give me the address in English and Chinese for the bus station in Hotan
The bus station where the long distance buses from Hotan to Kuche leave from? Also the address of the Hotan market (like the one in Kashgar)
Many thanks:)
Answers (1)
Answered by Peter from NETHERLANDS | Jun. 20, 2018 21:25

Hotan Bus Station is in 015 Country Rd, about 800m east of Hotan Railway Station. (和田市015乡道,大概在和田火车站西800米).
The market is in Taibei road (台北路).
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