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Located in the Southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Khotan, in ancient times, meaning "land of jade." The area hosted some of the thirty-six Western Region states like Khotan, Pishan, Qule, Jingjue, Xulu. In the Qing Dynasty, Khotan changed its name to "Hetian." In 1959, the character Tian was simplified to its current format. Throughout history, Khotan enjoyed vast land and abundant resources. The residents are mainly engaged in agriculture, farming, and animal husbandry. Meanwhile, Khotan was the first area of Western Region that acquired the sericulture technology from the Central Plains. The city produced mulberry, hemp, jade, silk, carpets, etc.

What to visit in Khotan?

Khotan is a famous town on the ancient Silk Road; here, we mapped out some tourist attractions, including Hetian Museum, Taklamakan Desert, and Carpet Factory, etc.
Hetian Museum is an excellent place to get a general overview of the region and its history & culture.
It is quite exciting when I entered the Taklamakan Desert; this mysterious desert has a unique charm that attracts my infinite imagination. Taklamakan Desert is the largest desert in China, the tenth-largest desert in the world, and the second-largest mobile desert in the world.
Carpet Factory is the best place where you can see the whole carpet manufacturing process; the colors and patterns of the carpet are exquisite. 

Khotan Arts & Crafts:

With fertile land and adequate sunshine, Khotan was very suitable for sericulture development. As a famous town for silk road, Khotan was the earliest production base of sericulture in Xinjiang, brocade, and excellent silk-producing center. Archaeological findings proved that as early as 2000 years ago, people have already mastered the process of sericulture, sinning, and dying. Silk trade flourished. Atlas Silk is the Speciality of Hetian.In Han Chinese, it is commonly referred to as "Khotan Flowery Silk," meaning "Tie-dyed Silk." Its soft texture and gorgeous colors are made using the old tie-dye method. It is light and elegant with unrestrained and rough patterns of many variations.
Khotan is also known as the "Hometown of Carpets." As early as during the Tang Dynasty, shops were dealing in Khotan felts and carpet in Chang'an. During the Qing Dynasty, local officials from Khotan included carpets in the list of tributes to the imperial court. Khotan carpets have eye-catching colors, elegant tones, delicate patterns, exuding unique Uyghur artistic styles, and oriental charm and have great practice value.
The most famous specialties in Khotan is jade. As early as during the Neolithic Period, natives found gem-quality jade in the Kunlun Mountains and made it a media for communication between central and western China, as well as for East-West cultural and economic exchange. Transport passage for jade from Khotan emerged as the oldest "Jade Road," some 1000 years earlier than the Silk Road. It can be said that the Jade Road was the predecessor of Silk Road. During the Western Han Dynasty, Zhang Qian, who traveled to Western Region countries and opened the Silk Road, was guided bu Jade Road in the first place. Since then, the Jade Road became all the more smooth. Central Plain merchants shipped to Western Region a large amount of silk and medicinal herbs and brought back jade and local products from the Western Regions on their return. The imperial court built in Gansu Yumenguan Pass (Jade Gate), implying that the jade is entering the country as of this pass.

The Religious in Khotan:

Khotan was one of the areas where Buddhism was introduced as earliest in China. As early as during the 1st century B.C., Buddhism has become one of the earliest Buddhist cultural centers in the Western Regions. Khotan was also known as "The Buddhist Kingdom," among them, the well-known monks including Faxian of the Jin Dynasty, Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty, and others had all left their footprint in this area. The prosperity of the Buddhist Kingdom has left many ancient towns and Buddhist sites, such as Niya Ruins, the Teyuegan Ruins, where a large amount of precious cultural relics were unearthed. In the 11th century, with the eastward spread of Islamism, People in the Khotan area gradually converted to believe in Islamism.

Weather & Climate of Khotan:

Khotan belongs to the arid and desert climate, with sandstorms and dusty weather in spring, hot and dry in summer. The average annual rainfall of 35 mm and annual evaporation of 2480 mm. The seasons are windy and sandy. The yearly dust weather is more than 220 days, and the dense floating dust (sand storm) weather is about 60 days. Among them, the average annual temperature is 11 - 14 ℃. Furthermore, August to September is the best time to visit the area due to the beautiful scenery and pleasant weather

How to Get to Khotan

There are three ways to get to Khotan: Flights, Trains, and Cars.

Go to Khotan by Air:

Khotan Airport is located 12 kilometers south of Khotan City. At present, there are weekly flights to Urumqi, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xi'an, Kashgar, and Yining. The shuttle bus is available to the train station.

Go to Khotan by Tain:

There is a daily train service from the Railway Station to Urumqi and Kashgar. 
Khotan Railway Station is situated 11.8 km away from Khotan City. It is a railway station under the jurisdiction of China Railway Urumqi Bureau Group Co., Ltd., and it is also the terminal station of the Kashgar - Khotan Railway.

Drive to Khotan:

The coverage of the Khotan highway network is relatively complete, and transportation with the surrounding cities is very convenient.
1.Self-driving is available for tourists who would like to travel through the Taklamakan Desert; the National Highway 315 runs along the Tarim Basin and through Taklamakan Desert Highway, which runs north to Aksu.
2.Driving from Kashgar to Khotan is 500 kilometers (about 5 hrs and 45 mins ).
Driving from Urumqi to Khotan is 1400 kilometers (about 17 hrs and 10 mins ).

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