Hotan Overview

Hotan delivers much of what you'd expect a Silk Road oasis town to deliver: jade, silk, carpets, lively markets, colorful bazaars and ancient desert ruins. It's also a long way from anywhere else you're likely to want to be: Kashgar is almost 2,000 km away as the bus rolls, and Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi is on the other side of the Talkamakan Desert and the Tian Shan mountain range.

If you're looking to really get away from it all, Hotan's hard to beat; on the other hand, if your idea of "getting away from it all" involves luxury accomodations and five-star restaurants, this might be the last place you want to find yourself. Along with the expected goods, you'll find plenty of surprises if you give Hotan half a chance—grape arbors bordering rugged desert, chance finds at the traditional Sunday Market, a pair of Indo-European mummies at the Hotan Cultural Museum, and the outlying ruins of the ancient cities of Yotkan and Melikawat where you just might find a shard of ancient pottery in the shifting desert sands.

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