Hotan Overview

Basic Information

Administrative Division

Hotan Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 county-level city and 7 counties.

To know more about Hotan Administrative Division


Situated in south of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and located in the Tarim Basin, Hotan is about 1,500 kilometres southwest of the regional capital, Urumqi. It is merely north of the Kunlun Mountains which are crossed by the Hindutash, Sanju and Ilchi passes.

Located in east longitude 79.92 °, latitude 37.12 °, Hotan borders with Tibet Autonomous Region and reaches Kunlun Mountain in south, connects Taklimakan Desert and Aksu in north, meets Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in east, and neighbors Kashgar Prefecture in west. In southwest, with Har Goolun Range as boundary, Hotan borders with Kashmir. With an area of 247,800 square kilometers, it is 670 km long from east to west and 570 km wide from south to north.

As a major agricultural center, it lies in southeast of Yarkant County and populated almost exclusively by Uyghurs. Playing an important role on the southern branch of the historic Silk Road, Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the White Jade River and the Karakash River that provide the needed water to survive on the southwestern edge of the vast Taklamakan Desert. With the blessing of the White Jade River, water and irrigation for the prefecture and oasis are provided


Due to the large area and diverse topography landform of the prefecture, climate here can be roughly dividend into three types: southern climate areas, oasis plain areas and northern desert climate areas.

Located in Eurasia hinterland, with Pamir and Tianshan Mountain as barriers in west and north, the Siberian cold air is not easy to enter into Hotan. Besides, warm moist air flows from the Indian Ocean are impeded by the spanning Kunlun Mountains in south, so the extreme arid desert climate forms in the warm temperate zone.

The main climate features here are its distinct four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring sees fast and unstable temperature rising, with cold spell in later spring and days with dust weather. Autumn sees fast temperature falling. The whole year sees rare rainfall, sufficient sunlight, long frost-free period and large temperature differences between day and night. To know more about Hotan Climate

The Best Time to Go

August and September are the best time to visit Hotan. Located in the Taklimakan Desert, Hotan belongs to continental desert climate of the warm temperate zone. The whole year sees little rain and many days with dust weather.

August and September are the golden time for ripe melons and fruit mature, with charming scenery, pleasant weather and agreeable fruit fragrance. And this period comes with large temperature differences between day and night.

In addition, each March and April welcome peach and apricot flowers blossom, which could be good time to visit there. But this period comes with dust weather so that dust prevention is need to be taken care.

Things to Do

As an important town of the Ancient Silk Road, the first thing you could do in Hotan is to feel the ancient culture of the Silk Road and see the prints of Hotan history, so you could visit Niya's Relics (尼雅遗址).

Secondly, Hotan is blessed with splendid climate for plants growth so that fruits there possess high quality, especially grapes. Thus, you are recommended to taste fruits there.

Besides, located in the Taklimakan Desert, Hotan provides splendid views of desert.

Furthermore, to visit bazaars there where you could experience local customs and eat specialties.


For now, Hotan provides means of transportation like trains, planes, long-distance buses, omnibus and taxi. Passengers could reach and leave there or get to the capital city of the Region or places around conveniently. To known more details about Hotan Transportation.

History & Culture

Situated at the junction of the southern (and most ancient) branch of the Silk Road where China and the West joined, and which provided one of the main routes from ancient India and Tibet to Central Asia and distant China, Hotan provided a convenient meeting place for goods, technologies, philosophies, and religions that were transmitted from one culture to another.

Before the Qin and Han dynasties, ancient indigenous peoples who spoke Indo-European languages, Sino-tibetan languages as well as the Serbs, Piang people (塞人) and Yue people (月氏人) lived there.

After zhang Qian passed the western regions, he was first written in the Han classics in Hotan region. After Zhang Qian reached the Western Regions of China, Hotan Prefecture was firstly recorded in the Han classics.

With a long history which witnessed people with different cultures, a variety of cultures formed there. To know more about Hotan Culture.


With favorable conditions of development, Hotan economy grows rapidly. In 2016, its GDP reached 23.6 billion yuan, up 10.3% compared to 2015. For the primary industry, the climate there contributes to its agriculture, animal husbandry and planting. For secondary industry, the main industry covers special farming and processing industry, oil and gas mineral resources development, Uyghur medicine, textile and garment industry, emerging industries, jade, trade logistics industry, etc. It is an important development town of southern Xinjiang. For tertiary industry, in 2016, the total retail sales of social consumer goods in Hotan Prefecture reached 3.7 billion yuan, up 8.8% from 2015.


Based on the existing tourism resources, Hotan tourism is characterized of 6 major tourism industry covering jade culture, the Silk Road culture, folk customs, desert sightseeing, self-driving tour and Uygur medicine, which promotes the growth of local tourism. In 2017, it received 1,347,500 tourists from home and abroad, reaching 2.29 of tourism income.


Nang is the major staple food of places in Xinjiang Region, so that you could see a variety of nangs in Hotan. For dishes, all sorts of roast meats are well-known. You could taste dishes as well as snacks that have quiet different flavor from other places in China there. To know more about Hotan Dining.


The ethnic groups with the largest population in Hotan is Uyghur nationality who believe in Islam so that the distinctive festivals there may belong to Islamic festivals. Also, there are some other special festivals of other nationalities. Of course, traditional festivals are also widely celebrated by people there. To know more about Hotan Festivals.