Top ChoiceMarket in Hotan

Hotan Sunday Market

Hotan’s most popular attraction is its weekly Sunday market. The covered market bustles every day of the week, but on Sundays it swamps the northeast part of town, reaching fever pitch between noon and 2pm...

Cafe in Hotan

Marco’s Dream Cafe

This Malaysian-run place serves a very welcome range of Western and Asian dishes, including delicious curried chicken and steaks, while the friendly English-speaking owners can provide excellent travel advice....

Ruins in Hotan

Melikawat Ruins

The deserts around Hotan are peppered with the faint remains of abandoned cities. The most interesting are those of Melikawat, 25km south of town, a Tang dynasty settlement with wind-eroded walls, Buddhist stupas...

Uyghur in Hotan

Amin Perlau

This unassuming place at the end of a long strip of restaurants on Aqiale Donglu is generally held by locals to be the best in town. Choose between a small portion of lamb for ¥20 or a whole leg of lamb for ¥35,...

Tomb in Cherchen

Zaghunluq Ancient Mummy Tomb

This 2600-year-old tomb contains 13 naturally mummified Mongol bodies, still sporting shreds of colourful clothing. What's particularly interesting here is that unlike the mummies on display in the various...

Market in Hotan

Uyghur Night Market

Recently moved to its own purpose-built area about 1km due south of the main square, Hotan's night market is one of the liveliest and busiest in Xīnjiāng. Come here once darkness falls to grab such goodies as...

Bakery in Hotan

Marco Dream Cafe Bakery

This outlet of Marco's Dream Cafe is a bakery where you can get fresh bread, pastries and pizza. It's hidden away off the main road in a courtyard – you'll probably have to ask people nearby to direct you, but...

Historic Building in Cherchen

Toghraklek Manor

The main sight in Cherchen itself is this fine example of early-20th-century Kashgarian architecture, built in 1911 for a local warlord. The compound has half a dozen rooms, with carved walls, bamboo ceilings and...

Archaeological Site in Hotan

Rawaq Stupa

This 9m-tall ruin is the largest of the southern Silk Road Buddhist stupas yet discovered. Built between the 3rd and 5th centuries for a wealthy Khotanese monastery, it might have been visited by the Chinese monk...

Museum in Hotan

Hotan Cultural Museum

Hotan's museum is relatively small but well curated and has items labelled in English. The main attractions are a fine painted wooden coffin and two 1500-year-old Indo-European mummies unearthed from the nearby...

Area in Yarkand

Yarkand Old Town

To escape modern Yarkand's uninspiring grid system, take a walk in the Old Town to the east of the Altun Mosque, where craftsmen still work their wares with ball-peen hammers and grindstones, several workshops...

Tomb in Hotan

Mazar of Imam Asim

A few kilometres beyond the village of Jiya lies the tomb complex of Imam Asim (Tomb of Four Imams). It’s a popular pilgrimage site, particularly during May, and you may see groups of Uyghurs praying and chanting...

Workshop in Hotan

Jíyà Silk Workshop

Northeast of Hotan is the small town of Jíyà (吉亚乡), a traditional centre for silk production. Visitors can wander the workshop (atlas karakhana in Uyghur) to see how the silk is spun from silk cocoons, then dyed...

Factory in Hotan

Hotan Foreign Trade Carpet Factory

On the eastern bank of the Yurungkash River is this large factory (gilim karakhana in Uyghur). It’s primarily set up for group visits but it's perfectly possible for individual travellers to look around the...

Uyghur in Yarkand

Turkan

It's easy to spot this excellent place: look for the large 'Tea Coffee' sign in English on the awning. Inside it's a well-appointed place with white-gloved waiters rushing dishes from a pictorial menu to the...

Mosque in Yarkand

Altun Mosque Complex

Yarkand’s main sights are clustered around its charming central 18th-century mosque. The surrounding sprawling cemetery is home to several other impressive shrines, with white flags marking the graves of pir...

Uyghur in Cherchen

Elkut

This friendly and clean Uyghur restaurant is about the best you can hope for in a town like Cherchen. The photo menu takes in all the Uyghur classics, as well as several Chinese dishes, though the gregarious...

International in Hotan

Eversun Coffee

Head upstairs to find this upmarket place, where well-heeled locals sip cappuccinos and order from both a Western and Chinese menu (both are in English) with dishes such as sautéed squid in chilli sauce and a...

Uyghur in Hotan

Polochi

Sit outside on the pleasant patio rather than the furiously stuffy dining room, and enjoy a plate of pollo (slow roasted lamb on a bed of greasy rice and carrots) served up with tea, yoghurt and pickles. It's one...

Bakery in Hotan

Aili

This popular and centrally located bakery has a great pastry selection from which you can build a good breakfast or a lunch on the go. Give the coffee a miss though.