Hotan is famous for its jade, carpets, silk and embroidery. For almost 2,000 years Hotan was the principal supplier of precious nephrite, much cherished by the Chinese. White jade came from the bed of the White Jade River; dark-green jade came from the Black Jade River, and was transported by caravans to the heartland of China where it was then exquisitely carved. Today Hotan is a collection centre for the raw white jade, but the yield is very limited. Hotan got the sericulture more than 1,000 years ago, and it is the centre of the traditional hand-woven aidelaixi silk that is produced by small family units and is a favorite of Uygur women.
Hotan in history has witnessed the coming and leaving of the Buddhist pilgrims, Fa Xian and Xuan Zang, the latter being one of the 4 heroes in the book The Monkey King, and in 1901, Sir Aurel Stein.
Hotan located in the warm temperature zone, dominated by a dry continental desert climate; hot in summer and not too cold in winter. It has great temperature disparity between day and night with little rainfall and a high evaporation rate. Hotan consists of 7 counties with a population of 1.2 million, of whom 96 percent are Uygur. 24 rivers flow during the summer months when the snow from the Kunlun Mountains melt to fill them, and ample water is available to grow maize, wheat, rice, cotton and oil-bearing plants. Mulberry and fruit trees in Hotan are also abundant.