A traditional oriental market in Hotan, Western China. Every Sunday thousands of Uighur traders come to the Hotan Sunday Market to trade wool, spices or embroidered clothes. The livestock market is particularly impressive, but Hotan is also famous for its Jade.
The Sunday market in Hotan is one of the largest markets in Xinjiang, attracting up to 100,000 visitors every week. As on any typical oriental market, different areas of the market specialise in different goods. Jade traders are sorting their pieces of precious stone side by side: Hotan Jade is famous all over China and has been exported for at least 3000 years. Another lane is completely taken up by melons. That way, shoppers can compare prices and quality quite easily
Goods on offer in the Hotan Sunday Market
The stalls in Hotan sell wool in large bales. Often, the sellers sit directly on the floor or on their heaps of wool. Those selling woven clothes, however, often have proper stalls. Traditional and often finely embroydered caps are also popular. The better the material, the better they are protected against sun and dirt.
Have a break
Of course there are food stalls everywhere. Traders and shoppers eat soup or freshly made noodles. The tasty filled pastry is similar to Central Asian Somsa or Indian Samosa.
The Hotan Livestock Market
Cows and sheep are the most commonly traded animals on the market. But you can also find donkeys or horses. People also come to chat with friends and to have a good time.
Read more about our travels in Xinjiang in this post about the Uighur region!
NB: We were not sponsored in any way for this post. We paid all expenses for our trip through China ourselves. Note that this article reflects the status of the Hotan Sunday Market in 2006. Since then, the cultural and political situation in Xinjiang has doubtless changed.