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The oasis of Hotan is a county-level city lying in the Tarim Basin, just six miles south of the Taklamakan Desert. It is the seat of Hotan Prefecture in southwestern region of Xinjiang.

Hotan, which was named Yutian in ancient times, means a place that produces jades. Historically, it was an important station on the southern branch of the historic Silk Road. For centuries, the area has been renowned for its famous nephrite jades, high quality carpets and silk weavings.

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It is easy to see why Wulingyuan is proclaimed to be the setting for the movie Avatar. The spectacular sandstone peaks and the lush vegetation make it seem like a paradise on earth.

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