If you're coming through to the South Silk Road from NW Qinghai, the last stop before Charklik/Ruoqiang will be Shimiankuang.
Once you get off the Huatugou -- Shimiankuang bus, there will be various kinds of vehicles waiting at that spot looking for passengers going to Charklik/Ruoqiang or Miran. The standard fare to Charklik/Ruoqiang is 100 RMB and the journey will take about 6+ hours. The road was pretty bad -- we crossed innumerable creeks, ran into sandstorms and also rain. Rough and very dusty roads for the most part. I personally thought it was a good illustration of the word "wasteland".
Our driver plies the route Shimiankuang -- Charklik/Ruoqiang; his contact number is 13779662096. This is just for information's sake in case anyone gets stuck at Shimiankuang.
Vehicles move off when full, so if there's no one wanting to go, you might be stuck for a day or two. I saw signs for accommodation (presumably very basic) at Shimiankuang but I wouldn't have wanted to stay there.
- To Qiemo (seater): departure 1000, 57.5 RMB, 3-4 hours.
- To Korla (seater): departure 1000/1200/1400, 71 RMB.
- To Korla (sleeper): departure 1800, upper/lower bunk 83/93 RMB.
- To Urumqi (sleeper): departure 1900 every other day, upper/lower bunk 158.4/169.3 RMB.
If you're continuing west along the South Silk Road from Charklik (Ruoqiang), the only possibility is the 1000 departure to Qiemo. Thus you'll most probably have to stay overnight in Charklik (Ruoqiang).
Insurance is an extra 2.5 RMB on top of posted bus fares.
Ruoqiang (Charklik in Uygur) has nothing to see. There is the base camp for the Chinese and Japanese senior tourists to go to aciant castle ruins in the dessert. You can walk around the town for less than 2 hours. If you want to escape from the people, this town is the best for you.