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The Silk Road is an ancient network of trade routes that were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). This route linked trade across Asia, Europe and Africa for many hundreds of years.
While a broad selection of merchandise traversed the Silk Road, the name is derived from the Western World’s fascination with Chinese silk. Gunpowder and paper, both invented by the Chinese, also had a significant worldwide impact thanks to the Silk Road. This route also saw abundant spice trading, which defined many cultural cuisines.
Most importantly, the Silk Road helped the world exchange cultures. Religion, art, language, philosophy, technology, architectural advancements and science were all exchanged as merchants traveled country to country.
ChinaTour.com offers the experience of a lifetime on our 18-Day Silk Road and Hexi Corridor Tour. On this unforgettable tour, you’ll experience and be immersed in Chinese culture, as well as surrounded by historical sites.
Xian is more than 3,000 years old. As the capital of China for 1,000 years, a total of 73 emperors ruled from Xian. It served as the capital for several dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang. As the terminus for the eastern portion of the Silk Road, traders brought goods and ideas back from their native countries. It is also home to the famous Terracotta Warriors, which are a must-see site in China.
Xining is the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau and was a significant hub for trade along the Northern Silk Road’s Hexi Corridor. This region has religious significance to both Buddhists and Muslims.
The capital city of Gansu Province, the Yellow River runs through Lanzhou. In ancient times, the city was a key stop on the Silk Road. Today, it is a hub for Silk Road Tourism. It also highlights several other must-see sites, including the Maiji Caves, Bingling Temple Grottoes, Labrang Monastery and the Dunhuang Mogao Caves.
Formerly known as Ganzhou, this area is mentioned in Marco Polo’s “Travels” as Campichu, as he lived here for a year. This city was important on the Silk Road. There are many diverse sites to see in this region, including the Zhangye Danxis National Geological Park, Mati Temple and the Wenshu Monastery.
Dunhuang is located in northwest China and has a very strategic location. It sits at the crossroads of two significant Silk Road trade routes. The city was one of the first Chinese cities to encounter western merchants. Additionally, it is the ancient site of Buddhist activity.
The city is also home to the Magao Caves, which features nearly 500 caves that are located in the cliffs. These cliffs contain the single largest depository of the world’s historic documents along the Silk Roads, highlighting cultural, social, religious and commercial activities that took place during the first millennium of the Common Era.