Silk Road Facts
For ever 2,000 years, traders carried products such as silk and tea through the Gansu Corridor to the countries in the west and east. You can follow trade routes that crossed Xinjiang and the rest of China.
A stunning array of scenery: from the mountain peaks near Kashgar to the Flaming Mountains and hot deserts of Xinjiang, to the high mountain lakes and meadows around Urumqi and its Grand Bazaar for shopping. See the parks, mountains and grasslands around the Gansu Corridor, the Yellow River and its sights, and the large city of Xian.
Most Popular Sections
- Kashgar: Lake Karakuli, Kashgar Old Town
- Turpan:Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Karez, Jiaohe City Ruins
- Urumqi:Grand Bazaar, Heavenly Lake (Tianchi - a mountainous scenic area), Xinjiang Museum
- Gansu Corridor: Wuwei City, Mogao Grottoes, Confucius Temple, Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple, Jiayuguan Fort, Jiayuguan Pass section of the Great Wall
- Lanzhou and the Yellow River: Bingling Thousand Buddha Grottoes, Gansu Provincial Museum
- Xi'an (Chang'an): Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Chang'an Ancient City Wall, Qianling Museum and Huangdi Mausoleum
- Luoyang: Longmen Grottoes, The Museum of the Imperial Carriages of the Emperor of the Zhou Dynasty
See our Silk Road tours.
- Most popular souvenirs and local products: rugs, carpets, souvenirs, textiles, dried fruit and delicacies, Chinese paintings, ceramics, silk
- Most popular food: raisins, nuts, dairy and fruit products in Xinjiang, Muslim beef noodle soup in Lanzhou, roujiamo (like hamburgers) and shish kabobs in Xi'an.
- ~1000 BC During the Shang Dynasty era, the Yuezhi people in Xinjiang traded jade with the Shang court, and merchants carried the trade goods on early trade routes through the Gansu Corridor.
- 138 BC Zhang Qian (200–114) started to explore the travel routes between Xi'an and the west for the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Silk Road trade ensued.
- 629 A monk named Xuanzang (602–664) traveled the Silk Road to go to India during the Tang Dynasty.
- 1269 Marco Polo set off on his journey eastwards.
- 1271 The Mongols captured the Song Empire. Trade across Eurasia flourished during their reign.
- Late 20th century: Various Silk Road locations became international tourist attractions.
- Read more about Silk Road history.
Most famous legend: The monk Xuanzang and his epic journey that became the Journey to the West novel and Monkey King legends.
- Significance: the travel routes enabled communication, travel, and trade between cultures and changed Eurasian culture.
- Tourism: These routes enriched the early empires for 1,400 years, and there are many ancient legacies to see.
- Provinces crossed: Xinjiang, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Henan
- Location: From Khunjareb Pass (36.50, 75.25) to Louyang (34.68,112.47)
- Straight line distance: 3,334 m (2,702 mi)
- Highest Altitude: Khunjareb Pass 4,693 m (15,397 ft)
I updated this article on October 30, 2013
See all my travel articles
Questions and Answers About Silk Road Facts
Thanks for your enquiry! We are more than happy to arrange a silk road tour for your group of 6 people, a silk road tour can start from Xi'an, Lanzhou or Urumqi depending on your dates and it also includes visits in the whole Xinjiang province. I am not very sure about the length of 2 days of the tour, will you advise more details of the tour so I can propose a tentative itinerary for your group? I look forward to hearing from you again!Candy Wei replied on 2012-12-04
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