What is Silk Road?
The Silk Road is actually a business route net that connected the ancient China, west Asia, Europe, east Africa, north Africa and Arabia together. The expression “Silk Road” is created by German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1900s because the route is originally explored by Chinese people and the Chinese silk played an important role among all goods exchanged via these business routes.
The business man who traveled on the Silk Road are Chinese, Middle Asian, West Asian, and European. Though it was an business routes net, many cultures and religious believes were brought into and out China. And Arab business man was very active on the Silk Road. The best known traveler among all foreign travelers may be Marco Polo.
Route of Silk Road
According to record and some current findings, there was one Silk Roads by land route and another Silk Road by maritime route. Both of them had their starting points in China.
The land route started from Changan (or Luoyang), passing through the Gansu Province and when it reached Dunhuang City, the Silk Road split into three routes. Based on the latitude of the three route, they were called the Northern Route, the Central Route, and the Southern Route respectively. But all the three routes pass through Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The farthest point the Silk Road reached were Byzantium, Antioch, Tyre and Alexandria, etc.
When did the Silk Road come into being?
In 138 BC of Chinese West Han Dynasty, the central government set Mr. Zhang Qian (200–114) to Dayuezhi, a minority nation far west of China for diplomacy to cooperate to fight against the Hun troop stationed between Dayuezhi and the Hang territory. Since then, the Han government frequently set diplomats go west ward. With the establishment of diplomatic relations, tradings between different countries appeared and became increasingly busy. Gradually, between these countries an active trading route was established, which is known as Silk Road today.
The downfall of Silk Road as a trading route
From the time Zhang Qian opened up the world-famous Silk Road during the Han Dynasty, until the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, it enjoyed a prosperous history of about 1,600 years. in the Song Dynasty, the Chinese government lost the territory in north and west part. The frequent battlements in the north and west part were terrible disaster to Silk Road. At the same time, to open the new economic dimensions, the Song government concentrates its energy to develop the trading route on sea. So in the following years, the land Silk Road gradually fell down while the Maritime Silk Road became increasingly busy.
The renascent Silk Road as a tourist route
Since the arise of tourism industry in China, Silk Road Tour has become one of the most attractive tourist activities in China. And with the time goes by, the Silk Road Tour is increasingly better operated. Actually the silk Road tour is operated in not only China but also nearly 33 other countries along the ancient Silk Road route.
Most Popular Sections of Silk Road Tour in China
Xi’an: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower and Drum Tower Square
Lanzhou: Gansu Provincial Museum, Labrang Lamasery
Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan Fort, Jiayuguan Pass section of the Great Wall
Urumqi: Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum
Turpan: Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Gaochang Ruins, Jiaohe Ruins, Flaming Mountain, Karez Well
Kashgar: Abakh Khoja Tomb, Kashgar Old Town, Id Kah Mosque