China Guide

China’s Silk Road A Guide to the Silk Road its History

Silk Road

Named by a German geographer for its eminent silk trade, the famous Silk Road has formed an important part of China’s history. The roads form an extensive network of routes across the continent connecting Asia with the Mediterranean, Africa and Europe. The routes were created around 200BC during the rein of the Han Dynasty. The trade roads thrived for over a thousand years creating a unique trail for traders across the continent.

The Silk Road was more than just a place for physical trade, it also served as a place for trade of knowledge and ideas that helped the development of Chinese civilisation. Unfortunately it also made the spread of disease possible including the bubonic plague which from the help of the populated Silk Road was able to spread to create the first global pandemic. It also provided routes for conquering armies such as Alexander the Great.

It has been about six hundred years since the Silk Road died out. Traveling along the Silk Road today, one can only imagine what it was like when traders flocked to the trading roads. And not just traders; merchants, nomads, pilgrims and missionaries all used these roads whether for cultural or commercial means. The end of the Silk Road came from the pressures of war, disease and policies made by the current dynasty leaders. The traders stopped coming and the roads became almost deserted.

Although the Silk Road phenomenon has gone, the trails still exist and lures tourists to follow the trade paths of ancient China. It takes you through the Gobi Desert, to the Tian Shan mountains and through Central Asia and into the Mediterranean.

It still remains the most well known trading route of China and is a popular trip for adventurous tourists who wish to experience and explore the ancient Silk Road. There are many tourism companies who provide tours of the routes which can be the best way of going about it especially with the added commentary.