The Silk Road

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor’s in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

Chris has a master’s degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Discover what the Silk Road is. Learn about its history and why the Silk Road trade was so important. Also discover what ideas were traded on the Silk Road. Updated: 09/07/2021

Table of Contents

What Is the Silk Road?

The term Silk Road refers to an extensive trade network that stretched from East Asia to Europe and parts of Africa; it is more accurate to talk about Silk Roads in the plural instead of the singular.

Where is the Silk Road, or its significant routes, located? The Silk Roads began in several parts of Eastern China. They extended south into the Pacific and Indian Oceans and included several major maritime trade routes to India and Ethiopia, among other places. Overland, the roads passed through what are now Mongolia, Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and Italy; many other countries were significant stops along the Silk Roads. Overall, the Silk Roads covered more than 4,000 miles of land from end to end.

What purpose was the Silk Road used? For centuries, the Silk Roads were used for trade, transporting valuable goods over great distances. In addition to goods, the roads also served as transportation routes for ideas, religions, people, and even diseases. As early as 1000 BCE, the roads were used and continued to be important well into the Renaissance; the earliest evidence of trade is Chinese silk found in Egypt. At one point, parts of the Silk Road were closed due to the fall of the Roman Empire; however, they reopened in the 13th-century, where their use flourished more than ever.

A section of the Silk Road in Central Asia

Who Made the Silk Road?

Evidence of trade across the space that later became the Silk Roads dates back to at least 1000 BCE; it was not until around 130 BCE that the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) in China opened trade routes with other countries, reaching as far as Greece and Rome. This opening marked the true beginning of Silk Road history when the routes started to form, and the infrastructure that allowed trade to continue began to be built.

Some of the most major roads had formal names, like the Persian Royal Road that spanned from the ancient Persian capital of Susa to the Aegean Sea. Like the Darb Zubayda that ran from Kufa to Mecca, other roads were used both for trade and as religious pilgrimage routes. For a while, some of the significant Silk Roads stopped functioning as the empires that protected them fractured into smaller states. However, the Mongols, a massive 13th-century empire, conquered much of Asia, eliminating the power of these smaller kingdoms and fully reopened the roads. The Silk Roads reached their peak during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 CE), established by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan.

Why is the Silk Road Called the Silk Road?

The answer is quite simple; silk was one of the most critical goods traded along the Silk Roads; however, the term Silk Road is a relatively modern invention: the term was first used by a geographer named Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877.

China produced much high-quality silk coveted throughout other parts of Asia and much of Europe; the material was challenging to produce and luxurious, leading to high prices. Under Marcus Aurelius’s rule, Roman society had a particular love of Chinese silk, trading a variety of goods in exchange. In addition to silk, the roads were a vector for ivory, tea, spices, fabrics like wool and cotton, and precious metals.

Follow the Silk Road

I’ve heard of following the Yellow Brick Road, but a Silk Road? Now the magical Land of Oz is just going overboard. Actually, the Silk Roads were very real and were a series of trade routes that spread across Asia and connected China to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. They were named this because of the very lucrative silk import and export business that brought many merchants to China. All in all, the various routes that comprised the Silk Roads crossed 4,000 miles of the Eurasian supercontinent. That’s a lot of roads!

The Silk Roads were major factors in history because they allowed for people, objects, and ideas to spread quickly across the Eurasian continent. Commercial products, such as silks, spices, livestock, gems, and minerals, were passed between merchants. People as diverse as soldiers, monks, pilgrims, and diplomats travelled the continent. Philosophies, religions, ideas, and technologies passed between kingdoms.

Even disease may have travelled the Silk Roads; some experts think the Black Death, the plague that hit Europe, entered through rats following Silk Road merchants. In the 13th century, the Silk Roads dramatically changed European society. But before we can discuss that, we need a little background on the Silk Roads.

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  • 0:08 Follow the Silk Road
  • 1:21 Background
  • 2:22 The Khans & Renaissance Europe
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary

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Tea was important in Silk Road trading

Silk Road Trading

The Silk Roads were some of the most extensive trade networks in world history before modern globalization. In addition to those listed above, Silk Road trading heavily featured the following:

Horses and slaves were typically traded from the West to the East, while gunpowder and gems (and silk) were generally traded from East to West.

It is essential to understand that travel and trade along the Silk Roads did not take quite the same forms that many people think of today when they imagine traveling merchants. Very few people, if any, traveled the entire way across the Silk Roads from China to Europe. Much more commonly, merchants would travel back and forth across a relatively small section of the road, selling their wares to other merchants who would take them the next leg of the journey.

The short distances allowed many people to make a living as Silk Road merchants and made the cost of goods rise as they made their way across Asia and Europe. Some cities were trade hubs where several routes converged, in some cases becoming powerful enough to emerge as city-states in their own right. It was also common for inns and small towns to crop up along the trade routes to cater to traveling merchants.

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What Ideas Were Traded on the Silk Road?

With so many people from different countries meeting and trading goods, the prospect of ideas, philosophies, and religions was bound to spread just as physical trade goods did. Notably, Christianity spread across Europe and Asia, mainly from the Roman Empire; Buddhism spread from India to China and beyond. Trade routes like the Darb Zubayda mentioned above, which also served as Hajj pilgrimage routes, encouraged the spread of Islam. The experiences of merchants provided fodder for stories in their home countries of strange lands and people, causing the dual effect of broadening people’s horizons and encouraging the spread of Orientalism in Europe.

Scientific and technological discoveries also proliferated across the Silk Roads. Europe, for instance, benefitted from China’s inventions of paper and early printing techniques, as well as the Islamic world’s mathematical discoveries. Sharing ideas and technologies was mutually beneficial for all countries touched by these roads, accelerating their advancement.

Trading Plague and Disease on the Silk Road

Unfortunately, goods and ideas were not the only things that traveled along the Silk Roads with the merchants. Historians now suspect that the bubonic plague, which caused the Black Death, originated somewhere in Asia. It reached Europe through the transmission of fleas and infected individuals along the Silk Roads.

In the 1300s, the Black Death killed about one-third of the European population (50 million people) within ten years in one of the worst disease outbreaks in human history. The spread of disease was one of the major negative consequences of such an extensive trade route.

Invading the Silk Road

The Silk Roads were well-established, often clearly marked roads that spanned hundreds of miles, making them an ideal asset for any armies seeking to invade parts of Asia or Europe. Parts of the roads were closed when the Roman Empire fell, and China lost some of its power, allowing smaller kingdoms to claim parts of the Silk Roads and disrupt trade.

The Mongols used the Silk Roads during their invasion of much of Asia in the 13th-century, but ultimately they were a boon to trade, reopening and facilitating trade along the roads. The end of the Silk Roads’ prominence came in 1453 CE when the Ottoman Empire closed its trade routes to Europe. Even then, some parts of the Silk Road continued to operate.

Why Was the Silk Road Important?

Camels were used for travel on many parts of the Silk Road

It would be almost impossible to overstate the Silk Road trade’s impact on the people of Asia and Europe. Despite the downsides of the routes, like their ability to facilitate disease, the Silk Roads enriched people and nations all across Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa.

Science and philosophy could advance more rapidly than they otherwise would have because of the increased communication between different groups of people. People could make connections with one another that would not have been possible without the infrastructure that supported so many trade routes.

Animals and crops were traded along the routes, which helped China to grow its population and improved the quality of life in Europe. As a result of new wealth, Europe improved its education, literacy rates, and art. The mercantile class emerged in full force because of the Silk Roads and a class of artisans. World history would be almost unimaginably different without the existence of the Silk Roads.

Modern Silk Road Trading

Although the Silk Roads were primarily closed in the 1400s, they never entirely disappeared and are still relevant today. In the 20th-century, old road trade routes helped China during the Japanese invasion in World War II. Some routes that were once Silk Roads are now significant highways in Europe and Asia, connecting people and being used for trade just as they always have been. Old parts of the Silk Roads are now tourist attractions, primarily in China; in this way, they still contribute to the Chinese economy. Additionally, some ocean routes that were part of the Silk Roads are still used for maritime trade, while others are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Perhaps the most significant legacy of the Silk Roads is how they set the stage for contemporary global trade; they were the most developed trade arteries of their time. Much of the knowledge of how to establish and maintain trade networks comes from that time.

Lesson Summary

The Silk Roads were trade routes that connected Europe and Asia and still exist today. They had a massive impact on life in Europe and Asia for centuries, particularly in the Renaissance. A new mercantile and artisan class developed, Europe improved its literacy rates, art, and architecture, and major trade cities became rich and powerful enough to become independent city-states.

There was a time when some of the older Silk Roads fell out of use when the empires that had protected them fell, allowing smaller kingdoms to take control. In the 13th-century, however, the Mongols became a massive empire that conquered most of Asia. They reopened the Silk Roads by dismantling the kingdoms that had limited trade, flourishing again.

A Little Background on the Silk Roads

People had been trading across Asia for millennia. In fact, Chinese silk has been found in Egypt that dates to 1000 BCE. The first true Silk Roads, however, were developed by China’s Han dynasty around 200 BCE when they began building real roads that were protected by troops and forts.

The original Silk Roads were crucial in the development of nearly every Asian and Middle-Eastern culture because these trade routes helped spread ideas, technology, and wealth. Major players in the Silk Road trade included China, India, Persia, Armenia, and Syria. Even the ancient Greek and Roman empires both heavily participated in the Silk Roads and traded their knowledge and products for ivory, spices, technology, and minerals.

A lot of money travelled the Silk Roads. As we can imagine, this made them targets to other powers. After Rome fell in the 5th century, less people travelled from Europe on those roads and they became less safe. Around 300 years later, the Tibetans captured crucial points on the trade routes and China lost control, effectively spelling the end of the Silk Roads.

The Khans and Renaissance Europe

In 1207, a great Mongol leader named Genghis Khan united the Mongol tribes and started a conquest of Asia. Under Genghis Khan, the new Mongol Empire dominated the continent. At its height, the Mongol Empire covered over 12 million square miles. 12 million square miles! That is still one of the largest empires in history.

European merchants hadn’t been able to get to China for centuries because the Silk Roads were controlled by dozens of different kingdoms that either taxed or killed foreigners for passing through. Suddenly, the Mongol Empire controlled taxes and foreign policy, and the Silk Roads opened up once again.

The reopening of the Silk Roads had an incredible impact on Europe. After centuries in the Dark Ages, where peasants lived in poverty and literacy was low, suddenly new wealth came flowing into Europe. The need for merchants to handle the import and export business created a middle class, and that money spread throughout society.

People had more money and time for things like books and education. The wealthy used their money to commission public works of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Artisans and craftsmen were busy with work and developed professional organizations called guilds. Cities grew so much in size and power that many, like Venice, became their own independent governments without being part of any other kingdom or empire; these are called city-states.

Lesson Summary

The Silk Roads were a series of trade routes that connected Europe and Asia. In ancient times, the Silk Roads served to connect people across the Eurasian supercontinent, but once the powerful empires that maintained it fell, smaller kingdoms seized control of portions of the roads. They either charged foreigners high taxes or killed them, so trade pretty much stopped.

Until, that is, the Mongol Empire rose in the 13th century and conquered almost the entire Asian continent. As part of one massive empire, the kingdoms lost the ability to control the ancient trade routes individually, and the Silk Roads reopened for business. Suddenly, new wealth began flowing into Europe from import and export trade. This created a healthy class of merchants and artisans and supported education, literacy, art, and architecture.

The trade cities, particularly in Europe, grew so powerful that they became independent governments called city-states. Together, these were the defining features of a new era of European civilization called the Renaissance.

Learning Outcomes

After you’ve reviewed this lesson, practice what you learned:

  • Summarize the Silk Roads during ancient times
  • Describe the impact of the Mongol Empire on the Silk Roads
  • Explain the effects of the reopening of the Silk Roads and its contributions to the Renaissance
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Follow the Silk Road

I’ve heard of following the Yellow Brick Road, but a Silk Road? Now the magical Land of Oz is just going overboard. Actually, the Silk Roads were very real and were a series of trade routes that spread across Asia and connected China to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. They were named this because of the very lucrative silk import and export business that brought many merchants to China. All in all, the various routes that comprised the Silk Roads crossed 4,000 miles of the Eurasian supercontinent. That’s a lot of roads!

The Silk Roads were major factors in history because they allowed for people, objects, and ideas to spread quickly across the Eurasian continent. Commercial products, such as silks, spices, livestock, gems, and minerals, were passed between merchants. People as diverse as soldiers, monks, pilgrims, and diplomats travelled the continent. Philosophies, religions, ideas, and technologies passed between kingdoms.

Even disease may have travelled the Silk Roads; some experts think the Black Death, the plague that hit Europe, entered through rats following Silk Road merchants. In the 13th century, the Silk Roads dramatically changed European society. But before we can discuss that, we need a little background on the Silk Roads.

A Little Background on the Silk Roads

People had been trading across Asia for millennia. In fact, Chinese silk has been found in Egypt that dates to 1000 BCE. The first true Silk Roads, however, were developed by China’s Han dynasty around 200 BCE when they began building real roads that were protected by troops and forts.

The original Silk Roads were crucial in the development of nearly every Asian and Middle-Eastern culture because these trade routes helped spread ideas, technology, and wealth. Major players in the Silk Road trade included China, India, Persia, Armenia, and Syria. Even the ancient Greek and Roman empires both heavily participated in the Silk Roads and traded their knowledge and products for ivory, spices, technology, and minerals.

A lot of money travelled the Silk Roads. As we can imagine, this made them targets to other powers. After Rome fell in the 5th century, less people travelled from Europe on those roads and they became less safe. Around 300 years later, the Tibetans captured crucial points on the trade routes and China lost control, effectively spelling the end of the Silk Roads.

The Khans and Renaissance Europe

In 1207, a great Mongol leader named Genghis Khan united the Mongol tribes and started a conquest of Asia. Under Genghis Khan, the new Mongol Empire dominated the continent. At its height, the Mongol Empire covered over 12 million square miles. 12 million square miles! That is still one of the largest empires in history.

European merchants hadn’t been able to get to China for centuries because the Silk Roads were controlled by dozens of different kingdoms that either taxed or killed foreigners for passing through. Suddenly, the Mongol Empire controlled taxes and foreign policy, and the Silk Roads opened up once again.

The reopening of the Silk Roads had an incredible impact on Europe. After centuries in the Dark Ages, where peasants lived in poverty and literacy was low, suddenly new wealth came flowing into Europe. The need for merchants to handle the import and export business created a middle class, and that money spread throughout society.

People had more money and time for things like books and education. The wealthy used their money to commission public works of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Artisans and craftsmen were busy with work and developed professional organizations called guilds. Cities grew so much in size and power that many, like Venice, became their own independent governments without being part of any other kingdom or empire; these are called city-states.

Lesson Summary

The Silk Roads were a series of trade routes that connected Europe and Asia. In ancient times, the Silk Roads served to connect people across the Eurasian supercontinent, but once the powerful empires that maintained it fell, smaller kingdoms seized control of portions of the roads. They either charged foreigners high taxes or killed them, so trade pretty much stopped.

Until, that is, the Mongol Empire rose in the 13th century and conquered almost the entire Asian continent. As part of one massive empire, the kingdoms lost the ability to control the ancient trade routes individually, and the Silk Roads reopened for business. Suddenly, new wealth began flowing into Europe from import and export trade. This created a healthy class of merchants and artisans and supported education, literacy, art, and architecture.

The trade cities, particularly in Europe, grew so powerful that they became independent governments called city-states. Together, these were the defining features of a new era of European civilization called the Renaissance.

Learning Outcomes

After you’ve reviewed this lesson, practice what you learned:

  • Summarize the Silk Roads during ancient times
  • Describe the impact of the Mongol Empire on the Silk Roads
  • Explain the effects of the reopening of the Silk Roads and its contributions to the Renaissance

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

What Ideas Came From The Silk Road

Curative herbs, ideas of astronomy, and even religion also moved along the Silk Road network. Arabs traveled to India and China, Chinese to Central Asia, India, and Iran. Buddhism itself was carried along these roads from India through Central Asia to Tibet, China, and Japan.

Just so,what ideas came out of the silk road?

The Silk Road allowed the exchange of science, technology, language, culture, philosophy, and religious beliefs between the societies along its route. Our modern world wouldn’t be what it is today without it.

Additionally,what was invented on the silk road? The West benefited from four inventions from China that were to shape the new world (and its new order): paper and its manufacture, printing techniques, gunpowder and the compass.

Additionally,what goods and ideas came from africa on the silk road?

But in the heyday of the Silk Road, merchants travelled to Africa to trade for rare timbers, gold, ivory, exotic animals and spices.

What were the three major impacts of the Silk Road?

For example the route contributed to the spread of Islam, with many Arab Muslims travelling along the Silk Road to China in order to spread the Islamic faith. Additionally Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Nestorianism were all introduced to China and parts of India because of the Silk Roads influence.

Table of Contents

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out what ideas came from the silk road.

What was the greatest impact of the Silk Road?

The greatest impact of the Silk Road was that while it allowed luxury goods like silk, porcelain, and silver to travel from one end of the Silk Road

Why was the Silk Road given its name? Silk Road Economic Belt Even though the name “Silk Road” derives from the popularity of Chinese silk among tradesmen in the Roman Empire and elsewhere in Europe, the material was not the only important export from the East to the West.

Who controlled the Silk Route?

The best-known of the rulers who controlled the Silk Route were the Kushanas, who ruled over central Asia and north-west India around 2000 years ago. Their two major centres of power were Peshawar and Mathura. Taxila was also included in their kingdom.

Who controlled the Silk Road? With the defeat of Antiochus, Mesopotamia came under Parthian rule and, with it, came control of the Silk Road. The Parthians then became the central intermediaries between China and the west.

What was the most popular way to travel the Silk Road?

The most well-known route is the one from China to Turkey, via Central Asia and Iran. Other routes travelled to Arabia, India, and Southeast Asia. 2 – This post will focus on the Central Asian Silk Road: Most travellers who plan a trip to the Silk Road visit the Central Asian ‘stans and China.

Who built the Silk Road? The Silk Road was established by China’s Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) through territorial expansion. The Silk Road was a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction between the West and East.

What would you touch on the Silk Road?

Taste: New Food When you are on the silk road you will taste some great new things. You will taste foods from different parts of the world. You will also taste things like figs, walnuts, and grapes.

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How did the Silk Road impact culture? The trade routes known collectively as the Silk Road not only allowed merchants throughout Asia and Europe to exchange goods — such as Chinese silk, Byzantine gold, and Indian spices – but they also introduced people in disparate parts of the continent to new beliefs, systems of government, literary genres, musical Dec 26, 2009

Who benefited the most from the Silk Road?

How The Ancient Silk Road Pioneered Globalization

Everyone (East and West) benefited from the Silk Road. It opened up trade, communication, different ideas, culture, and religion to the entire world.

How did the Silk Road Benefit China? The Silk Road was important because it helped to generate trade and commerce between a number of different kingdoms and empires. This helped for ideas, culture, inventions, and unique products to spread across much of the settled world.

How did the Silk Road help the economy?

The Silk Roads stretched across Eurasia, connecting East and West for centuries. At its height, the network of trade routes enabled merchants to travel from China to the Mediterranean Sea, carrying with them high-value commercial goods, the exchange of which encouraged urban growth and prosperity.

How did the Silk Road impact us today? How does the Silk Road affect us today? Many items we use every day would be unavailable to us if not for Silk Road trade. The exchange on the Silk Road between East and West led to a mingling of cultures and technologies on a scale that had been previously unprecedented.

Does Silk Road still exist?

This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 23 September 2021. Silk Road 2.0 shut down by FBI and Europol on 6 November 2014. Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs.

What city benefited the most from the Silk Road? Answer: The correct answer is d which is Cairo. ‘Silk Road’ is in actuality a generally ongoing term, and for most of their long history, these old streets had no specific name.

Crash Course Silk Road

Who profited from the Silk Road and why?

The main people who profited from the Silk Road were the wealthy merchants who could afford to finance a trading expedition that would takes years and

Why did the Silk Road end? The speed of the sea transportation, the possibility to carry more goods, relative cheapness of transportation resulted in the decline of the Silk Road in the end of the 15th century. During the civil war in China the destroyed Silk Road once again played its big role in the history of China.

How did the Silk Road Work?

Case 76: Silk Road (Part 1)

The Silk Road was an online black market where buyers and sellers of illegal or unethical items could transact anonymously. Utilizing privacy techniques such as the Tor network and cryptocurrency transactions, people were able to transact in drugs, hacked passwords, illegal data, and other contraband.

Where is silk route in India? Silk Road sites in India are sites that were important for trade on the ancient Silk Road. There are 12 such places in India. These are spread across seven states in India (Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Where did the Silk Road begin and end?

Abstract : It is generally believed that the Silk Road started from Chang’an and the end of the Silk Road was in Daqin, the ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empire. The Silk Road was the main transportation route connecting ancient China with Western Europe, which is as long as more than 14,000 miles.

Who first invented silk? According to Chinese legend, Empress His Ling Shi was first person to discover silk as weavable fibre in the 27 th century BC.

Why did kings control the silk routes?

The Kushanas used to rule over central Asia and north-west India. They ruled around 2000 years ago. They used to demand payments for allowing traders to pass through the silk route; thus, earned huge income in the form of taxes.

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How to travel the Silk Road

The Silk Road is one of the world’s most famous and evocative routes. Named after the trade which sprang up in response to the demand for Chinese silk, its origins can be traced back over 3000 years.

Merchants exchanged goods such as horses, furs, jade and ivory for silk. This in turn led to trading posts springing up along the route, which over time grew into wealthy and important cities, such as Samarkand and Bukhara in Uzbekistan.

It wasn’t just goods which travelled the Silk Road, but in time everything from ideas and religion to cuisine and even disease. We’ve brought some of this to life in a Silk Road infographic.

WHERE DOES IT RUN TO AND FROM?

The Silk Road Map

Rather than a single road, the Silk Road was more like a network of different routes. At its full length, it stretched from Xi’an in eastern China to Constantinople, now Istanbul. Different branches stretched on alternative routes, to the Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia, across to the Middle East and over sea routes to North Africa.

WHICH PARTS SHOULD I SEE?

silk road travel guide

That depends on what you’re after.

SCENERY: KYRGYZSTAN

Kyrgyzstan (above) is hard to beat in terms of breathtaking scenery, with landscapes of grassy steppe, primal forests and turquoise lakes, along with the remote and striking “Mountains of Heaven”.

It’s also the place to experience nomadic culture: sleep in traditional yurts, meet eagle hunters and enjoy watching nomad’s horse-games. Our Kyrgyzstan Explorer trip spends two weeks uncovering this natural beauty, through walks, stays in yurts, horse rides and some unforgettable drives through the mountain scenery.

how to travel the silk road

CULTURE: UZBEKISTAN

If it’s the cultural legacy you’re searching for, head to Uzbekistan for the architecturally splendid ancient cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, filled with elaborately tiled mosques, emerald domes, impressive fortresses and palaces all with fascinating histories.

Discover the legacy of great rulers such as Babur, who conquered northern India and became its first Mughal emperor, to Tamerlane, one of the last great nomadic conquerors of Central Asia, who built many of the stunning monuments of Samarkand and Bukhara on our Uzbekistan: Land of Silk Road Treasures tour.

But if you can’t choose – don’t worry! Combine elements of both, for instance on our Mountains and Cities of the Silk Road tour, spending time in both Kyrgyzstan’s beautiful mountains and Uzbekistan’s wondrous cities.

THE UNUSUAL: TURKMENISTAN

Beyond this, Turkmenistan offers unique travel experiences, with an ostentatious marble-clad capital like no other and the ever-blazing phenomenon of the Darvaza Gas Crater.

Iran is experiencing a travel renaissance since it re-opened to western tourists, with a wealth of fascinating culture and history, stunning mountain scenery and an exceptionally friendly and hospitable populace.

THE FULL MONTY:

For those with the time to spare, our epic 47-day Great Silk Road Adventure travels the entire route end-to-end, through six contrasting countries and 15 UNESCO sites.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?

Silk Road Travel

“Surprisingly better than expected!” most of our travellers delight in telling us.

Signature dishes include laghman (hand-pulled noodles with meat) and plov (a slow-cooked rice dish – see photo above). Whilst there is a lot of meat, the region is not as un-vegetarian friendly as you might assume. From pumpkin-stuffed dumplings to beetroot soup and an abundance of aubergine and fresh tomato salads, there is plenty by way of meat-free alternatives.

Read our blog on the food of the Silk Road from Wild Frontiers’ Mike, who spent time there last summer. Travel and food writer Caroline Eden has recently published a wonderful cookery book Samarkand celebrating the cuisine of Central Asia and we discuss the main flavours and popular dishes with her here.

ANY CULTURAL THINGS TO BE AWARE OF?

the silk road travel

Travelling to Central Asia and the Silk Road, like travelling anywhere, requires an open mind and a respect for different cultures. With these in hand, you are bound to have both a revealing and rewarding visit. Particular issues crop up from country to country and on any of our trips we will always send you detailed notes on anything to be aware of beforehand.

Examples of such issues include things like pretty vigorous border checks into countries like Uzbekistan, alongside alcohol not being permitted and women being required to cover their hair in Iran.

Source https://study.com/learn/lesson/what-is-the-silk-road-why-is-silk-road-important.html

Source https://www.whyienjoy.com/what-ideas-came-from-the-silk-road/

Source https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/blog/how-to-travel-the-silk-road

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