Explore the Unexplored: Adventure Along the Ancient Silk Road
Running through the center of the country, the Chinese stretch of the Silk Road covers such diverse surfaces as luxurious flood plains, mountain ranges, and the sands of the Gobi Desert. An expedition along 21st Century Maritime Silk Road this historic trading route allows you to retrace the paths of ancient man made fibre caravans and Marco Polo as well as experience a modern-day once-in-a-lifetime make your way that takes you through the breadth of Chinese culture and areas. Below is a testing of some of the adventures that await you.
Begin in China’s former imperial capital and time-honored Silk Road access point, Xi’an. T ake a day or two here to admire the city’s stately brilliance, embodied in such sites as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the city’s impressive defensive wall, and the world-famous Terracotta Military.
Continue along to the outpost of Jiayuguan to see one of the earliest making it through in one piece parts of the great Wall. Composed of compact earth bricks, this section demonstrates the great Wall in its earliest incarnation.
Next, explore the Yulin Grottos of Ten-thousand Buddha Pit, an extraordinary bunch of 44 caves carved right out of the sheer rock face. Inside the caves, some of which date back to 200 BCE, you’ll find many prime examples of early Buddhist art including hundreds of skillfully painted frescos and vibrant colored figurines of Buddha and various Bodhisattvas.
As the oasis town of a technically major junction between the Upper and The southern area of Silk Road s, Dunhuang was of such tactical importance, it commonly faced one attack after another and many of its systems and defensive walls are still visible today. Dunhuang was also the last frontier for traders, who would refill on precious supplies and water before beginning the arduous make your way into the desert.
Relive the feelings of those ancient traders and explorers as they trigger into the formidable desert by participating in a camel caravan through captivating golden dunes. Spend an unbelievably starry night by the Vocal Sand Hills, where you may even have the chance to hear the ghostly tunes of the sand. As the sun rises, continue out to Crescent Spring, a luxuriant oasis that generally seems to leave behind its arid and barren surroundings.
As you enter the far-west state of Xinjiang, take the opportunity to explore the damages of the ancient city of Gaochang by donkey cart. Abandoned in the 14th century, this former Silk Road trading center was once the largest city in the region, a well known fact made much more surprising as its fallling palaces, Buddhist stupas, and defensive walls are in the process of slowly making under the sands of the forbidding Taklamakan Desert. Not distant are the breathtaking Flaming Hills, the colorful red and orange eroded sandstone inclines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame.
As the last major city before the road rears off into other exotic countries, Kashgar remains true to its trading center heritage. Check out the stands of intricately crafted goods on Zhiren Street or soak in the lively atmosphere of the local livestock market. The city’s highly Muslim influence can be seen in everything from its venerable industrial gems, such as the Id Khar Mosque and Abak Hoja Burial place, to the hospitality of its occupants. Finish your visit with a bit of horse riding through the surrounding oasis and its charming Uyghur and Kazak towns.
The Silk Road was once a major artery of trade and ideas traveling the heart of China. You can still get a sense of its former importance and endless mystique with an expedition down this wonderful road.
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