The Silk Road is a network of ancient trade routes which ran from China to the west and was used by many travelers from the 2nd century BC to the end of the 14th century AD. The north, south and central Silk Road routes are still followed today but now it is by adventurous travelers keen to see the historic ancient cities and attractions along the route. Along the Silk Road there are many highlights including the cities of Xi’an, Urumqi, Turpan and Lanzhou. In addition here are three more amazing cities you could see on a Silk Road tour.
This mystical city is near the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the westernmost region of China. The history of this city goes back more than 2,000 years. During the height of the Silk Road it was one of the major trading posts and the meeting point of the Eastern and Central branches of the Silk Road. Today the city is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and visited by tourists on Silk Road tours. The convergence of many cultures makes Kashgar a fascinating city to explore. Kashgar is said to have the biggest bazaar in Asia.
This city in Gansu Province is best known for being close to the Juyong Pass, the first pass of the Great Wall of China and the Silk Road. The Pass joins the city of Jiayuguan, the city of Yumen, the snow covered Qilian Mountains and the expansive Badain Jaran Desert in the north. Many years ago the mountain pass was the site of many inns used by traders on their route between east and west. The city is the site of many ancient attractions related to the Silk Road and the Great Wall like the Overhanging Great Wall and the First Fire Tower. The city is known for its culture as well as its historic landmarks. While in Jiayuguan on a Silk Road tour try to see the traditional Qinqiang Drama. The scenic sites in the area include the July 1st Glacier and in the city there is the Wei-Jin Art Gallery and Jiayuguan Museum.
This city is located close to where Gansu, Xinjiang and Qinghai meet. When the Southern Silk Road was at its height Dunhuang was an important trade center between China and the west and was China’s most westerly frontier military garrison. The Southern Silk Road led to India via Lhasa to Mongolia and Southern Siberia. The city was even more important along the trade route as it stands at the entrance to the narrow Hexi Corridor which leads directly to Xi’an. Important points of interest in the area include the Yangguan Pass, Echoing Sand Mountain, White Horse Pagoda, Night Market, Crescent Lake and Yumenguan Pass. The most famous site near the city are the Mogao Caves or the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. Here there are 492 temples in dug out caves along the cliff side running for about 2km. the caves contain Buddhist art going back 1,000 years.