กก
Curiosity > Landscape
Advanced Search
E-Mail This Article Print Friendly Format
Tea-horse Ancient Road

 Tea-horse Ancient Road

For thousands of years, only humans and horses treaded the mountains of Southwest China as they followed an ancient pathway through the Chinese hinterlands and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Along the unpaved and rugged pathway that was formed, commodities like tea, salt and sugar flowed into Tibet. Meanwhile, horses, cows, furs, musk and other local products made their way to the outside world. The road was called the tea-horse ancient road, and it stretched across more than 4,000 kilometers, mainly through Southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The ancient commercial passage first appeared during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It also experienced the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties - or a period of more than 1,200 years. The road promoted exchanges in culture and religion, and saw ethnic migration that closely resembled what was experienced on the well-known Silk Road.

Along the ancient road lived more than 20 minorities. Concentrations of beautiful and mysterious natural landscapes and traditional cultures developed in various sites, including Dali old city, Lijiang old city, Shangrila, Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, Potala Palace. The road features temples, rock paintings, post houses, ancient bridges and plank roads. It is also home to many national minorities and their dances and folk customs.

 Two major routes

Roughly speaking, there were two main routes:
Route One: Begins in Ya'an in Sichuan Province to Qamdo via Luding, Kangding, Litang and Batang before merging with Route One into Lhasa.

Route Two: Begins in Xishuangbanna and Simao, home of Pu'er tea (via Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, Benzilan and Deqeng) in Yunnan Province to Zugong, Bamda, Rewoqe, Zayu or Qamdo, Lholung, Benba, Jiali, Gongbogyangda, Lhasa, Gyangze and Yadong in Tibet, before continuing into Myanmar, Nepal and India.

Tens of thousands of traveling horses and yaks created a definite pathway with their hooves on the once-indiscernible road. Today, although even such traces of the ancient road are fading away, its cultural and historic values remain.


Page: 1234

All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.