The Silk Road: Xi'an to Kashgar


The early trade in silk was carried on against incredible odds by great caravans of merchants and animals traveling over some of the most inhospitable territory on Earth, including searing, waterless deserts and snowbound mountain passes. Beginning at the magnificent ancient Chinese city of Chang'an (Xi'an), the route took traders westward along the Hexi Corridor to the giant barrier of the Great Wall, then either north or south of the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar before continuing on to India and Iran, or ...
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The early trade in silk was carried on against incredible odds by great caravans of merchants and animals traveling over some of the most inhospitable territory on Earth, including searing, waterless deserts and snowbound mountain passes. Beginning at the magnificent ancient Chinese city of Chang'an (Xi'an), the route took traders westward along the Hexi Corridor to the giant barrier of the Great Wall, then either north or south of the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar before continuing on to India and Iran, or farther to the great cities of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. For today's traveler, it is not only the weight of history that makes the Silk Road intriguing, but the incredible diversity of scenery and ethnic people along the way. This beautifully photographed and intelligent book is the authoritative guide to travel in the region.

• New edition
• Uniquely focused guidebook to western China, Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi and by rail to Central Asia
• Fauna and flora of the mountain and desert regions
• Practical information including border crossings to Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian republics
• Historical overview of the Silk Road
• Details of the region's ethnic peoples, arts, crafts, histories and cultures
• Comprehensive list of websites for further research and reading
• Over 47,000 copies in print
• 104 color photos and 15 maps
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Editorial Reviews

I especially recommend The Silk Road, a good general tour guide on the region.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789622177611
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publication date: 10/31/2007
  • Series: Odyssey Illustrated Guides Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 806,137
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Bonavia spent some 30 years in Asia, living in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China, where she traveled extensively. She is now resident in France. Christoph Baumer studied philosophy, psychology and art history at the University of Zü rich and holds a doctorate. He has traveled extensively in Central Asia, China and Tibet, and publishes books and articles on themes relating to the history, archeology, and religions of these areas. When not traveling, Baumer lives in Switzerland.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 14
Chronology of Periods in Chinese History 16
A Short History of the Silk Road 17
Caravans and Trade Routes 18
Religion and Art 20
The Fall of the Silk Road 28
Facts for the Traveller 30
Getting There 30
Visas and Customs 30
Itineraries: Organized Tours and Independent Travel 32
Useful Websites 35
Getting Around 36
Transportation 36
By Air 36
By Rail 36
By Road 37
Health and Altitude 37
Climate and Clothing 38
Money and Costs 39
Accommodation 40
Food and Drink 41
Habits, Customs and Culture 42
Time and Communications 43
Holidays 43
Red Tape 44
The Chinese Language 44
Explanation of Pinyin 44
Vocabulary 46
Shaanxi Province 52
Xi'an 52
City Sights 58
City Walls and Gates 58
Bell Tower 59
Drum Tower 59
Great Mosque 59
National Museum of Shaanxi History 60
Shaanxi Provincial Museum 62
Little Goose Pagoda and Da Jianfu Temple 63
Big Goose Pagoda and Da Ci'en Temple 66
Sights Around Xi'an 67
East of Xi'an 67
Banpo Museum 67
Huaqing Hot Springs 67
Qin Terracotta Army Museum 70
Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi 73
West of Xi'an 74
Tomb of Emperor Han Wudi 74
Tomb of Huo Qubing 74
Imperial Tombs of the Tang Dynasty 74
Nestorian Da Qin Pagoda 75
Taoist Lou Guan Temple 75
South of Xi'an 75
Temple of Flourishing Teaching 75
Straw Hut Temple 76
Xi'an Practical Information 76
Xi'an to Baoji 79
Gansu Province 83
Tianshui 84
Tianshui Practical Information 86
Lanzhou 86
Sights 90
Gansu Provincial Museum 90
Parks 91
Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves 91
Lanzhou Practical Information 93
Southern Gansu 113
Dongxiang Autonomous County 113
Linxia 114
Sights 121
Bei Dajie 121
Hong Yuan 122
Wan Shou (Longlife) Taoist Temple 122
Lianhua Mountain 122
Linxia Practical Information 122
Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture 128
Xiahe 128
Sights 129
Labrang Monastery 129
Xiahe Practical Information 132
Hezuo 132
Sights 132
Hezuo Pratical Information 133
Hexi Corridor 134
Wuwei 135
Sights 136
Kumarajiva Pagoda 136
Haizang Temple 136
Leitai Han Tomb 137
Wuwei Museum 137
Dayun Temple and Bell Tower 137
Wuwei Practical Information 138
Yongchang 138
Shandan 139
Zhangye 139
Sights 140
Giant Buddha Temple 140
Horse's Hoof Monastery 141
Zhangye Practical Information 141
Jiuquan 144
Sights 146
Jiuquan Museum 147
Jiuquan Yuan 147
Wenshushan Caves 147
Jiuquan Practical Information 148
Jiayuguan 150
Jiayuguan Pass 150
Jiayuguan Practical Information 153
Jiayuguan to Dunhuang 158
Anxi 159
Dunhuang 162
Sights 163
Mogao Caves 163
Mingsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake 171
Dunhuang County Museum 176
White Horse Dagoba 176
Yumenguan and Yangguan Passes 176
Dunhuang Practical Information 178
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 182
Anxi to Hami 185
Hami 185
Sights 190
Tombs of the Hami Kings 190
Gai Si's Tomb 190
Hami Cultural Office Museum 190
Lafuqueke 191
Hami Practical Information 191
Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture 191
Yining 196
Yining Practical Information 199
Qapqal Xibo Autonomous County 202
Huocheng County 206
Sayram Lake 207
Urumqi 207
Sights 211
Yanghang Mosque 212
Southern Mosque 212
Street Life 212
Parks and Hills 213
Xinjiang Regional Museum 213
Urumqi Practical Information 216
Southern Pastures 218
Heaven Lake 218
Ancient City of Wulapo 220
Urumqi to Turpan 220
Turpan 226
Sights 229
Turpan Regional Museum 232
Emin Minaret 233
Karez 233
Grape Gorge 233
Ancient City of Jiaohe 236
Ancient City of Gaochang (Kharakhoja) 236
Astana Tombs 240
Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves 240
Tuyoq 241
Flaming Mountains 242
Moon Lake 242
Turpan Practical Information 243
Turpan to Korla 244
Korla 246
Korla Practical Information 247
Kucha 255
Sights 256
Kucha Mosque 259
Molena Ashidin Hodja's Tomb 259
Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves 259
Ancient City of Subashi 263
Kizil Kara Buddhist Caves 263
Kumtura Caves 263
Kucha Practical Information 263
Aksu 266
Aksu Practical Information 267
Aksu to Kashgar 267
Kizilesu Kirghiz Autonomous County 268
Kashgar 270
Sights 273
Idkah Mosque 279
Abakh Khoja's Tomb 279
Chini Bagh 280
Three Immortals Buddhist Caves 280
Ancient City of Hanoi 281
Opal 281
Kashgar Practical Information 281
The Southern Silk Road 293
Yengisar 296
Shache 296
Yecheng 306
Hetian 306
Sights 312
Hetian District Museum 315
Silk and Mulberry Research Centre 316
Ancient City of Yotkan 316
Ancient City of Melikawat 316
Ancient Stupa of Rawak 317
Hetian Practical Information 317
Beyond Hetian 320
Sights 320
Mazar Tagh 320
Dandan Oilik 320
Karadong and Yuan Sha 326
Minfeng (Niya) 326
Qiemo and Zaghunluk 329
Ruoqiang (Charkhlik) and Miran 330
Lop Nor 331
New Discoveries 335
The Karakoram Highway 337
Tashkurgan 338
Tashkurgan Practical Information 339
Khunjerab Pass 339
Recommended Reading 340
Index of Places 345
Main Routes of the Old Silk Road
Modern Xi'an 56
Walled City of Xi'an 61
Historical Sites in the Xi'an Area 68
Eastern Silk Road 80
Lanzhou 85
Linxia 120
Dunhuang 177
Physical Map of China 180
Xinjiang 184
Yining 198
Urumqi 210
Turpan 228
Kucha 258
Kashgar 277
Special Topics
The Image of the Buddha 22
Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism 25
Early Chinese Travellers of the Silk Road 96
The Earliest Discoveries of Buddhist Relics 99
Sir Aurel Stein 100
Albert von Le Coq 109
Sven Hedin 112
The Golden Horde 116
The Baoan and Salar of Jishishan County 125
The Great Wall 154
Uygur Food, Drink and a Few Words 188
The Sword of Purity 192
Karakhoto: The Black City 195
Horses 203
Xinjiang's Superlatives 221
The Uygurs 248
Peaches, Paper and Rhubarb 252
The Great Game 284
Two Early Foreign Travellers 292
The Silk Secret 300
Islam Akhun 313
The Tarim Highway 322
Nature on the Silk Road 332
Literary Excerpts
Sir Mark Aurel Stein on delicate negotiations 105
C P Skrine on exotic banquets 142
Wu Ch'eng En on scriptures at a price 174
Vikram Seth on cross-cultural relations 224
John Pilkington on breaking down on the Silk Road 254
William Dalrymple on a Uygur movie outing 275
Mildred Cable on bed bugs and vermin 297
Mao Tun on praying for a silk harvest 304
Barry Holstun Lopez Desert Notes 314
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