The Silk Roads, 3rd: Routes through Syria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China

Overview

The greatest trade route of all timeThe ‘Silk Road’ was never a single thread across Asia but an intricate web of shorter routes – Silk Roads – which together linked the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. This guidebook is the first to cover these routes in their entirety and with it you can retrace the Golden Road to Samarkand, follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Marco Polo, and travel the length of the Great Wall of China. With detailed information on over 10,000km (6000 miles)...
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Overview

The greatest trade route of all timeThe ‘Silk Road’ was never a single thread across Asia but an intricate web of shorter routes – Silk Roads – which together linked the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. This guidebook is the first to cover these routes in their entirety and with it you can retrace the Golden Road to Samarkand, follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Marco Polo, and travel the length of the Great Wall of China. With detailed information on over 10,000km (6000 miles) of overland routes both by road and rail, this guide includes: Planning your trip – Information for all budgets whether you’re an independent traveller or joining a group Practical information – For travellers in Syria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China 60 city guides with maps – Where to stay, where to eat and what to see in 60 stopovers along the way, including: Istanbul, Göreme, Antakya, Aleppo, Hama, Palmyra, Damascus, Malatya, Erzurum, Do?gubeyazit, Tabriz, Ghazvin, Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashad, Merv, Ashgabat, Konye-Urgench, Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Osh, Bishkek, Issyk Kul, Song Kul, Karimabad, Gilgit, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Kashgar, Kuqa, Turfan, Khotan, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Lanzhou, Xi’an, Pingyao, Datong and Beijing Also includes lesser-known routes – Southern Taklamakan, Kashgar–Rawalpindi (Karakorum Highway), Marco Polo’s route to Xanadu Extensive history of the Silk Roads Useful phrases – Arabic, Farsi, Russian and Chinese Includes 60 maps
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘No nonsense, information-packed guide’ LAM Magazine (UK)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905864324
  • Publisher: Trailblazer Publications
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 956,464
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Wilson is a graduate of History at Oxford University. He has lived and worked in North, South and Central America as well as extensively travelling in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
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Read an Excerpt

The Silk Roads, 3rd

Routes through Syria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China
By Wilson, Paul

Trailblazer Publications

Copyright © 2010 Wilson, Paul
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781905864324

Introduction

For many people the Silk Road conjures up images of caravans of baggage-laden camels ploughing a dusty path across Asia. As the title of this guide suggests, however, the route was never a single superhighway; rather a series of smaller trade paths which, once united, formed an intricate network between the Mediterranean and the Orient. For over one thousand years it was the most important and best-known trade route in the world, transporting not just silk but all manner of exotic goods such as jade, gunpowder and rhubarb. Just as importantly, this increase in interaction brought about the spread of many ideas, beliefs and technological advances, from the invention of paper to the great religions of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Yet it was unusual for an individual traveller to make the entire journey himself; instead, merchants would trade back and forth across their ‘patch’ with goods often changing hands a dozen times before reaching their ultimate destination. Therefore anyone emulating Marco Polo and going the full distance will be creating his or her own little piece of history, joining an exclusive club packed with some of history’s greatest adventurers.

            The Silk Roads tie together some of the most fantastic and romantic attractions in Asia and nearly all the sights which made the routes famous have been preserved. From the mosques of Damascus and the archaeological wonders of Palmyra, the routes wound their way past the standing stones of Nemrut Dagi, skirted Persia’s extravagant palaces, trod the Golden Road to Samarkand and joined up with the Great Wall of China. The list goes on and on.

            Following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, however, and advances in sea travel, the land routes slipped into neglect and obscurity, synonymous as much with danger as with mythical treasures. It was left to the minds of poets and dreamers to drift eastwards past the once glorious cities of Esfahan, Khiva, Xi’an and Xanadu, while real-life explorers ran into the innumerable obstacles presented when crossing so many modern, political boundaries. It was only in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the old USSR, that relatively unrestricted travel to Central Asia became viable. Similarly, Syria, Iran and China are once again welcoming independent visitors, while the opening of the Karakorum Highway revived another significant branch of the Silk Road, this time through Pakistan.

            Thus, despite September 11 and the war in Iraq, all the countries included in this guide are accessible as never before. We have suggested a series of routes and itineraries in each region to take in as many of the old Silk Roads as possible, making it a unique opportunity to witness the marvels that Asia has to offer, before coachloads of the less adventurous arrive.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Silk Roads, 3rd by Wilson, Paul Copyright © 2010 by Wilson, Paul. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION – PART 1: PLANNING YOUR TRIP 1.1 Routes, costs and making a booking – Route options – Costs – When to go – Making a booking – Visas – 1.2 Before you leave – Who to go with – What to take – Vaccinations and health safeguards – Background reading – Internet ResourcesPART 2: THE SILK ROAD 2.1 History – The route – Alexander the Great – Zhang Qian – The Parthian Shot – The Royal Purple – No more secrets – A New Golden Age – The Mongols – Pax Mongolica – The end – Map KeyPART 3: THE MIDDLE EAST 3.1 Facts about the region – Geographical background – History – The people and their religion – 3.2 Practical information for the visitor – The route – Documents – Climate – Accommodation – Travel agencies and tourist information – Transport – Electricity – Time – Money – Communications – National holidays – Customs and Attitudes – Food – Drink – 3.3 Istanbul History – Istanbul today – What to see – Practical information – 3.4 Cappadocia History – Cappadocia today – What to see – Practical information – 3.5 Antakya History – What to see – Practical information – 3.6 Aleppo History – What to see – Practical information – 3.7 Hama What to see – Practical information – 3.8 Palmyra History – What to see – Practical information – 3.9 Damascus History – Damascus today – What to see – Practical information – 3.10 Malatya/Kahta What to see – Practical information – 3.11 Erzurum What to see – Practical information – 3.12 Dogubeyazit What to see – Practical information – 3.13 Tabriz What to see – Practical information – 3.14 Ghazvin What to see – Practical information – 3.15 Tehran What to see – Practical information – 3.16 Esfahan History – What to see – Practical information – 3.17 Shiraz What to see – Practical information – 3.18 Mashad What to see – Practical information – PART 4: CENTRAL ASIA 4.1 Facts about the region Geographical background – History (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan) – The people – 4.2 Practical information for the visitor The route – Documents – Climate – Accommodation – Safety – Travel agencies and tourist information – Transport – Electricity – Time – Money – Communications – National holidays – Food – Drink – 4.3 Mary and Merv History – What to see – Practical information – 4.4 Ashgabat History – What to see – Practical information – 4.5 Konye-Urgench History – What to see – Practical information – 4.6 Nukus History – What to see – Practical information – 4.7 Urgench Practical information – 4.8 Khiva History – What to see – Practical information – 4.9 Bukhara History – What to see – Practical information – 4.10 Samarkand History – What to see – Practical information – 4.11 Tashkent History – What to see – Practical information – 4.12 The Ferghana Valley History – Practical information – 4.13 Osh What to see – Practical information – 4.14 Bishkek What to see – Practical information – 4.15 Issyk Kul PART 5: PAKISTAN AND THE KARAKORUM HIGHWAY 5.1 Facts about the region Geographical background – History – The people – The Economy – Religion – 5.2 Practical information for the visitor The route – Documents – Climate – Accommodation – Travel agencies and tourist information – Transport – Electricity – Time – Money – Communications – National holidays – Food – Drink – Social customs – Attitudes – Activities – Shopping – 5.3 Passu Practical information – Hiking around Passu – 5.4 The Hunza and Nagar Valleys History 5.5 Karimabad What to see – Practical information – 5.6 Gilgit History – What to see – Practical information – 5.7 Rawalpindi and Islamabad What to see – Practical informationPART 6: CHINA 6.1 Facts about the country Geographical background – History – The people and religion – 6.2 Practical information for the visitor The route – Documents – Climate – Accommodation – Travel agencies and tourist information – Transport – Electricity – Time – Money – Communications – National holidays – Preserving your sanity – Food – Drink – 6.3 Xinjiang Geographical background – History – Kashgar (What to see, Practical information) – Kuqa (What to see, Practical information) – Korla – Turfan (History, What to see, Practical information) – The Southern Taklamakan route (Khotan, Charklik) 6.4 Dunhuang History – What to see – Practical information – 6.5 Jiayuguan History – What to see – Practical information – 6.6 Lanzhou History – What to see – Practical information – 6.7 Xi’an History – What to see – Excursions – Practical information – 6.8 Datong What to see – Practical information – 6.9 Beijing History – What to see – Excursions – Practical informationAPPENDIX Useful phrases INDEX
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