The Old Silk Road

January 22, 2018
China Category


Discovering The Old Silk Road

An ancient route that helped shape China’s past and present, and now continues to do so in the foreseeable future.

Why Silk Road?

When people think about silk, the first thing that comes to mind is a feeling of luxury, prestige, and exclusiveness.

This remarkable textile material is indeed quite expensive due to its unique properties and manufacturing process.

Some bugs (most famously, the silkworm and moth caterpillars) can indeed produce protein fibers. These can be woven into textile products, such as clothing items, drapes, curtains and more. Silk fabric, originally created in China, didn’t take long to became one of the country’s most sought-after commercial export.

Chinese silk was so popular throughout the world, it allowed China to grow its international trading infrastructures and commercial relationships. This early network of trading routes is commonly referred to as “The Silk Road”. It extended from China to other regions in the Middle East, South East Asia, Japan and even Europe.

More importantly, the Silk Road wasn’t just a way to trade merchandise, products and other goods: people set out to share ideas, beliefs, culture, knowledge, and even spiritual creeds, which made their way throughout the whole ancient world, causing ripple effects that have impacted the progress of human civilizations.


One of the oldest and most significant international trading networks

Today, international trade is not only commonplace but essential, and if you consider that this network was established around 120 BCE and was in use pretty much up until the 1400s, the feat is remarkable.

Connecting the west to the far east, the Silk Road allowed China to develop its trading networks, as well as cultures to influence one another via the exchange of products and the widening of one of the earliest global markets.

Many modern-day tourists love to trace the steps of ancient merchants and visit locations throughout the Silk Road network. In China, Silk Road itineraries often includes prominent cities, such as Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Then of course there is the stunning Dunhuang region, the Jayu Pass and the city of Linxia.

From as early as the 7th Century, Muslims traders visited China, with Linxia one of the main city stops on the route. Over time a significant Muslim population grew and flourished. So much so that Linxia, became known to Chinese Muslims as the Mecca of China. Due in part to its prominence during the early years of Islam in China and where many Islamic Sufi traditions were taught in China. Just a couple of hours drive from Lanzhou, home of the famous Muslim dish, Lanzhou Niuro Lamien (Hand pulled beef noodles), it is a must stop inclusion on any Muslim Halal China tour.

Nomad Travel can help

We have partnered with professional Silk Road specialists from each region ensuring your adventure is safe, enjoyable and definitely memorable.

Nomad Travel will not only escort you through the wonderful areas of China and the Silk Road as part of its Muslim China Tour, but we’ll also share all we have learnt of the earliest Muslims that visited and were invited to settle in China. The integration and adoption of Chinese culture while holding on to core Islamic beliefs, saw the early Muslims go from being known as the people of the Arab religion to being ethnically known as the Hui, making up one of the main Chinese ethnics groups today.

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