Silk Road ​- Ancient Sino-Western Trading Route

​​​​​​​​​Last Update: 16th October 2020

The Silk Road on the Land originated in the Western Han Dynasty (BC 202 – 8 AD). The Emperor Wu of Han sent Zhang Qian to the Western Regions to open up the land passage with the then capital of Chang’an (now Xi’an) as the starting point, through Gansu, Xinjiang, to Central Asia, West Asia, and connected to the Mediterranean countries.


The Maritime Silk Road is a sea passage for the trade and cultural exchanges between ancient China and foreign countries. The Maritime Silk Road was formed during the Qin (221 BC – 207 BC) and Han (202 BC – 8 AD and 23 – 220 AD) Dynasties. It developed from the Three Kingdoms (220 – 280) to the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618) and flourished during the Tang (618 – 907) and Song (960 – 1279) Dynasties. It was transformed during the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1912) Dynasties. The Maritime Silk Road is the oldest known sea route.

Silk Road ​Fast Facts

  • Chinese Name: Sichou Zhilu (丝绸之路)
  • History: first used from 202 BC and 8 AD
  • Things to do there: Photography, Silk Road, Chinese History and Culture
  • Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Chinese History and Culture Lovers
  • Time required: Over a week 

What to expect at the Silk Road

Although the Great Wall of China (Jinshanling) has been renovated, it is much less touristy compared to Great Wall of China (Badaling) and Great Wall of China (Mutianyu). It is easy to hike on the Great Wall. The Great Wall of China (Jinshanling) is a paradise for photographers.


There are several best points for sunrise at Jinshanling – West Six Holes Tower (西六眼楼), West Five Holes Tower (西五眼楼), General Tower (将军楼), Sanchakou (三岔口), Small Jinshan Tower (小金山楼), Gaojian Tower (高尖楼), Flower Tower (花楼), and Guaijiao Tower (拐角楼).


At dawn, the Great Wall of China is like a sleeping dragon. When the sunlight spray the wall gradually, you will be amazed at the breathtaking views. If you are interested to admire the sunrise at Jinshanling, it is recommended that you stay overnight at one of farmer inns which are at the foot of the mountain one day ahead. For the stunning sunrise, you should get up at 04:00am in the early morning or you could get up at some time based on the month when you are planning to visit Jinshanling. It always takes about 30 to 60 minutes hike to the best points for sunrise at Jinshanling from one of the farmer inns. If you don’t like to get up early in the morning, you also can rent the camping equipment at one shop for the camping equipment or just take your own equipment. Then, you could camp at Jinshanling and don’t need to rise so early.


As for the sunset at Jinshanling, the best points are the West Five Holes Tower (西五眼楼),and General Tower (将军楼). If you are planning to enjoy the sunset at Jinshanling, it is suggested that you enter the scenic area at 17:00pm in summer and please check the sunset time ahead of time.

Best time to enjoy the Silk Road

The Silk Road features various landscapes, therefore, you can explore the route at any time around the year.


How to get to the Silk Road

Based on your schedule and preferences, you can get to any one city along the Silk Road by train or by air.


Additional Silk Road Travel Advice

  • You can explore the scenic spots along the Silk Road based on your preferences.
  • The Silk Road features a variety of spots with different pricing. Please view the related pages for the travel guide on our website to get more detailed information.
  • Please check out the weather forecast on the spots and the local taboos you are interested to visit beforehand as there are many ethnic minorities living along the Silk Road.

Interested in visiting Silk Road on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including Silk Road among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.