Southern Silk Road Route ​- the Southern Silk Road Route is a route through China

Last Update: 16th October 2020

Southern Silk Road Route – playing an important part in the exchange between China and other countries in the ancient times


The Southern Silk Road is an ancient international channel through the two provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan in the Southwest China, connecting Myanmar and India to the countries of Southeast Asia, West Asia and Europe. Along with the Northern Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road It is one of the main channels for the foreign trade and cultural exchanges in the ancient times.

Southern Silk Road Route ​Fast Facts

  • Chinese Name: Nanfang Sichou Zhilu (南方丝绸之路)
  • History: built between 199 BC and 100 BC
  • Things to do there: Photography, Ruins, Chinese History and Culture
  • Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Chinese History and Culture Lovers
  • Time required: 10 – 12 x days

What to expect at the Southern Silk Road Route

The west route of the Southern Silk Road starts from Chengdu through Yunnan and India to Central Asia, West Asia and the Mediterranean region of Europe. It is the earliest Sino-West traffic route recorded in the historical documents. The middle route of the Southern Silk Road starts from Sichuan through Yunnan to Vietnam and Indo-China Peninsula. It was recorded as Butou Road or Jinsan Road in the historical documents. The eastern route of the Southern Silk Road is called Yelang Road starting from Sichuan through Guizhou, Guangxi and Guangdong to the South China Sea.


Dating back to 4,000 years ago, there were several passages in the Sichuan Basin from the south to the coast, and to the present Myanmar and India. Some important archaeological discoveries, such as sea shells and ivories unearthed in Sanxingdui, Chengdu, conch and ivories in Daxi culture, glass beads unearthed in Maoshan and Tushan in Chongqing. All the articles were not produced locally, but from the South China Sea in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. All of them fully prove that the Bashu ancestors have had exchanges with the people in the southern world.


The Bashu culture, the Yunnan culture, the Yelang culture and Buddhist culture, the Bimo culture, the Dongba culture and other colorful minority cultures along the Southern Silk Road are all important parts of the Southern Silk Road cultural heritage. Along the road, you could explore the not only old ruins but also the local culture, such as Sanxingdui and Dujiangyan Irrigation System in Chengdu, Erhai Lake and Old Town in Dali, Shizhong Mountain Grottoes in Jianchuan and Sichuan Museum, etc.

Best time to enjoy the Southern Silk Road Route

The best months to explore Southern Silk Road Route are from April to October.


How to get to the Southern Silk Road Route

As many high-speed trains and airplanes reach the cities along the Southern Silk Road Route, you can get to Chengdu or Chongqing or Kunming first by plane. Many airlines have opened the route to Chengdu or Chongqing. Therefore, it is recommended that you visit Chengdu or Chongqing first. Then, you can go to other cities along the route by high-speed train or by air.


Additional Southern Silk Road Travel Advice

  • Compared to Northern Silk Road Route, the Southern Silk Road Route is full of power supply with enough water. Therefore, you needn’t worry the water or power supply along the route.
  • Please take care of your valuables and kids during the trip.
  • Please check out the weather forecast beforehand.
  • In April, it is the rain season in Yunnan.

Interested in visiting the Southern Silk Road Route on a Tour?

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