|Chang Jiang (Yantse)||Datong||Lhasa - Tibet||Mogao Caves||Mt.Wutai|
|Silk Road||Taiyuan||The Great Wall||West Lake||Yunnan Stone Forest|
China's vast western region is accessible to travelers along the classic Silk Road, although historically, the trade route was never called such until a German geographer gave it that romantic name in the late 1800s. In AD 200, this transcontinental route linked the Roman Empire in the west with the imperial court of China. Trade along the route was carried on by foreign traders who belonged to neither of the two old empires.
Before the discovery of the sea route to India, the Silk Road was the most important connection between the East and West. It experienced its last great era during the time of the Mongol Empire. This ancient trade route starts in the old capitals of Luoyang and Xi'an (then called Chang'an), reaches the Yellow River at Lanzhou, then skirts westward along deserts and mountains before dividing into three routes at the oasis of Dunhuang. The great part of the Silk Road threads its way through Xinjiang. Ancient travelers left behind many historical records and invaluable relics.