Ancient Tea-horse Road

Across the dangerous hills and rivers of Hengduan Mountain Range, in the wild lands and forests across “the Rooftop of the World”, a mysterious ancient road winds and wonders. It is one of the most heart quaking roads on this planet. For thousands of years, numerous caravans had been quietly traveling along it. Standing on the Road, you can still see clearly the some-70cm-deep holes in the stone plates by stamping of horse hooves. And it seems they have numerous stories to tell. The aged Mhanee altars on roadside are engraved with all sorts of religious scriptures and mottos. This, is the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, one of the world’s highest and most precipitous ancient roads which carries and spreads civilization and culture.

The Ancient Tea-Horse Road is a passage formed by tea-horse trading in ancient China between agriculture area of the inner land and remote nomadic areas. Tea-horse trading is an activity carried out based on “tea” from central area and “horses” from remote minority area. As an important means for economic exchange between Han regions and minorities regions, it played a crucial role in communicating among different ethnic groups both economically and culturally. “The Ancient Tea-Horse Road” is a post road formed by trading of tea and horses in the past between northwest Yunnan and southeast Tibet. Along this ancient road, there are the best natural scenery and cultural sites of China. Proper development will make the road one of the world’s best areas for traveling. The tourist development of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road has been included in China’s “10th five-year-plan for tourism” as part of the associated regional strategies.


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