Photos from “Silk Road” Tour in Western China

The East-West Center in partnership with China Discovery Tours organized an all-inclusive tour that featured historic sites along the “Silk Road” in Western China, and also included the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai.

Between September 27th and  October 16th, 2010, a total of 28 participants visited 8 beautiful cities in China and over 40 touring sights. 20 started in Bejing and 8 joined the group in Urumqi.

The close-knit group not only did tour sighting but also participated in a number of lectures on China’s history, culture and civilization relevant at the various locales they visited such as Tiananmen Square and the Mogao Caves (considered one of the greatest repositories of Buddhist art in the world).

The East-West Center Alumni Association is very grateful for the generous donation from the “Silk Road” Tour participants to the EWCA Student Endowment Fund.

About the “Silk Road”

The designation of “Silk Road” was not used until the German Sinologist Baron Ferdinand von Richthoven coined it in the 1870s. In actuality, it was the route from China to the Middle East opened in the first century BCE for commercial purposes, with the trading of porcelain, furs, spices, gems, silver, gold, amber, and ivory, in addition to silk. Inevitably, such commercial activities led to cultural communications. The Silk Road was the route the Tang dynasty monk Tripitaka (or Xuanzang, 7th century) took to India to bring back Mahayana Buddhist scriptures to China, as well as the route Marco Polo (13th century) took to get from Italy to China and back. The communications brought on, if not wholesale inter-culturation, at least important mutual influences that have helped shape the world as we know it today.