Cultural Travel and Following the Silk Route

When it comes to cloth, silk, and textiles, I will  jump on a plane today to explore the mysteries of how cloth, textiles and culture are intertwined. Cultural travel and following the silk route is a journey that is becoming more and more popular, and here’s why. Cloth and textiles reveal story, culture and beliefs in the most profound way. While textiles do not endure the test of time, the fragments and pieces left behind, tell us much about the beliefs and values of cultures long ago. One of my favorite scholars on textiles and the story behind cloth, is Elizabeth Barber. Her books led me to an interesting book about the Cherchen mummies in western China. Cultural travel and following the silk route is important for those of you who are textile buffs, or for people who want to explore culture in a three dimensional way throughout time. Here is one tour company who has been around for a really long time.

“Two thousand years after these routes were first opened by Chinese Han Dynasty emperors through outposts like Samarkand, Bukhara, Kashgar and Karakoram, a new kind of traveler equipped with cameras and iPads instead of swords and steeds is fascinated by the ruins and mystique of the long vanished caravans,” Weber said. Weber has led groups of travelers over portions of the Silk Route in China, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghistan and Tajikistan.


Even for the die hard cultural travelers, there are some places in the world that require a guide. Seeing the silk route with a guide who is culturally sensitive to the time line and significant ingredients on the silk route is really essential. In this way, 14 days can be a rather condensed information and travel package that is sensible and meaningful for the textile lovers of the world. Cultural travel and following the silk route is “a lifetime experience” unmatched by any other. The Cherchen mummies alone are worth a trip into the desert of the Tarim Basin. See the full article about cultural travel following the silk route here.

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