The Silk Road, singular, is a bit of a misnomer as it was actually a series of trade routes that spider-webbed across Asia. The best-known curved north-west out of Xi'an, China, and it was this route that was traced by our plane, above wide dusty expanses of empty space.
Quick glimpses at my GPS revealed names of old desert oases that had hidden Buddhist treasures since antiquity. The last of these, Urumqi, was shaded by the heavenly Tien Shan, which, from 10,000m in the air, was a network of steep crags in a a foreboding landscape.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Thank you for reading The Straits Times
You have reached one of our Premium stories. To continue reading, get access now or log in if you are a subscriber.
What is Premium?