Ancient Tea Road
trading network of caravan paths through southwest China
The Ancient Tea Road (Tea-horse Ancient Road, Southern Silk Road) was a network of caravan paths winding through the mountains of southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and Tibet Autonomous Region, stretching over 4,000 km.

From around a thousand years ago, the Ancient Tea Route was a trade link from Yunnan, one of the first tea-producing regions to India via Burma; to Tibet; and to central China via Sichuan Province. The Ancient Tea Route consists of two main routes. One starts from Ya'an in Sichuan Province via Luding, Kangding and Batang before reaching Nepal and India. The other route begins in Xishaungbanna, home of Pu'er tea via Dali, Lijiang and Tibet before arriving in Myanmar, Nepal and India.

It is believed that it was through this trading network that tea (typically tea bricks) spread across China and Asia from its origins in Pu'er county in Yunnan. In addition to tea, commodities like salt and sugar flowed into Tibet and horses, cows, furs and other local products were carried to the outside world. The Route also promoted exchanges in culture and religion among the ethnic groups living along the road.
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