Many streams and rivers enter the Taklamakan Basin but none flow China holiday allowance out to the sea. It was the existence of such streams and ponds that made it China holiday allowance possible for ancient travellers and camel caravans to pass along the Silk Road, on a route which was marked by a cairn every li (roughly two thirds of a mile).
Two thousand years ago when the Silk Road became important with increased trade, some of the watering places developed into cities, centres of wealth and feudal kingdoms. Nowadays the stone cairns and rutted track have been replaced by a good road; partly dirt and partly asphalt, and it’s used by a lot of traffic.
Gone are the camel caravans; the traffic is trucks, but not Western trucks, these are made in Poland, Russia, East Germany and Japan. In the old days, besides silk, the westbound cargo was weapons, ironware, lacquerwork, furs, ceramics, mirrors and jade; and coming east one would have seen gold, precious stones, ivory, textiles and glass.
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