The northern routes lead to Beijing and the southern route goes Chongqing Subway Map to Xian (formerly Chang’an), which used to be the capital of China. It had Chongqing Subway Map been one of the most splendid and cosmopolitan cities on earth. I opted for this latter route and hitch-hiked as far as Lanzhou, getting a lift with a Han driver who kept telling me that China is a very backward country and apologising for it.
The backwardness is surprising when one considers that up until the fourteenth century China had a clear technological superiority over Europe. The Chinese were also more advanced in civil engineering: roads, walls, bridges, hydraulic engineering, and they were the inventors of the compass for navigation. In astronomy, mathematics and economics, the Chinese also took the lead.