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Ancient Tea Horse Road

Ancient Tea Horse Road was the network of caravan trade routes in Southwest China formed from the trading of tea from Han Chinese and horses from Tibetians. There are two main routes originating from Chengdu and Kunming towards Lhasa. Both routes have their network of secondary routes. From Lhasa the trade route extends to South Asia including Nepal and India.



There are four main ancient tea horse routes wtihin China towards Tibet Lhasa. From Lhasa, there were three main routes to other countries.

The Shanxi-Gansu Tea Horse Road


The Tanggu Ancient Road


The Yunnan Tibet Tea Horse Road
This route started during the Tang Dynasty. It originates fronm Simao District of Puer City and ends in Lhasa. It passes thru Dali, Lijiang and Shari-La City in Yunnan.

The Sichuan Tibet Tea Horse Road
This section starts fron Yaan towards Lhasa. It passes thru Kangding, Luding in Sichuan and Chamdo in Tibet.

Shanxi Gansu Tea Horse Road Main Route:
Shanxi Gansu Tea Horse Road Network:


Tang Ancient Route Main Route:
Tang Ancient Route Network:


Yunnan Tibet Ancient Tea Horse Route Main Route:
Yunnan Tibet Ancient Tea Horse Route Network:


Sichuan Tibet Ancient Tea Horse Route Main Route:
Sichuan Tibet Ancient Tea Horse Route Network:


Lijiang City

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Pingle Ancient Town is a key stop along the Tea Horse Road.

Yunnan Province

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Lijiang City, Lijiang Prefecture

Lijiang is the best preserved town along the Tea Horse Route.

Diqing City,

Tibet Autonomous Region

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