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Tea / horse caravan trail

mike4g_air (788 posts) • 0

I'm searching for a documented list of historic bridges and towns on the tea and horse caravan trail ..

Any such thing exist??

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • +5


Mike, I have been slowly but surely going to all the historic towns and villages on the Cha Ma Gu Dao.

I also got some good videos about the Tea Horse Road but they are in Chinese. I got them from the CCTV website.

I have NOT found a complete list as of yet but I am slowly compiling a list of my own.

As for the historic bridges, they are also located on or near the historic towns listed above.


This website lists all the historical places in Yunnan. There are a few bridges here as well.

www.gokunming.com/[...] - Golden Dragon Bridge

Peter99 (1246 posts) • +1

You will have to define Tea Horse Trail and also define where it has been going. Theres no such road with that name historically. Its partly made by the branding industry. But you could roughly sketch out a line from Xishuangbanna to Deqin, sort of, if thats what you mean. Tra caravand and also other caravans. Passing through Puer, Zhenyuan, Jingdong, Weishan, Dali, Jianchuan, Lijiang, Zhongdian and Deqin. Roughly. Theres a book on old Yunnan bridges with pictures, should be found by google. A japanese team also made a long documentary about this route. With English subtitles. And theres plenty books in Chinese language.

Peter99 (1246 posts) • +1

You can also read old books written a hundred years and more back, and get some idea of the trade. Its fascinating landscape and these old books as a great tool for building up a picture of Yunnan trade among other observations. Just to read how Kunming was like a hundred years back is interesting stuff. Some books are written by botanists, some by missionaries, some by merchants etc. Even English teacher of Puyi travelled through Yunnan along the merchants roads. Some of these books can be found in Gutenberg, some in Archives, some from Royal Gepgraphic Society (webpages) etc. To build up an image of, say, early 1900 Yunnan, they are a useful source. Briefing through some wikipedia is fastfood knowledge.

EasternladyEasternlady (3 posts) • +3

@ Mike,

Ancient tea horse road starts from Yi Wu. I have some videos in Chinese if that would be helpful. I heard of about some English books written by an American traveler, will see if I can find more information ^_^

mike4g_air (788 posts) • 0

Thanks all... I found a old bridge 50 km south of Shaxi which is fabulous

and out of place in such a rural area.

I'll post pictures of it..

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

Mike, Please let me know the name of the bridge and in what village and county it is located.

Is it in Jian Chuan county or Er Yuan County?

Peter99 (1246 posts) • +2

Theres Yangbi bridge, but its a bit more than 50km south from Shaxi. Yangbi bridge is one of oldest bridges in Yunnan, if not the oldest still standing. Well worth a stop in Yangbi just to see that bridge. Yangbi used to be a taxation and government station, mainly for caravans going to and coming from Burma. If its south from Shaxi its probably on the old road that went on other side of Cangshan Mt, looked from Dali. Thats mainly caravans from Burma, not the "tea horse road". English used to call it imperial road or tribute road, the part from Burma up to Yunnan. Golden road was also a name, supposedly a lot of the gold made to build Shwedagon came from Yunnan.

Edit: Lets put a guess out here. Mike refers to Tongjing bridge maybe, along Bi-river. A bridge for salt caravans. Wind and rain bridge, for shelter. On the "salt caravan road".


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