The World’s Longest Shipping Lane in Tang Dynasty
2015-January-27 Source:
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Ships and sailors on the Long Voyage

The world's longest shipping lane in Tang dynasty, was a trade link between Asia and East Africa. It was also one of the maritime silk roads at that time.

Extending 14,000 kilometers, this shipping lane started at Guangzhou, one of the largest commercial cities and treaty ports in China at that time, and then split into two main routes. The west route traveled through Straits of Malacca, traversing the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka and reaching the destination of Persian Gulf's two ports—Obala and Bastra. Starting from here, Arab Empire's capital—the present Baghdad could reached by foot. The southwest route passed through Vietnam, Singapore, and then ranged to Java Island and Sumatra.

Silk, porcelain, tea and copper-iron wares were the most prominent exports among the broad range of goods transported along this shipping lane. Imports were mainly extremely real treasures like spices and exotica plants for court's enjoyment. Most of the travelers were eminent monks, scientists, painters and translators who could also be called emissaries of cultural integration.

This longest shipping lane not only introduced Chinese culture and science, such as architecture cultivation, paper making method and compass to the West, but also opened a new door for Chinese to witness foreign cultures.

Guangzhou throughout thousand-year history, as the starting point of those shipping lanes, is the land of departure that Chinese culture began to influence the world and those ships of Tang Dynasty travailing in the Persian Gulf can be seen as the best footnote for the achievement.


Editor: Jecey
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