The Other Silk Road

June 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Related Interests

Archaeological evidence has shown that one of the world’s major maritime trading routes went overland through the south of Thailand in ancient times.

Many people know about the famous Silk Road, the West-to-East and vice versa route taken by Marco Polo and other Western explorers. However, very few people know there was a silk road through the south of Thailand that for centuries served foreign traders who transported goods by sea from the Greek and Roman empires to China and back. “The [Thai silk road] route started from a point on the west coast of Thailand on the shore of the Andaman Sea and ended on a southern shore of the Gulf of Thailand, in Surat Thani. Using this Thung Tuk-Laem Pho (Takua Pa-Ban Don Bay) route, traders did not have to sail along the Straits of Malacca, which was a longer route and full of pirates, to reach the South China Sea,” said Capt Boonyarit Chaisuwan, an archaeologist at the 15th Regional Office of Fine Arts in Phuket. He said in the first century the world’s maritime trading routes, called the world system, linked Eastern Europe and India, Southeast
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