Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tea Horse Road

For over a thousand years, tea was carried from China to Tibet in exchange for Tibet's prized horses. Porters would follow part of the mountainous route in sandals, carrying more than their own weight in tea.

National Geographic writer Mark Jenkins followed what remains of this ancient route -- part of it with his wife, mountaineer Sue Ibarra -- and in the process learned a lot about the geography of Tibet and Sichuan, as well as the geography of tea. The online version of "The Forgotten Road" includes all of the photographs by Michael Yamashita that accompanied the May 2010 article, and a few extras. Inexplicably, it does not include the excellent map of Tibet and northwest China that appear in the print version.

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