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This is a simple (but free and ad-free) app to pretend to walk the Silk Road. It is currently in beta test, determining if there is sufficient interest. We are doing a Kickstarter to raise the money for art and to see if there is sufficient interest.

If released, the app will have 3 paths initially, between:

  • Istanbul, Turkey and Samarkand, Uzbekistan (northern route, through Tehran)
  • Antalya, Turkey and Samarkand, Uzbekistan (southern route, through Isfahan)
  • Ctesiphon, Iraq and Samarkand, Uzbekistan (southern route, through Isfahan)

If I can get enough images, I will add these soon:

  • Samarkand, Uzbekistan and Turfan, China
  • Samarkand, Uzbekistan and Chang’an China (known today as Xi’an)

With enough interest, it would be great to add southern routes between Balkh and Sravasti and Allahabad.

Users can walk the roads in either direction.

The app will allow users to submit other roads (spreadsheet and images) which will be shared. There might be a one-time cost ($0.99) for using shared roads.

Why Samarkand?

Ever since I can remember, ‘Samarkand’ evoked an exotic, exciting, very different world. I didn’t know anything about it, probably heard it mentioned in the movies, “Tales of Arabian Nights”, stories of Marco Polo or other random source, might even have been comic books! But ‘Samarkand’ stuck in my brain as exciting and ‘cool’.

I became interested in world history in my 40s, and started reading about the Silk Roads. I have recently returned to that interest and am reading a half dozen books on the history of Central Asia and the Silk Roads. Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads” was my favorite book read in 2020 and S. Frederick Starr’s book “Lost Enlightenment” is my favorite book read so far in 2021.

And I love archaeology — what better place for that? Çatalhöyük, Antakya (Antioch), Jerusalem, Damascus, Ctesiphon (ancient capital of Persia), Isfahan, Yazd, Nishapur, Ashgabat, Jeitun, Merv, Bukhara, Samarkand — I’m coming!

Is this educational?

Maybe not strongly educational, but it might increase interest and awareness of the awesome history (many images are archeological) of Central Asia.

Comments and Support

Please send any feedback, comments, suggestions, bugs to our feedback page:

Current plans, bugs, comments on bugs, and FAQ are on our Trello board: