In the past, the Silk Road brought the wealth of the great Chinese Dynasties to the west - back when Europe was the west. For thousands of years, the map of the Silk Road stretched from the port city of Guangzhou, traveling overland through Xian (now more famous as the home of the Terra Cotta Warriors), and across the heart of China through Persia, and to the Mediterranean where ships would take goods to between Rome.
The actual Silk Road map was almost 2,500 miles and was instrumental in the opening of both the east and the west at a time when the European continent was quite insular. Although Silk Road history has largely been commandeered by the tourist industry in order to make itself more attractive to the foreign dollar, the spirit and cultural importance of the ancient path continues to intrigue and inspire a great number of travelers.
There was also a maritime route that traveled from the port of Guangzhou to Indonesia, India, East Africa, and up the Red Sea. Before the building of the Suez Canal, goods were transported overland and via the Nile River through Egypt and to the Mediterranean. On any Silk Road map (whether maritime or overland), you will see many branches, similar to a Great Wall of China map.