The ancient Tea-Horse Road was a trade route mainly through Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. In ancient times, people in Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces exchanged tea for horses or medicines with people in Tibet. The tea, the medicine and other commodities were transported by mabang – groups of travelers with horses, the special mode of transportation in the south-western region of ancient China – and thus the pathway was called the Tea-Horse Road.
The Tea Horse Road or chamada (simplified Chinese: 茶马道; traditional Chinese: 茶馬道), now generally referred to as the Ancient Tea Horse Road or chamada (simplified Chinese: 茶马古道; traditional Chinese: 茶馬古道) was a network of caravan paths winding through the mountains of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou in Southwest China. It is also sometimes referred to as the Southern Silk Road. The route extended to Bengal in South Asia.