>>671483 Before modern technology, there were four major roads between India and China. First, you cross the Hindu Kush, into Central Asia, through thousands of miles of steppe and desert, and then reach the Eastern half of the country that made up most of the country for almost all its history. That's something like 4 or 5 thousand miles over some of the most tallest and treacherous mountains in the world, through steppe lands overflowing with Turko-Mongol raiders, and one of the most inhospitable deserts on the planet.
Another way was through the Himalayas, through a handful of very dangerous and unstable passes dominated by fanatical and warlike mountain tribes, guarding a few hundred more miles of a half dozen more mountain ranges and mountain tribes until you finally get to the aforementioned desert.
Another way is through Indochina, through some thousands of miles of incredibly dense and treacherous jungle, full of warring tribes of course.
Finally, you could take a boat I suppose all the way around Thailand and Malaysia, brave the Indonesian, Philippine, Malaysian, Viet, and Japanese pirates along the way, and finally reach a Chinese port in about 5 or 6 thousand miles, nearly twice the distance of European ports from the Americas.
You might want to pack a few extra pairs of undies.
Not totally related to the question but I feel it should be noted that Indian cultural influence extends greater into Asia than might be readily apparent to a causal western eye today.
Hinduism had presence as far as Indonesia and southern Vietnam, but it seems to have lost a lot of ground to Islam and to a lesser extent Buddhism. Angkor Wat was initially a temple to Vishnu, for example.
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