Ankur Shah: Silk Road Explorer Investigating Progress of Belt and Road Projects

Ankur Shah (安然) is a Yenching Scholar at Peking University and National Geographic’s Young Explorer. He earned a degree in Chinese and Russian from the University of Edinburgh. During his studies he spent 15 months living between Sichuan and St Petersburg and worked on the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok. Afterward, Ankur worked at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on the organization’s Silk Road Online Platform.

The desire to explore saw Ankur partake in a 23,000km Silk Road expedition, sponsored by the National Geographic, driving from Venice to Xi'an. Ankur spent 4 months retracing the footsteps of Marco Polo across 16 Silk Road countries, researching China's Belt and Road initiative, interviewing key stakeholders and visiting 16 Belt and Road projects across Eurasia.

Following the expedition, Ankur returned to London and worked as an analyst at a leading political risk consultancy in the firm's Former Soviet Union team. Now based in Beijing, Ankur is researching the Sino-Russian strategic partnership, and more specifically, how the BRI will collaborate and compete with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. 

On this podcast, Ankur Shah shares his observations from his visits to Belt and Road Project’s sites and stories from his expedition following footsteps of Marco Polo along the Silk Road.

More information on the team's expedition can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/thesilkroadexpedition/.

Listen to the Podcast below in English or Chinese!


Before listening to the podcast, watch a 3-minute trailer of the upcoming “105 Nights” documentary about the expedition that Ankur took part in.

Click here to see today’s Silk Road: Vimeo Link 

Click here to watch on Youku (优酷): Youku Link


Ankur Shah (安然)