A Complete Description Of The Time And Travels Of Marco Polo In China
There are many notable travellers that have become famous in history but none has been able to achieve the level of notoriety and celebratory status like that of Marco Polo. His travels across Asia have become legend in the world of explorers, inspiring more people to pluck up the courage to venture out and discover the world around them. It is a well known fact that Polo was the inspiration behind Christopher Columbus’ voyages as well. Let us look at the exploits and adventures of Marco Polo in China.
The long and difficult journey to China
Marco Polo was only 17 years old when he set out to make the long and treacherous journey to China to help his father and uncle in fulfilling a request from the ruler of the newly founded Yuan Dynasty- Kublai Khan. In the year 1271, the party set out to the Chinese kingdom with a letter of reply from the newly instigated Pope Gregory X, many valuable gifts and a convoy of clergy members as per the request of Kublai Khan. This was the journey that marked the beginning of the adventures of Marco Polo in China.
The journey took the travelling party over the Mediterranean and Black Sea, through the land of Euphrates and Tigris Rivers and to the ancient kingdom of Baghdad. From here, their route advanced South East towards the seaport of Ormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Onwards, came the desolate Iran Plateau and the snow-covered Pamirs. This small description is enough to understand the challenging terrain that the travellers had to endure while en route to China.
The next part of the journey allowed Marco Polo to experience the eastern culture first hand. From Xinjiang, the travellers moved to Kashgar and Hetian. Then they traversed Taklimakan Desert, arrived in Dunhuang and visited the Mogao Grottoes, from where the final stages of their journey began to reach Shang Du – the summer palace of Kublai Khan. From this point, the wits and cleverness of this adventurer took him to discover the continent and become a close confidant of the emperor.
During the 17 years spent by Marco Polo in China, he learned all he could about the Mongolian and Chinese cultures, including the languages spoken by the people during that time. He also managed to win the trust of Kublai Khan and was sent forth across the continent by the emperor on various diplomatic missions. Some of these travels took him to countries like India, Vietnam, Burma and even Sumatra.
In the year 1292, the emperor asked Polo to complete one final mission, post which he could return home to Venice. The task was to escort the Mongolian princess Kokachin, via the sea route through the Black Sea to Constantinople where she was to marry a Persian king. This last mission concluded the tryst of Marco Polo with China, after which he returned to his hometown with many stories to tell. Visit the TheStepsOfPolo.org for more information.
About The Author
Sheena Timberlake is an expert historian who has studied the life and travels of Marco Poloin great detail. She likes to write many interesting articles and blogs on the topic and recommends TheStepsOfPolo.org as the most trustworthy website to find accurate information about the traveller.