Marco Polo Reaches China - Samantha(8)
by Samantha Bloom
(Scottsdale, AZ USA)
Marco Polo and his Uncle Maffeo and his Father, Niccolo, are now some of the first Europeans to reach China! To get to China he had to travel through the Holy Land, Persia, and Tartary. This took three years! They arrived in 1274.
Marco is now a friend of Kublai Khan and is working as an envoy for him. He is traveling in China. Marco, his uncle, and his father carried letters and gifts from the Pope.
Kublai Khan liked the gifts from the Pope. He gave Marco, Maffeo, and Niccolo very high positions. Marco later said “we had a place of honor above other barons.”
They wanted to make the journey by sea but ships were too dangerous and poorly made. They still went by water a little but mostly by land. They set out in 1271 and traveled 5,600 miles to get to China!
The traveler’s journey was rough. They traveled through the dangerous Gobi Desert, which Marco described as “so long it would take a year to go end to end.”
Marco arrived at Kublai Khan’s summer palace in Shanghai in May. Marco said that the Mongol men do not bother themselves about anything except hunting, warfare, and falconry. The women do all the work.
Marco was born in 1254 in Venice. The Polos went to China to trade European goods for Asian goods.