On a hot summer’s day in 1275, three European merchants arrived at the summer palace of Kublai Khan. They had travelled from Venice, Italy in 1271, by way of Persia, all the way to northern China, crossing seas, mountains, and deserts, someƟmes in extreme weather condiƟons. Among them was a young man, of about 20 years of age, by the name of Marco Polo (1254-1324). He was to change how Europeans viewed the East for the next few centuries. According to his own accounts, Marco Polo became a favorite of Kublai Khan and was entrusted with important missions all over China in the Yuan Dynasty. He stayed in the Mongol Empire for 17 years before leaving from Quanzhou in Fujian in 1292 to return to Italy three years later.