Image – Marco Polo and his travels

When Marco Polo discovered the “mystique of the Orient” and began trading with China via the now-famous “Silk Road” in the 13 century, he was limited to the size of his caravans trotting across rough terrains to deliver these coveted products to Europe.  While he became enormously wealthy and famous from his adventures, his trading business with China was done mostly through Mongolia, where he was favored by Kublai Khan who made him serve as his emissary to India and then Burma.  His route was through the northern route via Mongolia and while he traveled deep into China, his trading business paled in comparison when traders reached China via crossing oceans to the southern part of China in the 16 century.  Marco Polo opened Europe’s eyes to this exotic land known as Cathay then and paved the way for future traders to truly exploit the trade, especially when they introduced opium as a commodity to trade for these exotic merchandise.  Marco Polo would not have approved…