How did Polo reach Peking in The Travels of Marco Polo?

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Marco Polo had been spending time with Kublai Khan at his famous pleasure palace in the great city of Xanadu (modern-day Shangdu). The two men got along famously—so much so that Kublai Khan trusted Polo to be his special envoy on diplomatic missions to neighboring countries. The Italian explorer even...

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Marco Polo had been spending time with Kublai Khan at his famous pleasure palace in the great city of Xanadu (modern-day Shangdu). The two men got along famously—so much so that Kublai Khan trusted Polo to be his special envoy on diplomatic missions to neighboring countries. The Italian explorer even claimed that Kublai Khan appointed him as governor of Yangzhou, though this cannot be independently verified.

Nevertheless, the bond between Kublai Khan and Marco Polo was undoubtedly very strong. The great Mongol ruler was such good friends with Polo that he gave him the rare privilege of witnessing the construction of his new winter capital, Daidu, which is now Beijing, the capital of China.

Polo marveled at the sheer size and scale of the new city, with its miles and miles of walls arranged into the form of a perfect square. He also observed the glazed roof tiles of many colors that shone like crystal as far as the eye could see. Polo further stated that there was so much coal available in Daidu that people were able to take three hot baths a week, a custom that would've seemed highly unusual to Polo's European contemporaries.

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