What did Vasco Da Gama and Zheng He have in common?

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Vasco da Gama and Zheng He were both maritime explorers mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries. Both explored in the Indian Ocean.

Vasco da Gama was from Portugal and was the first European to travel to India by sea. His first voyage, which departed on July 8, 1497, led...

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Vasco da Gama and Zheng He were both maritime explorers mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries. Both explored in the Indian Ocean.

Vasco da Gama was from Portugal and was the first European to travel to India by sea. His first voyage, which departed on July 8, 1497, led to the discovery of a sea route to India from Europe. Vasco da Gama sailed to the port city of Calicut located along the Malabar Coast on the western coast of India. He traveled around Africa to India to arrive there. Vasco da Gama's reasons for his voyage were gold and "to come in search of Christians and spices" (meaning to convert Christians). On his way to India, Vasco da Gama visited ports along the coast of Africa, Mozambique, Mombasa, and Malindi.

Zheng He (born as Ma He) was from China and sailed under the command of the Yongle Emperor, who sponsored seven of his expeditions. Zheng He was appointed admiral in control of the fleet and became the commander of one of the largest fleet of ships to sail for trade. His first voyage left Suzhou on July 11, 1405 with 317 ships and around 28,000 crewmen. Zheng He travelled all around the Indian Ocean from Southeast Asia to the Horn of Africa and Arabia. He exported goods such as gold, silver, porcelain, and silk, and imported goods such as ostriches, zebras, camels, and ivory.

Both of these explorers, Vasco da Gama and Zheng He, sailed to bring honor to their countries trading in gold and silver and bringing back exotic and practical commodities that changed Europe and Asia forever. Zheng He, although not the first voyager from China to sail in the Indian Ocean, connected China to the rest of the Indian Ocean by the sea rather than on land with the Silk Road. His huge fleet proved how powerful China was as a trading force. Vasco da Gama did the same thing when he discovered a direct sea route from Europe to India, connecting Europe to the Indian Ocean in a new way.

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