Marco Polo is the most famous of Europeans who traveled through Asia in the 1200/1300s. This is due to the fact that he wrote a book about the travels he, along with his father and uncle, took from their home in Venice, through the empires of the Mongols, or China, and of Kublai Khan. These journeys lasted quite a long time--the seventeen years they stayed at the court of Kublai Khan was only a part of the time they were away. After their return, Marco Polo was captured and held prisoner during a war with Genoa. During this time, he wrote his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, in which he detailed all the fabulous things he had seen on his journey. Many people read his book, and were fascinated by the variety of goods and people he described. This spurred much exploration and trade of Asia. The enote link below gives a lot of detail about Marco Polo's travels.