Why did Marco Polo go to China the second time, even though the journey from Venice to Peking was both long and dangerous?

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The idea that Polo ever explored as far as China is one of historical debate. Historians, however, tend to give his account the benefit of the doubt based on his knowledge of the workings of the Mogul Empire. By his own account, Polo was completely enraptured by the majesty of...

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The idea that Polo ever explored as far as China is one of historical debate. Historians, however, tend to give his account the benefit of the doubt based on his knowledge of the workings of the Mogul Empire.

By his own account, Polo was completely enraptured by the majesty of China. He had met Kublai Khan, the grandson of Ghengis Khan and leader of the Mogul Empire. The idea of a uniform and civilized culture to the east of Europe was dubious to say the least. It is said that Polo was so impressed with China that he had begun making plans to journey there again as soon as he had returned to Venice.

Furthermore, Khan had expressed a fascination with Christianity and had requested that Polo return with members of the Clergy. Though the journey was arduous, Polo again set out in 1271 for China. He faced disease, hardship, and the grueling crossing of the Gobi Desert. Through it all, he reportedly remained fixated on his goal. His trip was apparently worth it, as he described Khan's estate in Xanadu as the most beautiful place in the world.

Though he had not planned it, Polo stayed in China for two decades and even became a governor in the service of Khan.

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