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Map of Maldives - Ma Huan 1451


Ma Huan was born in Hui Ji county of Zhejiang province. He was a Muslim voyager and translator who accompanied Admiral Zheng He on three of his seven expeditions to the Western Oceans.

In the 1413 expedition (the 3rd), he visited Champa, Java, Sumatra, Palembang, Siam, Kochi and Hormuz.
In the 1421 expedition, he visited Malacca, Aru, Sumatra, Ceylon, Kochi, Calicut, Zufar and Hormuz.
In the 1431 expedition, he visited Bengal, Chittagong, Sonargaon, Gaur, Calicut. From Calicut, he was sent by Eununch Hong Bao as emissary to Mecca.

During his expeditions, Ma Huan took notes about the geography, politics, weather conditions, environment, economy, local customs, even method of punishment for criminals. Returned home on his first expedition, he began writing a book about his expedition, the first draft of which was ready around 1416. He expanded and modified his draft during later expeditions, the final version was ready around 1451. The title of his book was Ying-yai Sheng-lan (The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores).
from Wikipedia April 2009


english version of Ma Huan map of Maldives 1400s

Chinese original:
original chinese map of Maldives by Ma Huan


places visited during Chinese voyages to central Indian Ocean , early 1400s

















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