Trace the Route of Marco Polo on a Map

In order, guess the modern-day countries visited by Marco Polo on his famous journey of the 1200s AD.
Countries must be guess IN ORDER.
If he travels through a country more than once, make sure to guess it every time he goes there!
May differ slightly from his actual route. See pinned comment for details.
Thanks to IAB for CSS troubleshooting!
Quiz by JWatson24
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Last updated: January 17, 2022
First submittedMay 13, 2021
Times taken18,398
Average score90.0%
Rating5.00
3:00
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KEYJourney to China (1271-1275)Return Home (1291-1293)East Asia Travels (1275-1291)
 
Journey to China (1271-1275)
Italy
Israel
Turkey
Iraq
Iran
Afghanistan
Tajikistan
East Asia Travels (1275-1291)
China
Mongolia
China
Myanmar
China
Return Home (1291-1293)
Vietnam
Malaysia
Indonesia
Sri Lanka
India
Iran
Turkey
Italy
+39
Level 70
May 13, 2021
So "The Travels of Marco Polo" is interesting in that it was written after he returned home to Italy, rather then on his route. This means he had to rely on memory to write it, which in and of itself could make it less accurate. Complicating the matter is that the book was actually written by a man named Rustichello da Pisa, who was a prison-mate of Polo after he returned to Italy (long story there). This man had not travelled with Marco Polo, and so he would have been unfamiliar with many of the places, and he also may have embellished details to appeal to European readers.

That being said, we do have strong evidence that Marco Polo visited many of the cities on the map. Even if the route isn't completely correct (and, indeed, many scholarly sources have slightly different routes), we know he visited these landmarks/cities, and that gives us a decent idea of where he traveled.

+16
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
Thanks to everyone who helped me get my first nominated feature (and second overall). Also, if you enjoyed this quiz, please consider checking out the rest of the series!
+5
Level 59
May 13, 2021
Great quiz, nominated
+16
Level 68
May 14, 2021
I'm a big fan of this, congrats on your first map quiz! And the format looks great too. My biggest piece of advice is to never be afraid to experiment and have fun with the maps. Cheers and hope to see more to come!
+4
Level 70
May 14, 2021
Thanks! Means a lot coming from the legendary Jiaozira :) As I said, I'm planning a whole series of these, so hopefully this summer I'll be making much more content than I usually do. Stay tuned!
+2
Level 65
Jun 13, 2022
I'm just now finding this quiz - it is great! Thank you for taking time to create it.
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
It's my pleasure :)
+7
Level 58
May 16, 2021
An amazing SVG! I'll nominate when I refill.
+3
Level 70
May 16, 2021
Thanks sm! It was definitely a lot of fun to make and an interesting topic to research.
+8
Level 54
May 17, 2021
I was guessing cities, my bad luck
+4
Level 70
May 17, 2021
No problem haha! I thought about including cities, but many of them are now either obscure (like Trebizond on Turkey's Black Sea coast) or gone (like Ormuz in southern Iran and Karakorum in Mongolia).
+1
Level 58
May 17, 2021
You should consider adding them as type-ins.
+5
Level 70
May 18, 2021
The instructions explicitly ask for modern-day countries. I can see why someone could get confused, but I think the quiz is fine as is. I'll consider that suggestion if it's a recurrent problem though (as in, if a lot of other people make this mistake).
+1
Level 62
May 18, 2021
Supposedly he went to Madagascar and Zanzibar.
+10
Level 70
May 18, 2021
He mentions Zanzibar in his accounts, but he doesn't ever explicitly say he went there and he also gets a lot of details wrong, so it's most likely what he heard from other merchants. As for Madagascar, based on the location and wildlife he describes he probably actually meant Mogadishu--but, once again, he gets details wrong and doesn't actually say he went there, so it's probably based on what he heard from other merchants.
+1
Level 65
Jun 14, 2021
How did you make lines to connect the dots?
+4
Level 70
Jun 14, 2021
I plotted the dots out first (for this one I did it manually, but on later quizzes, I used the SVG dot tracer) and then I used "Bezier Curves and Straight Lines" tool to draw lines between them, curving them where necessary. Since Inkscape gives an option to connect nodes when you hover over them, it's not too difficult getting it where you want it.

Overall, it's not too difficult IMO. If you want to make a quiz similar to this, I'd recommend just playing around in Inkscape because that's how I figured it out.

+1
Level 65
Jan 17, 2022
Which tool did you use the plot the dots? (Manually)
+1
Level 70
Jan 17, 2022
I didn't use a tool; I just used a map and eyeballed it. I think it worked reasonably well, but I would recommend using the dot tracer because it's much easier and quicker.
+3
Level 50
Aug 5, 2021
Mind doing Zheng He next?
+3
Level 70
Aug 7, 2021
I was planning on Zheng He, but probably not very soon. I want to do a few other explorers first, and I also have a lot of other quizzes planned. Beyond that, the semester is going to start soon so I probably won't be able to release quizzes as frequently.

If you want a similar quiz that's a bit longer/more involved though, you could try this one on Ibn Battuta.

+1
Level 50
Oct 11, 2021
I could do Zheng He I guess?
+1
Level 70
Oct 11, 2021
Sure, if you want to, go right ahead! If you need any help, I'd be happy to give you some, especially since the CSS can be a bit tricky. You can communicate with me here if you want, or if you have a Discord, you can find me in the JetPunk server and message me from there. Either works fine with me.

Good luck, and looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

+1
Level 50
Oct 12, 2021
Which continent should I use? I heard that Zheng He travelled to both Asia and Africa.
+1
Level 70
Oct 12, 2021
Well, what I did is I took the map from "Countries of the World" and just zoomed in on it until only the parts I wanted was in the frame. You could probably zoom in so that it shows both Africa and Asia. The Ibn Battuta one might be a good guide because he travelled to many of the same places as Zheng He.
+2
Level 50
Oct 12, 2021
Ill say yes but he travelled to parts of Ukraine, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria and Zheng He only explored the Indian Ocean. Thanks for your guide.
+3
Level 55
Oct 30, 2021
Wow, that was really fun! I love the smooth transition that appears when the lines are drawn - all JetPunk map quizzes should have it in my opinion. Nominated!
+1
Level 70
Oct 30, 2021
Thanks! :) Once again, means a lot to me coming from a quiz maker as accomplished as you!
+2
Level 92
Nov 1, 2021
Super-fun quiz, thank you. Enthusiastically nominated!
+1
Level 70
Nov 1, 2021
Huge thanks, appreciate it :)
+2
Level 46
Jan 19, 2022
Awesome Quiz! Nominated for sure. I really enjoyed it and I appreciate how you make sure to respond to every comment.
+1
Level 70
Jan 19, 2022
Thanks! I'm inspired by quizmakers like Jiaozira, who always seems willing to write out thoughtful comments. If he's one of the top quizmakers on this site and puts the time and effort into answering the tons and tons of comments he gets, why shouldn't I do that with the comparatively few I get? I know that I like to feel like I'm being heard when I write a comment on this site, and so I try my best to make others feel heard when they comment on my quizzes :) And thanks for the nomination!
+2
Level 65
Feb 13, 2022
Congratulations JWaton24, it looks like this quiz will get featured in the next few weeks, and very deservingly so! This series is one of my personal favorites on JetPunk so a huge thanks to you for making it!
+1
Level 70
Feb 13, 2022
Wow, thanks! That's a very heartfelt comment ^_^ This was my first map quiz and I wasn't sure how well it would be received, so it's been a great experience seeing it not only get a ton of views but also climb so high to the nominations leaderboard! But, of course, the main point of this isn't just to get takes--it's for people to have fun and walk away learning something new. I'm glad to see that you, and so many other JetPunkers, are getting so much out of this quiz and series :)
+2
Level 37
Feb 24, 2022
I love this series! But stop spending my noms!
+1
Level 70
Feb 24, 2022
:)

Thanks for the nomination!

+2
Level 34
Mar 28, 2022
The route uncovering as you guess countries is what got me. Definitely nominated.
+1
Level 70
Mar 29, 2022
Thanks! Really glad to hear that you like the animations ^_^
+2
Level 90
Apr 4, 2022
Very enjoyable and educational quiz. Congrats.
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
Thanks!
+2
Level 67
Apr 4, 2022
At last this excellent quiz is featured! Congrats!
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
Thanks for your support Elboy! :)
+1
Level 71
Apr 4, 2022
Marco Polo is from Croatia
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
I don't think there's any evidence of that. His ancestors may have been from Croatia, but most sources state that he was born and raised in Venice. Also, back then most of what is modern-day Croatia was under Venetian rule, so he still would have been a subject/citizen of Venice.
+2
Level 36
Apr 4, 2022
Congratulations on getting your first featured quiz from nominations!
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
Thanks youtubeplayer! :)
+2
Level 75
Apr 4, 2022
Please make another related one for Ibn Battuta! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Battuta
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
+2
Level 68
Apr 8, 2022
Great Quiz!
+1
Level 70
Apr 8, 2022
Thanks!
+2
Level 76
Apr 11, 2022
Obviously, most quiz takers on here know Polo is from Italy...however, it might not be a bad idea to mark the starting location with a star or something.
+2
Level 70
Apr 11, 2022
I think it's a bit too late to do this unfortunately, because I don't want to reset the quiz. Not a bad idea though, I might adopt it for the other quizzes in this series. Thanks for the suggestion!
+6
Level 84
Apr 13, 2022
Wow, 4 years to get to China. Then 16 years touring around East Asia. Apparently Marco Polo was in no mood for sight-seeing after that. It took him only 2 years (a bee-line by 13th century standards) to get back home.

Imagine going on a road trip in late 1999 and not getting back home until today.

+3
Level 75
Apr 17, 2022
Wonderful graphics :)
+1
Level 70
Apr 17, 2022
Thanks! :)
+3
Level 27
Jun 2, 2022
I wondered if this was even possible!??! Amazing map and graphics!
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Yep, I can assure you it is possible :) Thanks!
+2
Level 32
Jun 13, 2022
Great quiz! I really enjoy it!
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks!
+2
Level 76
Jun 13, 2022
Great quiz! 'guess' in the description should be changed to 'guessed', I think.
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks! And I can always count on you to point out grammar mistakes, haha.
+2
Level 64
Jun 13, 2022
Fantastic quiz! Well researched and the map was nicely executed. I think it was smart to keep it modern day countries since using cities would have complicated things and led to a lot of debate amongst us quiz takers :)
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks! Yep, that's exactly why I did it by country. It's especially relevant because many of the cities Polo visited either don't exist anymore or aren't particularly prominent.
+2
Level 62
Jun 13, 2022
Yes, very informative indeed!
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks!
+2
Level 55
Jun 13, 2022
Hope more quiz like this. Awesome both information and graphics
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks, and if you are interested in more, check out my other quizzes! I have a whole series and I'm still adding to it.
+2
Level 63
Jun 13, 2022
Congrats for this quiz getting featured! The rest of the series will probably be featured soon as well! 🙂👌
+2
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Haha thanks Aficionado! You're probably one of my biggest supporters on this site, so I appreciate all the encouragement :) I don't know if all the quizzes of this series will be featured, but if not, I'm pretty happy with just this one. My goal isn't to accumulate takes, it's to contribute something new to the JetPunk community, and so even one of these quizzes being featured makes me really happy.
+2
Level 66
Jun 13, 2022
Absolutely incredible journey for the age.
+2
Level 75
Jun 13, 2022
This is fun I look forward to seeing more quizzes like this.

One criticism the lime green lines used for the East Asia portion disappear as they traverse over the blue of the sea.

I got stumped at first try because I was not able to see the line.

+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks! The line doesn't disappear, I think it's just that there's less contrast between the green line and the blue ocean. It's still not really a problem for me though, maybe it's something to do with your computer? If anyone else is having this problem, let me know and I'll look into it.
+2
Level 54
Jun 14, 2022
Great quiz and SVG!
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks!
+2
Level 62
Jun 14, 2022
What a great quiz!! Very nicely done, I loved it, rated it 5 stars! Many thanks!
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it :)
+2
Level 48
Jun 14, 2022
Great quiz! I loved when you guessed the country right and it would give you an animated line.
+2
Level 63
Jun 15, 2022
Funny how pleasing something as simple as that can be. I enjoyed that too.
+1
Level 70
Jun 15, 2022
Yep, thanks to you both! This quiz didn't initially have animated lines, but after seeing the incredible stuff overtired has done, I was inspired to look into animations. Even though he didn't directly help me on this quiz (although he has done so on some of my other quizzes), I definitely think he deserves some credit for the inspiration.
+2
Level 74
Sep 12, 2022
This is a great quiz. it has great graphics. And it is educational. Well done.

I think many quizzers will find it relatively easy to get 5/5, because there are frankly a lot of geography nerds on JP. That said, I challenge anyone to tell me they didn't enjoy the quiz itself. Great work.

+2
Level 70
Sep 12, 2022
Hah, thanks! It's not meant to be difficult; it was mostly just me experimenting with animations and trying to do something that hadn't been done before on JetPunk. But if you like a challenge, try some of the other quizzes in the series! There are a few that are harder than this one.
+1
Level 74
Sep 14, 2022
Thanks John, I will. I assume you are John Watson. Well, I deduce it, I suppose.