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Latest News : 1st February 2004

A one hour film has been completed about Zheng He and the Voyage of the Dragon Kings. The film has been broadcast internationally on the National Geographic Channel over the last three months; including broadcast throughout Asia and Europe, in Australia and New Zealand on Christmas Eve, and France at 2300hrs on New Year's Eve.
Sales of the Dragon Kings film are now being made to terrestrial broadcasters internationally. Interested broadcasters should contact D'Arcy Wyvill, Sales Director at Parthenon Entertainment. Information and video clip is available on Parthenon's website.

News : 21st June 2000

Voyage Successfully Completed

After two weeks filming in Sri Lanka, Precious Dragon and the expedition team sailed to Oman, via The Maldives.

As anticipated, Sri Lanka was one of the highlights of the voyage. The country is extremely well described in Ma Huan's diary. Using this six hundred year old diary covering the original voyages of Zheng He, Rex explored the island, filmed the mining of sapphires, and climbed Adam's Peak to watch the sunrise.

For details of the visit to The Maldives, please visit the kids zone.

Ma Huan's diary finishes in the Middle East. As both Admiral Zheng He and his interpreter Ma Huan were Muslim, it is perhaps fitting that our own voyage should finish in the port of Salalah, Oman - a Muslim nation.

Sunrise over Adams Peak
For more news of our visit to Sri Lanka, please click here

News : 10th February 2000

Swift Passage to Sri Lanka

Setting sail from Sabang on 29th January, we made a fast eight day passage to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is described in great detail by Ma Huan, and we'll be spending the next eight days filming here, before setting off on the final 1800 mile leg of the expedition to the Middle East.

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Kevin works aloft as we sail west towards Sri Lanka

The Island of Poulo Weh

From Melaka, we sailed north up the Malaysian coast, dodging pirates before arriving at the port of Kruengguekueh in northern Sumatra. We spent a night here but sailed on quickly  the next day as there was fighting ashore. Our next stop was the port of Sabang on the island of Poulo Weh. This island was a major stopover for Zheng He before his fleet embarked on the thousand mile passage to Sri Lanka. Ma Huan describes the island as having "a large, flat-topped mountain called Mao mountain. Ships coming across the ocean from the west take in sail here, and they all look to this mountain as a guiding mark."

For the story of our visit to Kruengguekueh, click here.

For the story of our visit to Sabang, click here.

Precious Dragon anchored in Sabang Harbour
Precious Dragon anchored in Sabang Harbour
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Buddhist monks worship in the Cheng Hoon Temple
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A young monk at worship


With the help of the Renaissance Hotel, our hosts in Melaka, we were able to visit and film the sites associated with Zheng He and his voyages. These included Bukit Hill, the largest Chinese cemetery outside China, Melaka's Chinatown, and the Sam Po Kong Temple which is dedicated to Zheng He.

A story which is widely told in Malaysia is that Zheng He sailed to Melaka with the Ming emperor's daughter to marry the sultan of Melaka, and that she set up home on Bukit Hill (China Hill) with five hundred handmaidens. It has been a Chinese area ever since ...

For the story of our visit to Melaka, click here.

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An iguana or monitor lizard ... iguanatongue.jpg (20477 bytes)
....is this the iguana-dragon described by Ma Huan?

The Second Quest

In the main ports of call, Nikki and the rest of the team are setting Rex a quest based on the six hundred year old diary of Ma Huan, who sailed on three of Zheng He's seven voyages. The second quest : "In Melaka, to find what Ma Huan describes as an Iguana Dragon - an animal which is covered with scales, has a dragon's head, and which bites men ! ..."

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E-mail  Rex Warner rex @ dragonvoyage.com Magnus Ström (exBerglund) magnus @ dragonvoyage.com.
Last Updated 31/12/10 Ship communications