THE GREAT VOYAGES OF CHENG HO Cheng Ho (1371–1435), also known as Ma Sanbao and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin (Persian: حاجی محمود شمس) was a Hui-Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa, collectively referred to as the Voyages of Cheng Ho from 1405 to 1433.

In late 1413, Cheng Ho embarked on his expedition with 63 ships and 28,560 men. The goal of this trip was to reach the Persian Gulf at Hormuz, Salalah, Aden, and Jeddah. (now known as cities of Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East). Hormuz then was known as the city of unparalled wealth and goods, including pearls and precious stones that would drew the Chinese voyagers.

During each voyages, Cheng Ho brought back diplomats from other countries or encouraged ambassadors to visit Nanjing on their own. On each return voyage the fleet anchored at the Malacca base, where provisions, tribute, and gifts were stored in warehouses.

  Order   Time   Regions along the way  
  1st Voyage   1405-1407   Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Aru, Sumatra, Lambri, Ceylon, Kollam, Cochin, Calicut.  
  2nd Voyage   1407-1409   Champa, Java, Siam, Cochin, Ceylon.  
  3rd Voyage   1409-1411   Champa, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Quilon, Cochin, Calicut, Siam, Lambri, Kaya, Coimbatore, Puttanpur.  
  4th Voyage   1409-1411   Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Cochin, Calicut, Kayal, Pahang, Kelantan, Aru, Lambri, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi, Aden, Muscat, Dhufar.  
  5th Voyage   1416-1419   Champa, Pahang, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Lambri, Ceylon, Sharwayn, Cochin, Calicut, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi, Aden.  
  6th Voyage   1421-1422   Hormuz, East Africa, countries of the Arabian Peninsula,  
  7th Voyage   1421-1422   Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz... (17 states in total)  
The route of the 7th voyage of Zheng He's fleet.
Solid line: main fleet; Dashed line: a fleet possible route of Hong Bao's squadron; dotted line: a trip of seven Chinese sailors, including Ma Huan, from Calicut to Mecca on a native ship. Cities visited by Zheng He's or its squadron on the 7th or any of the previous voyages are shown in red.