Zheng He Park is located in the small town of Jinning in Yunnan about 60 kilometers south of Kunming. The park, built in 1980, covers an area of 250 hectares. It is a memorial garden built in commemoration of Zheng He, the great navigator of the Ming Dynasty. Entering the park, there are relief sculptures on both sides of the gate called "the Seven Navigations to the West by Zheng He." Standing firmly in the front of the ship, the imposing figure of Zheng He is leading a large fleet to the West. The sculptures depict the life of Zheng He and his outstanding achievements. There is Zheng He Memorial Hall that covers an area of 1,600 square meters. Various information and material about his navigation are on display in the hall. There is also the Zheng He Memorial Pavilion, the tomb of Ma Hazhi (Zheng He's father), as well as the tombs of revolutionary martyrs.
Born in Kunming in 1371, Zheng He was originally a Hui minority known as Ma He. Having rendered good services to the Emperor Zhu Di, he was selected to be a eunuch in the Inner Court of the Forbidden City. His nickname, "Three Treasures", was changed to the "Three Treasure Eunuch".
It is said that Zheng's original family name, Ma, meant "horse", and because no horses were allowed in the Inner Court, the emperor granted him the name Zheng He.
For 28 years (1405-1433) Zheng He was sent on seven diplomatic missions to the West (at that time, the West referred to the areas west of China's South Sea). Leading a massive fleet of 62 ships and 27,800 sailors, he visited 39 countries and regions, including Vietnam, India, Thailand, Iran, South Yemen and Somalia. His journey to these lands 80 years before the 'discovery of the New World' by Christopher Columbus and a 100 years before Ferdinand Magellan circled the globe. During his travels, Zheng He enhanced diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between China and several Asian and African countries. He also contributed greatly to the development of long distance navigation.
Zheng He was a highly respected diplomat, both at home and abroad. Today, in some countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, there are still sites like the Three Treasures Tower and Three Treasures City built in commemoration of his achievements.
Six hundred years ago, Admiral Zheng He of the Chinese Ming Dynasty embarked on the first of his seven famous naval expeditions. An awesome spectacle of 300 Chinese junks and 30,000 men, Zheng He's travels heralded the finest hour in Chinese naval exploration history.
Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day