Zheng He (1371-1435), the famous Chinese navigator in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), was born in Jinning County of Kunming. His original surname was Ma, and given name was Sanbao. Because he made himself conspicuous in helping Emperor Chengzhu (Zhu Di, 1360-1424) to take over the throne, he was promoted to be a court official.
For seven times, Zheng He led a huge fleet to travel to the Western Sea (referring to the West of Southern Sea of China). His fleet visited 39 countries and reached as far as the east shore of Africa, and the mouth of the Red Sea. These voyages improved the cultural and economic exchanges between China and some Asian and African nations, and were regarded as a wonder in the world history of voyages. His fleet was composed of 200 ships, the largest of which was 147 meters long and 60 meters wide, with a load of one thousand people.
The Memorial Hall of Zheng He is located in Zheng He Park of Kunyang Town, Jinning County. The memorial hall began to be constructed in 1983 marked the “580th Anniversary of Zheng He's Voyages” and opened to public in June 1984. Utilizing material objects, pictures, models replicas and stone rubbings, the six exhibition rooms of the memorial hall showcase visitors the achievements gained during the 7 great voyages launched by Zheng He.
Address: inside Zhenghe Park, 26 Zhenghe Rd. Kunyang Town, Jinning County