The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter lxvii.

Of the Cities of Paukin and Cayu.

When you leave Coiganju you ride south-east for a day along a causeway laid with fine stone, which you find at this entrance to Manzi. On either hand there is a great expanse of water, so that you cannot enter the province except along this causeway. At the end of the day’s journey you reach the fine city of PAUKIN. The people are Idolaters, burn their dead, are subject to the Great Kaan, and use paper-money. They live by trade and manufactures and have great abundance of silk, whereof they weave a great variety of fine stuffs of silk and gold. Of all the necessaries of life there is great store.

When you leave Paukin you ride another day to the south-east, and then you arrive at the city of CAYU. The people are Idolaters (and so forth). They live by trade and manufactures and have great store of all necessaries, including fish in great abundance. There is also much game, both beast and bird, insomuch that for a Venice groat you can have three good pheasants. 1

NOTE 1. — Paukin is PAO-YING-Hien [a populous place, considerably below the level of the canal (Davis, Sketches, I. pp. 279–280)]; Caya is KAO-YU-chan, both cities on the east side of the canal. At Kao-yu, the country east of the canal lies some 20 feet below the canal level; so low indeed that the walls of the city are not visible from the further bank of the canal. To the west is the Kao-yu Lake, one of the expanses of water spoken of by Marco, and which threatens great danger to the low country on the east. (See Alabaster’s Journey in Consular Reports above quoted, p. 5 [and Gandar, Canal Impérial, p. 17. — H.C.])

There is a fine drawing of Pao-ying, by Alexander, in the Staunton collection, British Museum.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59