In 1325 young scholar Ibn Battuta set out on a pilgrirmage to Mecca but his journey took him 75,000 across the Muslim world over 30 years! Upon his return he wrote of the cultures, traditions, and experiences in a 1,000 page book, The Travels.
He traveled to Persia and Iraq where he saw how a century earlier the Mongols had left cities in ruins but had assimilated in speech, food, and dress. He reflected on the effect of Empires on the Islamic world including a surprised encounter with the Islamic Sufi Sect who chanted and used trances to feel God's love.
I hereby appoint you to be a Judge
I'm so impressed by your travels!
Ibn Battuta took the sea where he was very seasick! He encounter pirates and big storms which nearly left him shipwrecked and blew him off course. But determined, he continued his journey by land. On the Turkish Silk Route, he saw urban centers of Christians, Jews and Greeks who he said were the nicest people he'd ever known with the best food!
On the way to CHINA
He was amazed how the Muslim culture had been spread down the east Africa coast where Muslim merchants had settled down the coast converting and marrying locals. Here he saw the trade of gold, spices, ivory and perfume being loaded onto ships with enslaved Africans which he regarded with sadness.
Ibn Battuta narrowly escaped an attack by 22 bandits on his way to India killing 13 men. When he arrived in Delhi, the King was impressed with this learned traveler and appointed him as a Judge. The King asked him to go to China as an Ambassador and bring a shipload of goods to trade but....
It's an honor your highness!
...on the way a storm blew in and the ship with the goods sank! He stopped in the Maldives where he married 4 women and had several children before heading to China. He loved the kind welcoming people there. In China, he had never seen such a different culture and felt very much in a foreign land!