If people really try to think back, to how things were in the ancient world, and see how improbable a journey Marco Polo and his father and uncle undertook, and then completed nearly 30 years after they started, they would probably realize how unlikely such a journey was and why so many people attack Marco Polo as a fraud. Nevertheless, simply as an historical Atlas of China, and with an incredible historical context, warts and all, it is a very illuminating book, showing Chinese cities using their ancient Mongol names (in what other context would someone serving the Mongol emperor record the city names?) and allowing the reader the opportunity to research and discover for themselves, just how fascinating and mysterious other ethnicities and other cultures were to a European of the middle ages.
One of the most fascinating aspects of "The Travels" is not just some of the factual innaccuracies, but the apparent perceptions of Marco Polo, fully willing to believe he had found the final resting place of the first man, Adam, and the wizardry of other peoples, the ability to do magic, and a legend of giant "Rocs" near Madagascar, and how the Khan sent a small expedition to investigate the rumors of such.
If you want a book that makes you ask searching questions about humanity, cultural bias, and the importance of lore and myth in cultures, this book is invaluable.