Hmm… I’m not really too familiar with the National Geographic Museum over on M and 17th NW Washington, DC, but I saw an ad for this exhibit and thought it would be worth checking out. From the site:
Nearly a century before Columbus arrived in the Americas, a massive Chinese armada commanded by Admiral Zheng He set sail on the first of seven epic voyages spanning three decades. Objects from the National Museum in China, such as a bronze bell commissioned by Zheng He and copies of maps created on his voyages, as well as ship models from the Quanzhou Maritime Museum, help tell the story of these little known journeys and cultural exchanges. Travel in the fleet’s path to five ports—Malacca, Sri Lanka, the Malabar Coast of India, the Arabian Peninsula, and Malindi in East Africa. View models of the many types of ships in Zheng He’s fleet, including a 10-foot-long replica of a baochuan or treasure ship and learn about Chinese navigation and shipbuilding methods.
The link to this specific exhibit:
This one’s going on too and looks pretty cool:
I’ll see if I can go check it out before it’s gone September 7, 2008. I just wish they had more convenient hours – they close at 5pm every day.