A grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai's realm stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, covering a fifth of the known world.In 1279, he became the first non-Chinese emperor, establishing the Yuan Dynasty and ruling over China, present-day Mongolia, Korea and other Asian regions. But his ambition to occupy more lands led to one of his worst defeats when he sent his warships to invade Vietnam in 1288.
Now, 725 years later, Australian archaeologists are helping excavate the site where the mighty Kublai Khan's invasion fleet of 400 was destroyed by the Vietnamese. They had lured the Mongols up the Bach Dang River just as the tide was starting to ebb. The Vietnam army had driven hundreds of sharpened wooden stakes into the bed of the river that were invisible at high tide; when the tide turned and began to ebb, the entire fleet was holed and sunk, captured or burnt by fire arrows.