A while back there was a posting to the CFZ blog on the supposition that giant tortoises were brought back during a supposed Ming Dynasty circumnavigation of the Earth. I did not know what they were talking about at the time, but I think I know better now.
The supposition that the Chinese were aware of giant tortoises is based on statures of Dragon Turtles in Bejing (Peking) and elsewhere, and Dragon Turtles are traditional auspicious Chinese legendary creatures. They do not mean the same thing as the Black Warrior Tortoise of the North, which is a constellation. Looking at the depictions of the Dragon turtles you can see that the heads are vaguely shaped like a Galapagoes tortoise (Freely interpreted to add "Dragonlike" features such as whiskers) and the long neck is similar. BUT there are Tortoises nearly as large and of much the same anatoomy at the Aldabara Islands near Madagascar, and while it is theory that the Ming Chinese made it to the Galapagoes Islands, it is on the other hand a plain fact that we know the Ming Chinese reached East Africa and Madagascar. Their distinctive china is found all over the place.
Besides that much, there used to be many other islands with giant tortoises, including some islands of Indonesia. And at one point cryptid Giant Tortoises could well have co-existed with humans in India and China-old Greek records imply that much. So there are any number of alternative candidates that would be more likely than the Galapagoes giant tortoises, with a favoritism on Aldabara ones (But not discounting the possibility that the Chinese also knew of such tortoises on Madagascar or any of a number of other places. Chinese were fond of drawing Dragon Tortoises all over their maps in the spirt of "Here There Be Dragons")
Best Wishes, Dale D.