It is recorded in Yi Wu Zhi by Yang Fu in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220) that "around the Qitou of Zhanghai (literally means the sea of rising tides), the water is shallow, and it is abundant in lodestones."
Nanhai Zhudao was recorded in Nan Zhou Yi Wu Zhi by Wan Zhen, prefecture chief of Danyang, the State of Wu in the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280).
With the development of nautical technologies, ancient Chinese grew better acquainted with the South China Sea and Nanhai Zhudao.
In Ling Wai Dai Da written by Zhou Qufei the local magistrate of Guilin during Chunxi years (AD 1174-1189) in the Southern Song Dynasty, "Changsha" (long sand cays) and "Shitang" (rocky reefs) were used in collective reference to Nanhai Zhudao.
In Zhu Fan Zhi, a book written by Zhao Rushi, supervisor of Maritime Trade Bureau of Quanzhou, in the Southern Song Dynasty, not only the position of the thousands of li's Changsha and tens of thousands of li's Shichuang (rocky reefs) were recorded, but also the dangers of the surrounding waters were described.
In Song Hui Yao the official publication, "Shitang" (rocky reefs) or "Wanlishitang" (ten thousand-li rocky reefs) was used to refer to Nanhai Zhudao: "To go to China, the maritime route must be taken.
It is recorded in Qiong Tai Zhi, a book compiled by Tang Zhou in the early 13th century that "The barbarian countries are mostly distributed in the southwest seas, including Nanzhan, La, Siam, La, Java, Fo, and Ni.