A little more on the story of the real Xuan Zang (Hsuan Tsang in the older style of translitteration).
Xuan Zang (602 - 664) was a Buddhist monk and scholar. His real life may not be as fantastic as in Journey to the West, but he made an enormous contribution to Chinese Buddhism. In the year 629, during the Tang Dynasty, Xuan Zang started a long, perilous journey to India to collect Buddhist scriptures. He spent several years in India learning Sanskrit and returned to China 17 years later with a whole load of scriptures which he and his students later translated. These translations are still read and studied today in Chinese Buddhist circles.
The real Xuan Zang also wrote an account of his journey to India which can still be read today, its original title was Great Tang Records of the Western Regions. You may find it under the title The Travels of Hsuan Tsang, this and not Journey to the West is the book he wrote. Xuan Zang's book provides an excellent description of the places he visited on his travels which is still studied by archaeologists and historians today.
Journey to the West is a fantasy novel, inspired by Xuan Zang's journey, written by Wu Cheng En and published in 1592, during the Ming Dynasty.