DOCUMENTARIES > TRAVEL > Yangzte to Shangri-la

Producer-presenter GREG GRAINGER explores China in the new millenium, sailing from bustling Shanghai, up the Yangzte River, in search of the mythical kingdom of Shangri-la.

In the soon-to-be-flooded Three Gorges, he encounters near-naked trackers hauling sanpans upstream.

There are face-to-face encounters with China's unique Pandas, and the colourful ethnic minorities of Yunnan province, with a concert of music, centuries old, performed by 80 year old maestros.

Other highlights include:

* Ballroom dancing at dawn.
* Ancient villages (Zhouzhang) a maze of canals that are accessed by sanpans.
* Shanghai's Old Town, drinking tea in the five-sided Huxinting Tea House.
* Youngsters at a Children's Palace, playing instrument five centuries old.
* Teams of workers carving a two million dollar jade sculpture.
* A military spectacle in the City of Nanjing to celebrate National Day.
* The Ming-style Mausoleum for Dr Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China
* The legendary Huangshan, the Yellow Mountain, shrouded in mist.
* Performers aplenty, from opera in a local park to street musicians.
* The Hubei provincial museum: Bronze bells unearthed and played.
* Work on the new and controversial Three Gorges Dam.
* The spectacle of the Three Gorges, with its towering mountain peaks
. * The treachorous rapids of the Three Gorges, & towns to be flooded.
* The haunting chants of semi clad trackers as they haul a sanpan upstream.
* The spectacular Wanxian acrobatic troupe.
* Daju County, famous for its great Buddhist cave sculptures.
* The international horticultural exposition in Yunnan¹s capital of Kunming
* The wedding parlours full of brides-to-be, and a modern wedding.
* The natural wonder: The Stone Forest, led by Bai from the Yi Tribe.
* Lijiang, an 800 year old town, filled with scenes from another era.
* Guide Angela from the Naxi tribe, with her very bright clothing.
* Naxi children being taught in their traditional dialect.
* Extraordinary system of pictographs developed over the past thousand years
* Colourfully adorned young Yi women singing the sounds of Shangri-la.