This is China Series

Following The Great Tea Road. Exploring tea, an ancient drink and a pillar of Chinese culture

The latest episode in the This is China series takes us along the Tea Horse Road - the ancient route used to transport tea to Tibet, where it was exchanged for horses. The story follows the footsteps of two travellers, Tang Wenlong and his sister He Wen, who spent a week exploring the legendary route, learning the history and mastering the art of making a proper cup of tea. He Wen and Tang Wenlong start their journey in the fantasy city of Shangri-La and move to Puer, the final stop on the Tea Horse Road, which was renamed after the oldest tea variety in 2007.

Shangri-La can be called the gateway to Tibet. This majestic city owes its name to a fantasy novel from the early 21st century. It is most famous for its amazing architecture. Buddhist monasteries are beautiful and very peaceful and seem like a rock in a hectic world. Not just the city, the entire road boasts the most scenic landscapes with expanses of mountains and woods and clear blue lakes. The tea packers who led the caravans past these majestic views were fortunate people, but this job also requires a lot of strength and endurance.

The next stop, Lijiang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a unique Yunnan-Tibet Tea Road Museum with information and artefacts connected to the Tea Horse Road. Among the spectacular natural wonders on the way is the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, dubbed by the locals as the most romantic spot on the Tea Horse Road. It is a popular destination for wedding ceremonies.

What else do Tang Wenlong and He Wen come across? What the 1000-year-old tea tastes like and what awaited the siblings at the end of the road you can find out if you watch our film.