This is the second of a three-part 2010 documentary series from ICTV about the tea road trade from Yunnan to Beijing on the one hand, and Tibet on the other.
In this episode we follow the first stage of the journey to Tibet and its capital Lhasa. The journey becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous, and many are the people who have died along the route.
It is also dangerous for animals, of course, and as they are filming one of the horses carrying tea falls from a rickety bridge into a rushing river. In this case he was saved, but it is easy to imagine how it might have been otherwise.
We also hear from the caravanners themselves on their adventures along the road. Some have left their wives and families behind and take mistresses along the way. The men are much is demand because of their riches.
We see some of the religious ceremonies, and find out more about local customs. There are also marriage ceremonies, and towards the end of this segment we visit one of the salt villages, where the women make the salt – a hard and tiring business – and the men sell it. They are still around 1,500 km from their destination.
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