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Asian Corridor 3, Tea Makes the Road Open

This is the third is a series of six films about the trade routes from China to Tibet and beyond, and this episode concentrates on the exchange of tea from China and horses from Tibet.

The programme starts in Puer, which is famous for its tea the world over. The Puer peoples are a group of hill tribes who have cultivated this tea for 1000s of years, and the best quality of this tea is some of the most expensive in the world.

The film shows who grow the tea, how it is cultivated and prepared for market, the people involved in the trading of the tea, including those who take it by caravan into Tibet. We also learn about the difference has made in political history.

The trade route itself is around 2,000km from Yunnan to Lhasa, but even then some merchants will keep going all the way into Nepal and India, where they can command even better prices for their stock.

As we have seen in previous episodes the way though is very, very hard and dangerous, even life threatening at times, but the rewards are great also which is why people still risk all to go along the ancient trade route.

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