Series 1 - Episode 2 Shangri-La



I’m not sure that my image of Shangri-la — that fictitious earthly paradise described in Lost Horizon — would include flowers that smell of rotting flesh or bamboos that rocket out of the ground at a phenomenal growth rate of one metre per day, but Yunnan Province (where both these types of flora are found) was supposedly the inspiration for that utopia. 

Hidden between two parallel mountain ranges in south-western China, the area boasts both snow-topped peaks and luxuriant tropical forests, with an equally diverse range of wildlife – including a sun bird whose courting ritual deserves a comedy award, and the almost unbearably cute red panda. 

The people who live here are pretty impressive, too: not many of us could manage to tie a feather to a hornet in order to track it back to its nest to get the honey. But once again it’s the magnificent landscapes that steal the show. 


The documentary series exploring China's wildlife continues with a journey to the Yunnan Province, where parallel mountain ranges channel mighty rivers from Tibet southward to the tropics, and the landscape provides a home to diverse species. While the mountain forests are home to red pandas, the valleys below contain jungles inhabited by gibbons, sunbirds and elephants.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Bernard Hill
Director Kathryn Jeffs
Producer Kathryn Jeffs
Series Producer Phil Chapman