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Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Hong Kong University to Lantau Island

Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Scotland HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Hong Kong. In Wan Chai, he discovers why Hong Kongers are protesting all over the city and asks them about their hopes and fears. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Kowloon to Wan Chai

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

In Hong Kong, Michael Portillo investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two drug wars. He straddles a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle making. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Ayutthaya to River Kwai

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Michael Portillo continues his rail journey through Thailand from Lampang, stopping to help at an elephant hospital, where they care for animals wounded by landmines. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Chiang Mai to Lampang

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

Michael Portillo embarks on a four-part rail adventure through Thailand. Michael tries his hand at the art of umbrella making and learns about northern Thai cookery. Show more

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

In Bangkok, Michael learns how in the 19th century King Rama V introduced railways to his country. He discovers that the king's love of steam engines was inspired by Queen Victoria. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Bangkok to Hua Hin

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Scotland HD

Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Thailand by rail. He steps into the ring under the guidance of Master Toddy to learn Muay Thai boxing. Can he perfect the Cobra-inspired right hook? Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Scotland HD

Checking into the capital’s famous Metropole Hotel, built at the time of his guidebook, Michael discovers a bunker where guests sheltered from American bombardment during the Vietnam War. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet

Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

Michael braves the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a motorbike, one of 8.5 million to do so daily. He attempts the national sport, da cau, and samples the French-Vietnamese fusion food banh mi. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Hue to Ninh Binh

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Scotland HD

Michael Portillo tours the formidable imperial city of Hue and in a village nearby, Michael meets milliner Mrs Ngo, who tries to teach him how to make the iconic conical hat, with comical results. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Da Nang to Hoi An

Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Leaving what locals still call Saigon, Michael heads to the fishing port of Phan Thiet, where he learns how to make Vietnam’s signature fish sauce. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Jakarta to Bogor

Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

In the heaving city of Jakarta, Michael uncovers Indonesia’s Dutch colonial past and its rich history as a port, but discovers that the future is uncertain. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Yogyakarta to Ambarawa

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

In Java’s royal city, Yogyakarta, Michael visits the Sultan’s palace and admires the ancient art of shadow puppetry known as wayang. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Ambarawa to Surabaya

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

In the mountainous interior of Java, Michael discovers how coffee was first brought to the island for cultivation and learns about production today. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Jakarta to Borobudur/Kutoarjo

Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Michael heads to the volcanic heart of Java’s Central Province. He visits Java’s most dangerous volcano, Mount Merapi, and learns how over 300 people were killed when it erupted in 2010. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Penang to Kuala Kangsar

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

Michael Portillo’s rail tour of south east Asia reaches Malaysia, and on the island of Penang, Michael traces the origins of the former British colony in Georgetown. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Chinatown to Gardens by the Bay

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Scotland

In Tai Seng, Michael goes underground to marvel at the world’s largest subterranean rail depot, where self-driving MRT trains are maintained. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Raffles Place to Botanic Gardens

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

Michael Portillo discovers Singapore’s maritime origins and the vision of the 19th-century Englishman who put it on the map. At the iconic Raffles Hotel, Michael treats himself to a Singapore sling. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Kuala Kangsar to Cameron Highlands

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Scotland HD

Michael Portillo’s journey resumes in Kuala Kangsar, where he taps into the source of the lucrative rubber industry that boomed at the time of his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Melaka to Johor Bahru

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales HD

In Melaka, Malaysia, Michael Portillo tastes the spicy cuisine of the Kristang community, descendants of early 16th-century Portuguese settlers who mixed with local Malays. Show more

Great Asian Railway Journeys

Series 1

Kuala Lumpur to Melaka

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Michael Portillo discovers Kuala Lumpur’s 19th-century origins as a tin mine and tries his hand crafting jewellery at the Royal Selangor pewter factory. Show more