National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo Wild

  • Premieres Thursday October 8th at 10pm, 9pm BKK/JKT
  • National Geographic Channel


Harry Yuan, a Californian adventurer/traveller returns to the land of his ancestors, China. He meanders through the heartland, guided by the country’s 2 longest rivers, the Yangzi and the Huang He or Yellow River. His mission is to explore whatever ancient cultures and traditions he meets on the way. His itinerary is not fixed but propelled by the people he meets. The Yangzi guides him from Shanghai to Daocheng in Sichuan via Wuhan and Shennong Stream. Leading his return trip is the Yellow river which takes him through Qinghai province to Inner Mongolia and finally, the cradle of Chinese civilisation in Shandong.  This 6x30 min. series sees Harry engaging in a range of activities: action-based such as Tujia boat tracking, Tibetan horse riding and archery, Mongolian wrestling;  animal handling of porpoise, alligators, yaks, and camels;  and the artisanal art of Xuan paper, goat skin rafts, traditional Chinese lanterns and kites.


  • Route Awakenings: Ep 1
    Harry searches for the Yangzi dolphin, whichleads him to uncover other endangered species the Yangzi alligator and the old art of Xuan paper making.
  • Route Awakenings: Ep 2
    Harry experiences life as a boat tracker with the Tujia people of Shennong stream near the 3 Gorges dam.
  • Route Awakenings: Ep 3
    Harry tackles horse riding Tibetan style and experiences life as a nomadic yak herder
  • Route Awakenings: Ep 4
    Harry learns Tibetan archery and goat skin rafting as he journeys into the Qinghai/Tibetan plateau.
  • Route Awakenings: Ep 5
    The journey continues following the course of the Yellow River. Harry is now in Inner Mongolia where he spends time with Camel nomads in the Alxa League. As a keen photographer, he aims for the million dollar shot with camels against sunset. But will the animals behave? Harry discovers that it does rain in the desert and that crops do grow. He finds out more about Suo Suo and Congrong, the cash crop that would replace the traditional herding ways of desert nomads.
  • Route Awakenings: Ep 6
    The journey winds through the cradle of Chinese civilisation in Shaanxi and Shandong. Harry meets a bamboo lantern maker, whose craft is considered one of the intangible cultural heritage of China. He also discovers a kind of ancient housing where people lived in silo caves. As he makes his way to Shandong, Harry puts his stilt-walking skills to work, helping fishermen to catch shrimps and sell them at the market. Shandong is also famous for its kites and Harry learns to make giant kites and fly them in competition in Weifang. The journey comes to an end with what Harry hopes would be a spectacular finish. Getting to the point in the Bohai sea, where Yellow river washes out to the blue sea... but as luck would have it, tide and time waits for no man, not even one who has completed 10,000km circumnavigating through the cultural heart of China.