BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Hue to Ninh Binh S01E09 1080P HD

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys  Hue to Ninh Binh S01E09 1080P HD

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I'm in southeast Asia with my 1913 Bradshaw's  handbook published at the height of European   imperialism. my 100 year old guy book  will leave me on a railway adventure   through archipelago's and peninsulas dotted  with hills forests and paddy fields. I'll tour   towering mega cities and magnificent mosques.  I'll encounter golden Buddhas and dual   and experience some of the world's most  spectacular and notorious railways as i travel   through the diverse nations of this vast region.  I'll learn how they asserted their independence  

against the British french and dutch empires to  become the economic tigers and dragons of today i'm in vietnam aboard the  country's unification railway my journey takes me north through what was  at the time of my 1913 bradshaw's guide   french indochina my destination is hanoi where  in 1945 ho chi minh declared independence for all   of vietnam it would take another 30 years  of wars before that was actually achieved   i will cross the former demilitarized zone which  in fact was heavily mined that formed the division   between north and south vietnam following the  french defeat this unification railway which   runs from saigon to hanoi is proof that the  political divisions have been eliminated i   shall be interested to see whether there are  cultural differences between south and north   i began in ho chi minh city in the south before  embarking on a 1 000 mile journey aboard the   unification railway i'm reaching the city of  hue before heading north to ninbin from where   i'll make an excursion to the rice fields from  nin bin i'll travel to the capital hanoi before   heading to the port of haifan i'll complete my  trip exploring the emerald waters of ha long bay   as i strike north it's best foot forward  to seek out a highly prized commodity   like last year we exported 6 million tons that's  quite a lot it's quite a lot yeah i'll get a   taste for a north vietnamese speciality and i'm  dipping it into a thick very tasty very warm stew   and lose my thread making vietnam's iconic hat hue in central vietnam for a hundred and fifty years way was the imperial   capital of the nuian dynasty the  last royal family to rule vietnam the city is best approached from the huang or  perfume river aboard a traditional dragon boat the river takes its name from the tropical scent   of mountain tree resin and blossom  carried down on its current hi before i came here all my visions of vietnamese  waterways were drawn either from war footage   or from war movies but when i've been traveling  by train i've noticed that we cross rivers again   and again over bridges vietnam is largely  made of water and the waterways are so lovely this central part of today's vietnam  was at the time of my 1913 guy book   known as anam a kingdom over which a  french protectorate was established   in 1886. the french left in place the emperor but  he was a mere puppet whose strings they pulled the   guidebook goes on one having betrayed symptoms of  insanity was deposed in december 1906 and his son   zwie tan raised to the throne with the  council of regency he being still a miner the imperial citadel on the left bank of the river   is a magnificent walled fortress  surrounding the empress palace   and temples built in the early 19th century it  was modeled on the vast forbidden city in beijing   today the flag of the socialist republic of  vietnam flies over the former royal residence i'm meeting historian fan tan high who  will show me to the heart of imperial power   the empress throne room at mr high this palace is absolutely wonderful  this taiwan hall is the most important   architecture inside the royal village of the muy  dynasty and it symbolizing the power of the wind   and st tell me about this wayan dynasty then when  does it start in the beginning of the 19th century   from 1802 but in fact before that they ancestor on  already have a 200 years in the south vietnam so   we can say that we see they exist about 350  years french catholic missionaries arrived in   the new york kingdom in 1619 seeking to gain a  foothold in vietnam successive new year empress   expelled some and tolerated others until  in 1833 emperor min man executed seven   and their vietnamese converts france responded in  1858 ostensibly to missionary pleas for protection   by launching an invasion by 1885 france had  conquered all of vietnam and the new ian emperors   were reduced to mere figureheads in the central  region i'm very intrigued by this incident in 1906   where an emperor who is thought possibly to be mad  is deposed and replaced by his little son who's   only seven years old tell me about this  1906 is the year the emperor tangtai was   it wrong and the friend chose his son is an  emperor's return to the throne why they said that   emperor tentai was a madman was him happen but  no in fact he asylum to prepare to again french   a revolution against yes yes they prepare a  revolution to again french but not success   so when friends know that they decided to dethrone  him and take him to africa you think he wasn't mad   he was just a rebel yes of course he not  met man the french assumed they could   control the boy king's return but he was also  sympathetic to a fledgling resistance movement   which at the time of my guidebook  planned to overthrow the colonial power   what about the little boy what happens to him  although he very small how to say is uh he liked   his father's character yeah and 10 years later to  1916 he also prepared a revolution to again french   when he lost friend also took him to africa  like his father so two emperors who believed   in independence who rebelled against the  french and who were sent into exile yes yes   france maintained her grip on the new enthrone  until 1945 when the last emperor abdicated   after communist forces proclaimed vietnamese  independence during the two indo-chinese wars   that followed that declaration the  citadel suffered significant damage   now restored it evokes the opulent lifestyle  of vietnam's last dynasty now we are inside the   forbidden public city this play eventually for  the emperor his wife concubine and zunak yeah   and you know emperor of muy nasty almost they have  a hundred servants including concubine and munich   and they have a very luxury  light inside forbidden prophecy much of this enormous imperial palace has  been destroyed in wars but what remains   is really wonderful what a paradox to think of  the emperors living a life of indescribable luxury   here when they'd already lost all their powers to  the french and although that rich lifestyle must   have separated them completely from the vietnamese  people yet it was two of the emperors who were   the focus of the independence movement and today  in the socialist republic of vietnam the throne   upon which 13 empress sat is still so revered  that no tourist is allowed to photograph it today the weather has been typical for vietnam  absolutely burning sun in the morning now there's   thunder and lightning a storm is on the way  and if i let it my panama hat will be reduced   by the rain to blotting paper it is laughably  inadequate the vietnamese have had a solution   to this problem for the last 3000 years time for  me to exchange my comical hat for a conical one in the rural villages surrounding  play skillful artisans make these hats   i'm meeting mrs noe who's crafted  them for the last 30 years show me what you're doing so what i'm picking up is that all the little  triangles of palm leaf are secured by a pin here   at the top and then the whole thing is held in  place by this band which i think is just going   to be temporary and then she's very beautifully  arranging the pleats of the palm leaves   so they just overlap each other and i suppose with  great experience she's got just the right number oh what a beautiful fine thread  look at that it's like gossamer   and now the sewing oh this is beautiful she's a beautiful seamstress she's using a very  fine thread and she's just going around the hat   close to its north pole hats are made all over  vietnam but those from hue artisans are said to be   the most durable and elegant because traditionally  they supplied the royal family did your do you make all the hats in the same size let me have a good i'm i guess i'm not made to be a millionaire hello bye attention studies stream is coming to the  station on track one passenger should kindly   wait for the train to start before getting off  according to the guidance of the railway staff my journey will continue north  on the unification railway the country was united in 1975 when  communist forces from the north   overran saigon in the south ending the vietnam  war it had been officially divided for two decades   when the forces of ho chi minh massively  defeated the french at the battle of in 1954   two new countries were created north and  south vietnam separated by a demilitarized   zone whose area we will cross by night the zone  was based on a similar one that was part of the   ceasefire in korea today the demilitarized zone  in vietnam is a tourist attraction people go to   see the network of tunnels that was created by the  viet cong the dmz in korea is still in existence my next stop nin bin is ten hours  away so tonight i'll sleep on board   so as you can see it has four bunk beds  now these could be for four strangers even   i've taken the proportion of hiring the entire  cabin for myself so i have lots of space   although each of the bunks is quite narrow but  i don't want you to think about trans canadian   or trans australian levels of luxury no  private facilities here just what you see   and at the end of the corridor there isn't even  a shower uh just a loo which i'm sharing with   everyone else uh up and down this carriage  so um it's fine and uh i expect i'll sleep well   daybreak and my train arrives in nin bin   most visitors make this small unassuming city  their base to explore the surrounding countryside   the province of ninbin is famed for its dramatic   limestone outcrops which tower  above verdant flooded paddy fields these ladies are drying their  rice on the village street   the concrete is modern the method is timeless i've come to the area of tam [ __ ] to  learn about vietnam's staple crop dr tuan   is an historian from the  vietnam national university   it's one very beautiful landscape here where are  the nearest paddy fields to us sit back beyond the   mountain that's uh 100 meter away and then we will  see the paddy field yeah we're in the red river   delta why is that such a good area for rice cray  the red river was like at the backbone of this uh   northern area the river has been very important  for the early civilizations of the vietnamese   people because they can rely on rice agriculture  rice cultivation more than 8 000 years ago   really rice goes back that far when the crop is  absolutely ready to harvest what does it look like   normally here we have two crops one in the  summer and one in the late fall it will i   mean the pedi feel will turn yellow beautiful  and that's the time the people have this advice   tron can you describe to me how important rice  is to the vietnamese people extremely important   because it is a main staple of the vietnamese  people from history until today it is the main   food of the country of the people it is also the  main export of the country at this moment when   the french colonial government is still here  in the late night in the early 20th century   rice were exported in very great quantity  to different destination hong kong china   southern asia so it brings  a benefit for the country   over just 50 years the french quadrupled  the area of land devoted to cultivating rice   chiefly in the mekong delta in the south and  they profited greatly from it at the expense   of landless vietnamese workers but in vietnam it  seems that growing rice is more than a business   rice is not only for economics means but rice also  we can see in even cultural aspects of the country   for example vietnamese people have a very  important rituals because the ancestor worshipping   so whenever you worship the ancestor during the  important time of the years you need to have   rice and even though there has been  industrialization in vietnam i suppose many   thousands of people still  make their living growing rice   today urbanization people living in the town and  city is like almost 40 percent but still many   of them living in the countryside and of course  many of them are still working in the panicking   so agriculture is still the main characteristic of  vietnam even today why does vietnam export so much   because it has so much or because the quality is  so high the production is high i mean we produce   a lot like last year we export six million tons  that's quite a lot it's quite a lot yeah today   vietnam is the world's third largest rice exporter  after india and thailand the highest yields are   produced in the south where the climate is  warm and humid throughout the year farmers   here in the north have to contend with monsoons  and cold winters and logistics pose a challenge   do the rice farmers use boats to access their  paddy fields yeah they have to use boat uh   for assessing the paddy view because this  area is surrounded by the rocky mountain   so the only means of getting in is live by  boat and then you see it's uh so interesting   that people are using the fit for rowing because  according to the local people rowing with the fit   we have shapes uh like born so after a day of  bending over the paddy fields at least they   could stretch their back out when they rode yeah  i see i think so it's good though yeah makes sense mr vin is a rice farmer what  do you do with your rice come try sounds good yeah sounds  good do you live close by sadly at mr vin's house steamed rice is laid  out on a flat board and pressed down   and then cut into rectangles  and laid out in the sun now here's a remarkable sight this  is what mr vinh uses his rice for   this is kumchai looks like slices of white  bread about twice as heavy and clearly made   of rice which is all stuck together and  it's drying out here in the tremendous heat   and i think that's just the beginning of the  story i can smell delicious odors from the kitchen mrs vin is frying the dried rice slices  in hot oil which turns it yellow and   crispy it's traditionally served  with stew of liver and pig's heart literally translates as scorched the gum rice has the consistency  of a light flaky biscuit   and i'm dipping it into a thick  very tasty and very warm stew is kumchai foreign nin bin stands amongst spectacular countryside  on the red river delta which stretches for   150 kilometers along the gulf of tonkin it  is actually vietnam's most populated area   containing many cities including industrial  ones like haifang and hanoi but traditionally   people clustered in this area  because of the fertility of the soil   and even today thousands of farmers are  employed cultivating its most important crop   rice next time i'll visit communist  leader ho chi minh's final resting place   ho chi minh had quite a modest lifestyle  is this what he expected no absolutely not   enjoy hanoi's distinctive brew i didn't  know you could add hot coffee to whipped egg   and watch my waistline at a clothing factory  i assume they make stretch garments here   i've had one of those egg coffees delicious   we're still traveling later on bbc two this  time with ed balls meeting a social media star   in milan a farmer in calabria and a french  lace maker whose life's in tatters travels   in euroland at nine next mariella frost and  pearl low on their celebrity antiques road trip you

2021-01-28 02:06

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