Virtually everyone has heard of the Forbidden City. What most people don’t know is that there are in fact two Forbidden Cities. The Manchu emperors ruled from a palace complex in what is now the north China city of Shenyang. From there they set out to conquer Ming-Dynasty China.

Once known almost exclusively for its smokestack industries, Shenyang is a city in the process of reinventing itself. Steel mills and cement factories are being replaced by open space and new housing developments. Still, living in Shenyang means living through the bitter cold of Winter.

Far to the south, where even the Winters are warm, sports play a crucial role in the life of Hong Kong. The spirit of sport, a need to push life itself to the limit, is similar to the driving force that turned Hong Kong from a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan city.

Still it’s ironic that the city’s link to the greatest sports event of all, the Olympics, was a racetrack…

The so-called “out islands” attract a whole new breed of tourist, looking to redefine just what a “Hong Kong adventure” might entail. They offer a perfect venue for kayaking, as these small boats are the best way to view sea arches and water caves. All of which leave you with the illusion that you are alone on a South Seas island, rather than just minutes away from a center of international trade.

I was the Series Producer/Writer, as well as Producer/Director of selected segments. It would never have been possible without the help of Co-Producer Jiang Weihui. The Coordinating Producer was Julie Jinwen Dai. The series was narrated by Chris Verrell.

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