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Leaping Tigers, Naked Nagas

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Following the Yangtze River along Tiger Leaping Gorge into Yunnan in South West China, Michael Palin reaches the easternmost end of the Himalayas. At Lugu Lake he is the guest of the celebrated Mosuo singer Namu, who explains the intricacies of the matrilineal Mosuos - walking marriage where the women pick and choose their lovers at will. After a quick medical check-up with the octogenarian herbalist Dr Ho, Michael explores the delights of medieval Lijiang with the director of the classical Naxi orchestra. Heading over Myanmar [Burma] to Nagaland in India he meets up with some reformed headhunters before riding the steam train to Tipong coal mine. In one of the great tea estates of Assam Michael rides an elephant and learns that most of them have now been made redundant, while on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra he stays in a monastery where the monks love to dance dressed up as milkmaids. As he approaches the border with Bhutan Michael encounters one-horn rhinos and loses a tug of war with an elephant.


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