Great Asian Railway Journeys


Series 1 - 60-Minute Versions: 1. Hong Kong...

3.0 6 x
Michael Portillo begins his journey in Hong Kong. Michael’s railway highlights include the cable funicular to the top of Hong Kong’s highest mountain and the enviably efficient mass transit system.

Series 1: 20. Chinatown to Gardens by the Bay...

4.0 11 x
In Tai Seng, Michael goes underground to marvel at the world’s largest subterranean rail depot, where self-driving MRT trains are maintained.

Series 1: 19. Raffles Place to Botanic Gardens...

4.0 6 x
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.

Series 1: 18. Melaka to Johor Bahru...

4.0 9 x
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.

Series 1: 17. Kuala Lumpur to Melaka...

3.0 5 x
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.

Series 1: 16. Kuala Kangsar to Cameron Highlands...

2.5 7 x
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.

Series 1: 15. Penang to Kuala Kangsar...

3.0 14 x
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.

Series 1: 14. Ambarawa to Surabaya...

4.0 4 x
In the mountainous interior of Java, Michael discovers how coffee was first brought to the island for cultivation and learns about production today.

Series 1: 13. Yogyakarta to Ambarawa...

3.0 3 x
In Java’s royal city, Yogyakarta, Michael visits the Sultan’s palace and admires the ancient art of shadow puppetry known as wayang.

Series 1: 12. Jakarta to Borobudur/Kutoarjo...

4.0 4 x
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.
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