We have been stuck at home for over seven months now, Bingers. Our worlds have shrunk immensely into the four corners of our home (or garden, if you are into that.) I know there is that longing for the next big adventure the moment this pandemic is over but for now we have to tag along Ash Dykes as he traverses from West to East of China in Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes. Bingers, we got the early access to this upcoming 2-part special on National Geographic and here is our review.
Walking The Yangtze: A Journey That’s A Year in The Making
British explorer Ash Dykes set out on Mission Yangtze to set his third World First record. Previously in 2014, he became the first person recorded to complete a solo and unsupported 78-day expedition across Mongolia. Then, in 2016, he became the first person ever recorded to traverse the length of Madagascar, trekking 2,575km over its eight mountains in 155 days. And in 2018, he walked from west to east of China along the Yangtze River to set another record.
This mission, according to Dykes, was ambitious as no one has ever walked the entire length of the Yangtze River before. His 6,437 kilometre and 8 million step adventure started at the Yangtze’s source- the melt-waters of the Jianggendiru Glacier high up on the Tibetan Plateau, to its delta where it meets the East China Sea in Shanghai. Dykes documented his entire journey and it was a rather fulfilling watch.
The Thrill of Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes
When I first saw the trailer for the National Geographic 2-part special, vaguely aware of Dykes, I was instantly captivated. The shots were breathtaking and the journey was fresh. To my amusement, my expectations were surpassed.
The documentary showed everything- from Dykes’ preparation up to the hurdles that came along the way. It was narrated as if I, the viewer, was going along with him on his exploration. It had this style of storytelling that did not leave me out of the experience. So as for the experience, Walking The Yangtze was not just personal as he put it. It was also a look into what the human spirit can do.
Initially, the documentary gave off the impression that it was going to be focusing heavily on nature and will employ the man vs nature kind of narrative. In which, it did, partly. Dykes had to avoid animal attacks, encounter earthquakes, landslides, and blizzards. The nature did not make it an easy ride for him. And for that, Dykes impressed me with his determination.
Walk the Talk in Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes
But despite the power of nature exhibiting its abilities in the show, what impressed me the most was how it showed the culture of the people. As Dykes traversed across the Yangtze and entered different cities, he encountered various groups of people and immersed himself in different cultures. Personally, this is the part of the documentary that I loved the most.
At a time when China is at the spotlight, Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes took this opportunity to show us the other side of China. Its people, its nature, its provinces, and most of all, its rich and diverse culture.
Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes is the adventure that we might just need to fulfill our locked down selves. Explore the nature and the taste the rich culture of various groups of people in this National Geographic 2-part special. It is a co-production between Singapore-based production and content distribution company Bomanbridge Media and production company Mandarin Film along with China Intercontinental Press (CICC) in China.
Catch it on Cignal (CH 141 SD + CH 240 HD) | SKYcable (CH 41 SD + CH 195 HD) on October 20 and 27 at 9PM on National Geographic!