In Nanjing Michael Wood sees the building of a huge replica of a Ming ocean-going junk. In Suzhou the 'Venice of China', he explores the silk industry, ceramics and lacquer-making, and visits one of China's most beautiful gardens. Then in Macao, the arrival of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci begins China's fateful modern exchanges with the West.
Yongle moves the capital north to Beijing and builds the Forbidden City.
Michael Wood tells the tale of Admiral Zheng He’s voyages before Columbus.
A weekend of shopping and sightseeing in Suzhou - the tourist capital of the Ming dynasty!
In 1582, Matteo Ricci arrives in Macao, hoping to convert China to Christianity.
After the death of the Ming founder, a brutal new emperor takes charge.