Laos to Hawaii

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Episode 6 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Simon Reeve continues his epic journey around the world following the tropic of Cancer, the northern border of the tropics region.

The last leg of Simon's journey begins in the jungles of Southeast Asia and ends in the tropical paradise of Hawaii.

Prevented from following the tropic through China by the Chinese government, Simon instead discovers the increasing Chinese influences in neighbouring Laos and Vietnam. And in Laos, he samples some local delicacies: roast squirrel (or is it rat?) and caterpillars. In Vietnam, he discovers cruelly caged moon bears, farmed for their bile, which is used in traditional medicines.

Next stop is Taiwan, and in the Tropic of Cancer primary school he meets some of the world's highest achieving children.

The journey around the world ends in Hawaii, a tropical paradise blighted by environmental problems, including some of the dirtiest beaches on the planet.

After travelling around the tropic of Capricorn and the Equator, this series completes Simon's trilogy of journeys exploring the amazing tropics region with his toughest, longest, most ambitious challenge yet.

More episodes

See all episodes from Tropic of Cancer
  • LAOS - NO LONGER 'THE LAND OF A MILLION ELEPHANTS'

    LAOS - NO LONGER 'THE LAND OF A MILLION ELEPHANTS'

    Laos used to be known as 'the land of a million elephants', but due to deforestation there are now just a few hundred left in the wild, and a few hundred left working in the logging industry, hauling logs out of the forest. Simon met Sebastien Duffillot, founder of ElefantAsia, a charity established to care for elephants in Laos. Simon visited the village home of a dozen working elephants and their owners, and saw Sebastien's mobile medical unit treating the injuries and infections sustained by working elephants.

  • LAOS'S LETHAL LEGACY

    LAOS'S LETHAL LEGACY

    Simon near the limestone hills in western Laos where thousands of Lao civilians sheltered in caves from bombs dropped by the American military during the Vietnam War. During the conflict Laos became one of the most heavily-bombed countries in human history, and unexploded ordnance is still a major problem in the country.

  • GOLF - VIETNAM STYLE

    GOLF - VIETNAM STYLE

    In Vietnam, Simon played golf with his guide Thu. Although officially still a communist country, a new entrepreneurial class has emerged in Vietnam. Dozens of golf courses have opened, catering to the new elite.

  • BEAR RESCUE, VIETNAM

    BEAR RESCUE, VIETNAM

    In 2008 there were approximately 4,000 farmed bears in Vietnam. Crammed into tiny cages, the bears are repeatedly cut open so that bile for traditional medicines can be extracted from their gall bladders, often leaving agonising and infected wounds.
    Simon met Misa, a Moon Bear recently rescued from a dark cage where he had been kept for 13 years and 'milked' for his bile. Misa was receiving emergency treatment after his rescue at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre run by the Animals Asia Foundation in northern Vietnam.

    Bears for Bile clip
  • TROPIC OF CANCER SCHOOL, CHIAYI, TAIWAN

    TROPIC OF CANCER SCHOOL, CHIAYI, TAIWAN

    While most other countries in the Tropics are desperately poor and riddled with corruption, Taiwan is a stable democracy with a powerful economy and one of the highest standards of living on the planet. Children at the Tropic of Cancer school, who wear slippers in class, eat at their desks during lunch and clean their own plates afterwards, benefit from one of the most advanced education systems in the world.

  • HAWAII'S PLASTIC PROBLEM

    HAWAII'S PLASTIC PROBLEM

    Simon with conservationist Sam Gon in Hawaii, on a beach covered in small plastic debris. Simon was shocked to learn that Hawaii is the extinction capital of the world, with more species dying-out on the islands than anywhere else on the planet, and that many of Hawaii's beaches are covered in plastic rubbish washed-up from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a vast accumulation of the world's plastic debris floating in the Pacific Ocean).

    Great Pacific Garbage Patch clip

Credits

Presenter
Simon Reeve
Director
Jeremy Jeffs
Producer
Jeremy Jeffs
Executive Producer
Sam Bagnall
Writer
Simon Reeve

Broadcasts

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