A country of contrasts awaits Justin and Anita in the first part of their trip
Our presenters cover 2,600 miles - from rural poverty to the bustle and modernity of Shanghai.
Justin Rowlatt and Anita Rani buy lucky charms for their cars in Tianyi market, Beijing.
China has the world's highest number of road deaths; the charms are to keep drivers safe.
Anita Rani visits a Taoist temple on sacred Mount Tai.
For decades the government suppressed religious worship, but now most forms are tolerated.
Justin Rowlatt and his guide Qiao Xin collect their ‘bread van’, which they will be driving on their 2,600 mile journey.
So called because they look like a loaf, bread vans are a common form of rural transport.
Justin at Heicaoyan, with farmer Wang Guisheng. The village farmers have no cars, and one donkey - shared with another village.
Half the Chinese are rural dwellers, earning a 1/3 of city dwellers' disposable income.
Anita joins a self drive holiday in Shandong province. More and more Chinese holiday-makers are exploring the country like this.
They travel in small convoys of around fifteen to twenty cars.
Justin Rowlatt meets a Mao lookalike at the Civil War battle re-enactment in Yan’an, Shaanxi province.
Yan’an was the Communist Party’s wartime base and is now a popular ‘Red Tourism’ site.