At the historic port city of Southampton, the River Test joins with other watercourses in a wide and windswept estuary, big enough to make cruise liners and container ships look tiddly. But its upper reaches are in stark contrast.
At the first flush of dawn, the air rising up the slopes of 720m-high Mt Mogan carries a heady fragrance of bamboo and tea. The soft contours of the Tianmu Mountains extend towards the horizon in a misty sea of green and blue, while the occasional thwack of a bamboo cutter plying his tools reverberates around the surrounding slopes. Two hours from the glass and steel towers of Shanghai and there isn’t a single building in sight.