The movie opens up at the palace where Chin, the prince, is picking weeds in the royal garden. He voices his concern about being married on his twenty-first birthday. When he goes to the palace, he sees peasants pouring into the palace bearing various gifts. The visor, Wang, then encounters Meeko who tries to sneak some treasures away, but Wang stops him. Chin steps in and gives some treasure to the peasants. However, when Meeko tries to grab a stray coin, the emperor steps in and declares all of the treasures he has isn't good enough for him. He demands that the peasants find him something he doesn't have. The emperor and Chin get in an argument about being surrounded by treasure, which didn't make Chin feel good about himself. Chin ends their conversation by saying he wishes he knew his mother whose death left a hole in the emperor's heart. The emperor goes outside and demands to his army the same order he gave to the peasants.
Elsewhere, Su-Ling, a young girl who lives with her grandfather, tries to set a boat into the water. Her grandfafther tries to convince her that she should be happy that she's engaged to a fisherman. Later, when they're in town, they're forced to give up five fish to the emperor. Before she leaves, she angrily rubs some "sauce" onto a fish being offered to the emperor. Laucher gives his fish to the guards, but before they leave, they notice Su-Ling's nightingale.
In the palace, a princess named Li-Nang with serveral allergies is being showered in all the emperor's gifts. Despite all the gifts, she's unsatisfied and demands for something more spectacular. She goes out into the gardens and meets Chin whose flowers cause an allergic reaction. Chin's albino tiger, Tang, tries to rub up against her, but she has another allergic reaction and this causes her to run away. Wang angrily scolds Chin for upsetting his fiancee, which displeases Chin. He talks to his father at dinner about being engaged to Li-Nang, but he refuses to listen. Instead of calling off the wedding for the sake of his son's happiness, he tells him to marry for power and possesions. Just then, Wang walks in with Su-Ling's nightingale, which the emperor accepts.
Back at Su-Ling's house, she weeps for the loss of her nightingale and angrily asks why the emperor had to take it away. Her grandfather tries to calm her, but his efforts are useless. Back at the palace, the peasants admire the nightingale's song and rejoice in the emperor finding the right treasure. However, the nightingale soon stops singing, which angers the emperor. In the referbished gardens, Wang apprached Chin with the nightingale and tells him about its refusal to sing anymore. Chin goes to his father's chambers and pleads for him to let it go, but he refuses to do so. Fed up, Chin runs off, leaving his father heartbroken. Wang convinces the emperor to let Chin go, which he eventualy decides to do.
In the morning, Chin exchanes his clothes with a peasant and leaves the city. On his journey, he helps out a couple peasants in exchange for food and admires the landscapes. He eventually ends up at Su-Ling's port where Tang accidentally lets loose all the fish. Su-Ling's grandfather comes out to the port where Chin offers his service to him.Su-Ling's grandfather admits he can't offer money to Chin, but he can give him food and room. Inside the house, Chin tries to wash off the fish, but Su-Ling looks in and assumes he and Tang are thieves. She attacks him outside where Chin loses all the fish he caught earlier. Su-Ling's grandfather walks by and tells Su-Ling that Chin is working for him. Su-Ling apologizes for attacking him and they help each other out of the water. During Chin's stay, he and Su-Ling slowly start forming a relationship.
Back at the palace, the emperor is getting more irritated by nightingale not sinnging. Wang tries to get the bird to sing, but nothing works. The nightingale gets annoyed by him and pecks his nose. The emperor gets angry and throows several vases at Wang . Meeko sneaks in and tells Wang about Su-Ling's grandfather, which Wang tells the emperor. He orders Wang to find her grandfather and bring him to the palace. At Su-Ling's port, she offers a scarf to ensure Chin's safe return.from his lone fishing trip. She bids him farewell and they exchange several good-byes. Meeko arrives at Su-Ling's house and kidnaps her grandfather. Su-Ling returns only to discover him gone. She notices the emperor's coin on the floor and runs out to rescue him.
At the palace, the emperor rejoices at the nightingale tweeting and excidedly claims the bird will sing for him again. Su-Ling's grandfather, though, states that the emperor has high expectations, which angers the emperor. The emperor reveals that he wants the nightingale to sing on Chin's wedding day, but Laucher states that the bird has to be free. The emperor then demands that both should be locked up until his orders can be followed. Outside, Su-Ling sneaks in through the gardens where she thinks about Chin. She enters through the front entrance where Meeko spots Su-Ling. She finds her grandfather and nightingale, which sings with her. Wang and Meeko arrive to hear Su-Ling sing and capture her,
Wang goes to the emperor where he discovers the wedding is called off. Wang then presents Su-Ling to the emperor and he witnesses the nightingale singing again. He orders Su-Ling to sing for him, but she refuses and states living in captivity is not a way of living. Instead, the emperor decides to make Su-Ling Chin's new bride-to-be, which disgusts her. Wang reveals that Chin is still not at the palace, which results in the emperor threatening to ban all beauty if Chin doesn't return and if Su-Ling and the nighnightingale don't sing for him.
Chin, in the meantime, finds Su-Ling and her grandfather are both gone. He overhears his father's orders and gives up trying to avoid him. Su-Ling, dressed up for her wedding, mournfully tells her grandfather she won't marry the prince and is love with Chin. Her grandfather tries to comfort her, but she bursts into tears. Unbeknownst to her, Chin has returned in his normal attire and admits he's only there to keep things in balance. Before he leaves to prepare for the wedding, he states he knows his father's loss and all the treasure he has won't bring his mother back.
In the courtyard, Su-Ling and Chin, dressed in their wedding clothes, stand next to each other without noticing whom they're being forced to marry. The emperor removes Su-Ling's veil and tries to begin the wedding. However, Su-Ling and Chin notice each other and embrace. The emperor is startled by his son's knowledge of Su-Ling, but weeps happily nonetheless. He then declares he will return everything he took from the peasants, which displeases Wang. The emperor, now feeling happy and complete, watches his son and Su-Ling kiss.
- This is one of the few films where none of the characters have blonde or brown hair or blue eyes.
- This movie seems similar to Disney's Aladdin
- Prince Chin: Jasmine
- Su-Ling: Aladdin
- Li-Nang: Prince Achmed
- Emperor: Sultan
- Tang: Rajah
- Wang: Jafar
- There is no real villain.
- This is the only Golden Film set in Asia.