At 6300km, the Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia, flowing from the Tibetan Highlands right across China into the East Chinese Sea. The official name of the river is "Changjiang" in Chinese. The name "Yangtze" is only used for the lower reaches of the river, but became the official name used in the Western world.
Five of China's largest cities are on or near the river and 1.8 million square km Yangtze River basin is home to a third of China's population. The River is of major economic importance: the volume of transportation on the Yangtze River is higher than the total transportation of all other rivers in China together. The agricultural areas along the river produce nearly half of the countries total crop production.
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam will ultimately drown some 1,300 archaeological sites. Cultural and historical relics are being saved by moving them to higher ground although some will be left underwater forever. The water level will rise to 175m, drowning villages, cities and historic relics. But when the Three Gorges Dam is completed, it will control the flooding problems that has affected the areas for thousands of years. Further more, the power generated from the Hydro-electric dam is equal to 18 nuclear reactors. Your luxury cruise takes through some amazing scenery on the longest river in Asia - the Yangtze River.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (IATA CKG) is located 21 km northeast of the city centre. Chongqing is a big city, flights are available from/to all major cities in China. International flights are also available but to only a few places, one of them being Hong Kong.
It is possible to use the airport buses from the airport to the city centre. Upon getting off the bus, catch a taxicab to your hotel. An alternative is to take a taxicab straight from the airport to your Hotel.
Alternatively, look out for a welcome sign with your name(s) on, our professional English-speaking guide will meet and transfer you to your hotel safely.
Cruising the Yangtze River
The easiest and most comfortable way to experience the beauties and attractions on the river is in taking a Yangtze River Cruise. Although it's possible to cruise from Chongqing to Shanghai, most people choose to experience the highlights of the Yangtze between Chongqing and Yichang. Downstream (Chongqing to Yichang) takes 4 days and 3 nights while upstream takes 5 days and 4 nights. The cruise will take you through spectacular scenery with excursions at famous sights. Some main attractions include various large and small cities along the riverside, many of which are many hundreds of years old, the Three Gorges, the enormous Three Gorges Dam and of course, the river itself.
The best time to take the Yangtze Cruise is in spring (March - May) and autumn (September - November) when the weather is cool and comfortable. These four months are often called high seasons. Beverages on cruise ships can be expensive, consider buying some to take on-board.
The stunning Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River stretches for 192km from Yichang to Kui Men near Fengjie. The three major gorges, after which this section of the river is named, are the Qutang Gorge, the WuXia Gorge and the Xiling Gorge .
Also known as "The City of Ghosts", this is the capital dedicated to the afterworld. A shore excursion will take you to the temples and shrines and you will also see sculptures and waxworks depicting the gorier sides of hell, including various tortures awaiting sinners.
The hanging coffins are high on the cliffs - remnants of the Ba Kingdom, an ancient people who settled in the region more than 4,000 years ago. It is an ancient funeral custom of the Ba people to bury the dead in coffins in caves high on the cliff. It's believed that this could prevent bodies from taken by animals and the soul would be blessed eternally.
Another excursion will take you upstream to the shallow waters of the Shennong stream. When the waters become too shallow, you will be transferred to a sampan. The smaller wooden boats are then pulled upstream slowly by trackers who are harnessed together by ropes. In the past, this was the only way for un-motorized boats to maneuver up the rapid currents of the streams. It was a dangerous and lowly-paid job.
At the end of the Three Gorges Section lies the giant Three Gorges Dam scheduled for completion in 2009. It will back up the Yangtze River for 550km, making it the world's largest dam. Due to the fact that the water will rise to a level of 175m behind the dam, millions of people have had to be resettled, bridges moved and historical relicts secured. The energy production capabilities of the dam are estimated at 84.7 billion kilowatts, equivalent to 18 nuclear reactors.
Eat & Drink
All meals are included on luxury cruise ships.
Beverage on cruise ships can be expensive, consider purchasin some on land and taking it with you onboard.
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