Yantze River tour will put you in the middle of the most breathtakingly scenery that China has to offer. The longest river in China and the third longest in the world, the Yangtze originates from glacial flow in the Tibetan Plateau and winds through southern, central and eastern China before arriving at Shanghai and spilling into the East China Sea.
Three Gorges Cruise
The most popular cruise routes are to the Three Gorges area which consists of the Qutang, Wu and Xiling gorges. Qutang Gorge is narrow and awesome to glide through with cliffs towering on either side and its narrowest expanse being only 100 meters.
Wu Gorge possesses the steepest cliffs which shoot into the sky more than 900 meters at spots. Wu presents 12 jetting peaks such as Peak of the Immortals, Goddess Peak and the famous Fairy Peak.
Xiling Gorge is the longest of the three. Erected in the middle of Wu Gorge is Three Gorges Dam which is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world and must-see for your affordable China tours. Cruise ships dock at the base of the dam and tour buses take you to the top for an amazing view of the area.
Three Gorge cruises either run upstream from Yichang to Chongqing or downstream from Chongqing to Yichang. There are several variances in the two cruise schedules. The upstream cruise takes an extra day (5 days compared to 4) to traverse and there are small differences in shore excursions. However, upstream tours typically have lower rates than downstream cruises.
The best time to take your luxury Yangtze River Cruises is in the spring (April/May), or in autumn (September/October) due to the comfortable weather in these months. However, better deals and lower crowds can be enjoyed during other months.
Other Yangtze River Experiences
Following are other experiences which you can enjoy on Three Gorges cruises and other deluxe cruise excursions along the Yangtze and its tributaries.
Take some extra time to ascend Jar Hill and behold the majesty of Three Gorges Dam from an elevated viewing platform which provides an even better view of the area. Explore Ghost City (Fengdu) which is where the souls of the dead must come to register. The legend states that depending on their life’s deeds, they will either be rewarded for good, or severely punished for wrongdoing. The town contains temples and extravagant statues of both demons and gods and is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.
Behold Badong which sits between Xiling and Wu Gorges and is a vibrant distribution center for getting goods to and from Sichuan and Hubei provinces. Take a small excursion up the Jia Ling River to the ancient village of Ci Qi Kou which was a prominent porcelain producer during the dynasties of both Ming and Qing.
Stop off at Chongqing which is the famous travel city for your top 10 China tours and enjoy a walking tour through the Chongqing Zoo which houses over 2,000 animals with the Panda House being the obvious main attraction. This is an excellent side trip for those traveling with children as the zoo also contains a fairground for children, roller skating area, performance areas, learning centers, restaurants and more.
Chongqing city also offers visitors its impressive South Hot Spring Park which contains such fascinations as Fairy Cave, Bamboo Rock as well as the Great Spring Scenic Area. The springs are surrounded by natural beauty and the 20 hectare area is an oasis of bliss within Chongqing.
Discover Baidicheng, or White Emperor Town, along the northern end of Qutang Gorge and famous town in China and one of must-see for your travel to China. The town’s 2,000-year-old history provides a wealth of sights to gaze on. Many of China’s famous poets sought inspiration in Baidicheng and, thus, it has become known as the "City of Immortal Poetry."
Embark on an additional broad beamed river boat up the Shennong Stream which empties into the Wu Gorge. Pass through Parrot Gorge, Longchang Gorge and Mianzhu Gorge, all clothed in lush vegetation alive with monkeys, wild goats, parrots and other creatures.
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