Day 10: Yangtze - The Chinese Waterway
July 4th 2015:
The Journey along with Yangtze was really magical, starting in Chongqing and ending in Yichang. Now you might think you know how to say Chongqing… but I will guarantee you will get it wrong and every Chinese person you talk to will say it differently. So be prepared for a lot of confusion with this city name ha!
Chongqing, known as the 'Mountain City’ and a major urban centre in the southwest of china, has a population of approximately 29 million.
I think in terms of cities, Chongqing was probably my favourite. It felt a lot more familiar than the super massive Bejing and more closely resembled Western City infrastructure, where the centre and Central Business Districts are grouped in the epicentre of the city. Chongqing also had a much more of a modern vibe to it. malls, supermarkets, restaurants, street vendors and bars not only lined the streets but also occupied many floors of buildings, meaning if your on the hunt for a nice place you have to look in all direction, including up, up and up. Its a very 3-Dimentional city and although a less popular destination, shouldn’t be overlooked!
Chongqing claim to its heritage is less than some other cities. It focuses less on its historic assets and channels its current ones. Being at a ideal nodal point on the Yangtze river it is the perfect place for many river cruises bother starting and ending here.
I certainly feel the city really comes alive at night. If you take a trip down to the river, do not miss Red Cliff Cave. A contemporary complex built to emulate traditional Chinese architecture, built into the cliff face that overlooks the Yangtze River. Here you can also indulge in a short boat trip to see the city from a distance, illuminated in all its glory!
From here we took the Godess No.2 Cruise ship along the river. If you've been on the road, and traveling a lot and you are looking for a bit of R&R a Yangtze River cruise might just be the trick.
3 days and 4 nights en route to Yichang from Chongqing by boat offers the best of both worlds with top end, premium service and fully equipped facilities as well as a multitude of option shore excursions. You can tailor this part of your trip to your liking, weather you want to simply sit back and enjoy the waterfront scenery or pack some adventure into the trip, by exploring the many scenic points along with way.
Some of the most notable places to visit are Shaobzhai, Baidicheng and the Mini Gorges. More details in the Highlights section below.
Red Cliff Cave
Hongyadong, located in the central business district of Chongqing Jiefangbei. overlooks the confluence of two rivers in Chongqing. It has over 2300 years of history. "Hongyadong folk style area " is the term given to one of the famous and most Bayu traditional architectural characteristics of the "stilts" style houses seen on mountain terrain and built along cliffs.
This areas emulates a style of Chinese arcitecture but has been transformed into an area wher you can enjoy live music, bars and food and at night when it is bautifully lit up. Its a great place to wander and explore the many levels and alleys in the evenings.
The Goddess No.2
This Yangtze River cruise ship is the only new and deluxe 5 star cruise ship on Yangzte River in 2014. I was pleasently suprised how nice this was - great staff, great on board entertainment, pleanty of shore excursions and good food to! It also has a wealth of facilities, including:
Wi-Fi acces (Not Free)
Spa & massage facilities
Front view stand
White Emperor City:
Also known as Baidicheng, on the northern bank of the Yangtze River is Baidi City (White Emperor City).
Gongsun Shu, a general, set up a separatist regime by force of arms in Sichuan. He claimed himself the King of Shu. Because he saw white fog rising from the well of the mountain which was like a white dragon, he called himself the White Emperor. And he made it the capital city and gave the city the name - The White Emperor City.
As it is against Kui Gate of Qutang Gorge in the east, it is close to the Eight Elements Battle Formation in the west and is surrounded with water on three sides, it was often the point of battle in history. If you choose to visit here, you should definately take a boat ride and if you are lucky enough to be here at night - the Pavillion Observator is an amazing spot to stargaze,
Literally Meaning Precious Stone Fortress, Shibaozhai is described as the pearl of the Yangtze River. Shibaozhai a red pagoda temple of nine floors which leans against the side of the hill.
Built in the Ming Dynasty, 84 feet in hight , it is the tallest specimen of ancient architecture with the most storeys in China and reputed as one of the eight fantastic examples of architecture in the world. A spiral staircase in the pavilion can take you to the top to reach the temple.
Pass over the suspention bridge - known as 'drunken bridge' - if you ever cross it you will know why! I was lucky enough to be at Shibaozhai at sunset and it really is an impressive view!
The Three Gorges:
Three Gorges region has a total length of approximately 200 kilometres. The Three Gorges occupy approximately 120 kilometres within this region. Although it is primarily famous for its scenery, the Three Gorges region is also a historically and culturally important location in China. Many settlements and archeological sites are under submersion from the rising Three Gorges Dam
The three Gorges consist of the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge. The Gorges split and truncate at many points along the way, but I recommend taking a trip the the Lesser Gorges - Dragons Gate Gorge, Misty Gorge and the Emerald Gorge.
The water here is much more pure and the valley walls are narrower and higher. Riding a small boat down here is an experience not to be missed. This more secret part of the gorges is very beautiful!
To See More...
Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai:
To see more of the trip including Beijing, XI'an, Shanghai and the surrounding areas , Click below!