The Journey Down the Yangzi

You may undertake a spetecular cruise down the Jialing River to the Yangzi River. The 19-mile journey can be made in two hours. The cruise is highly recommended, espcially for those visitors who are unable to undertake the journey the Yangzi to Wuhan or Shanghai. There is a day cruise and an evening cruise.

If you have arranged a trip down the Yangzi by ferry, you begin your journey at Chongqing; vessels depart Chaotianmen Dock at 7 A M. every day. A bus collects passengers from their hotel around 6 A.M. (reservations at each hotel reception desk.) You sail on one of he modern cruisers (or less likely) on one of the older vessels carrying Chinese passengers (and possessing only a few “luxury” cabins ). The journey to Wuhan takes three days, to Shanghai five days.

On the first day you will pass through hilly er a where villages cling to the mountainsides. Your first port-of-call is Wanxian and you may get off and stroll around. Next morning your boat will pass the town of Fengjie (sometimes stopping there) before entering the three Sanxia Gorges. On this 120 mile stretch the boat goes through the Qutang Gorge (five miles long), the Wuxia Gorge (25 miles long), and then stops at the town of Badong. From there the journey continues through he Xiling Gorge (50 miles long) where, around 3 p.m. every- one goes on deck to watch the boat pass through the locks of the enormous Gezhouba Dam. Shortly after the boat docks at Yichang, where independent travelers sometimes disembark to catch the train to Luoyang (via Xiangyang).

Further downstream your boat passes under the bridge at Zhicheng before proceeding to Shashi, where you may disembark if you wish. The excursion to the ancient town of Jingzbou (also known as Jiangling) some five miles away is worthwhile. More than 2 000 years ago it was the capital of the State of Chu, during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.) The walls of the town, constructed under the Ming, are still standing. There are fine gates, watchtowers, and pavilions Worthy of special note are the two temples: Yuanmiaoguan and Kaiyuanguan.

The third day, is not of scenic interest because the river widens and the terrain is flat. The boat arrives at Wuhan.