To capture some of the many amazing sights China has to offer, a cruise along the Yangtze River is a ‘must see’ attraction. The Three Gorges are rightly famous but in fact there are many other exciting and beautiful locations to see along the way. Here are our Top Ten Yangtze River Cruise Highlights.
Known as the “Ghost City”, Fengdu is a large complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife, located on the Ming Mountains. According to Taoist beliefs, the spirits of the dead would come here and face three tests before passing to the next life and would either enter Heaven or be condemned to Hell. Explore the city and discover the tests the ghosts would face.
Shibaozhai represents one of the gems of Chinese architecture along the banks of the Yangtze River. The temple on top of the mountain was once only reached by climbing a 200 metre iron chain. Since 1819 a stunning nine storied red pavilion has hugged one side of this rock to make climbing to the temple easier.
3. Wushan and the Lesser Gorges
Wushan is situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and Danang rivers, just above the western entrance to Wu Gorge. This 3000 year old town is the gateway to the lesser Gorges where birds, bat caves and monkeys can be seen from both banks. The water is strikingly clear in contrast to the muddy, turgid waters of the Yangtze.
4. Shennong Stream
Board a small “pea-pod boat” and journey up Shennong Stream where you’ll see the smallest of the lesser gorges. On this smaller scale, the surrounding natural beauty can be fully enjoyed. Where the waters are shallow or the current is strong, trackers take over and pull the boats along the most remote section
5. The White Emperor City
White Emperor City overlooks the western end of the 3 gorges. Legend has it that in 25AD, white vapour in the shape of a dragon rose from a well here and a soldier named Gong Sunshu declared himself the White Emperor. Since then it has been a refuge for would-be kings and poets, who have travelled here to be inspired by the majestic views. Remains of the city wall can be seen on the hill and a temple built to commemorate Gong’s reign dates back nearly 2000 years.
6. The Three Gorges
The most famous attractions of the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges are one of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures carved along the Yangtze river. Qutang Gorge is first, narrowest and most dramatic. Wu Gorge follows, with cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Xiling Gorge is the longest and the deepest – its cliff walls rise to over 1200 meters.
7. Three Gorges Dam
Completed in 2012, the Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man. Be inspired by the colossal scale of this engineering feat as you pass through the ship lock which lowers your cruise ship over 100 meters from the gorges to the flatlands below.
Wuhan is a hidden gem rarely visited by foreign tourists. Briefly the capital of China in the 2nd World War, this city as a rich and diverse history. Highlights include the ancient Yellow Crane Tower, the East Lake and the beautifully restored colonial buildings of the former British concession.
The “Southern Capital” was the centre of the Chinese empire for much of China’s history with a vast array of attractions to enjoy. Highlights include the Ming Tombs, Linggu Monastery, Confucius Temple and Sun Yat Sen’s Mausoleum.
By far China’s most modern and cosmopolitan city, Shanghai has an energy and atmosphere all of its own. Located where the Yangtze meets the Pacific Ocean, this bustling trading port and modern financial capital has always had a more liberal and international outlook than other parts of China. Enjoy the modern artistry, cutting edge architecture and amazing nightlife that make this city unique.
Here at Asian Horizons we work with the 5* Victoria Cruise Company for all our cruise excursions. Ranging from 4 to 7 nights, all cabins have private balconies. All off-shore excursions are included on our tours so you can fully enjoy these Top Ten Yangtze River Cruise Highlights.
More information on Victoria Cruises can be viewed on the following link: http://www.victoriacruises.com/
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