"Changjiang Cruise" Hubei Sheng by urban4est
Hubei Sheng Travel Guide: 296 reviews and 1,204 photos
This was a wonderful trip. We took the cruise ship from Yichang to Chongqing. Part of the dam system was already operating in October 2003 so the river was already changing but not to its eventual depth (height?).
The landscapes, river people, the wooden boats, riverside villages, mountain caves, Fengdu (the Ghost City), Shennong Stream Trackers, riverside temples are all parts of this amazing river culture. It is a wonderous trip.
The rivers throughout civilization have been a great influence on civilizations. This trip which lasted three days three nights was an eye opener. About 12% of the world's population lives on this river. It is one of the great rivers of the world. Following a river like this, such as the Mississippi, Ganges, Amazon or Nile, lets you look into the history and soul of mankind with enough quiet time to ponder the impact.
We started the trip by being driven to Yichang for 3 hours in the Lianhuashan Hospital's Ford Van. This was a good drive with the last chance to talk with my friends at the hospital. They took us to our hotel, The Yichang International Hotel, we had lunch together then said goodbye and they started the trip back.
The next day we borded the ship early in the morning. A porter offered to carry my bags (they weighed in at Chongqing Airport at 55kg) for 10 yuan. He carried them down stone steps across gang planks and up four flights of steep steps to the birth. I was glad to pay him to do it.
As we pulled away from Yichang I saw women washing laundry in the river and a man waved and shouted as he swam past the other way.
The ship was not for Laowai (foreigners) cruising. Food was on strict schedule and poor quality. The first night at midnight some passengers finally went to the Karaoke/Dance room (top deck) to stop the noise that was keeping everyone up. The rest of the trip the room closed early. The shower had no hot water (at any time of day) and the bunk was hard and narrow. Other than that it was the perfect cruise. In the locks I spoke with a gentleman from Germany on a group tour. We hung over the ship rails talking with each other. They had a fancier ship with good food, entertainment and lounge chairs on deck.
The Locks Above Yichang were impressive. We were lifted up and went on our way. But this was nothing compared to the locks we would go through later near the Three Gorges.
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