Cruising on Three Gorges of The Yangtze River
CHONGQING TO YICHANG
4 DAYS/3 NIGHTS DOWNSTREAM ITINERARY
Depart Chongqing - 9:00 pm: Sail from picturesque Chongqing, the “Mountain City”.
Shibaozhai - Take a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to Fengdu, visiting the new relocation village built for families who have moved as a result of the Yangtze’s rising waters brought about by the Three Gorges Dam. Additional optional Shore Excursion to Fengdu’s “Ghost City” (river conditions permitting), known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill. (B, L, D)
Enter the Three Gorges/“Small Gorges”/Shiplocks
Enter the Three Gorges, one of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures. Today you will pass through the first two—Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Qutang Gorge is the shortest (5 miles), narrowest (500 feet), and most dramatic. The 25-mile long Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Transfer to another vessel for a relaxing excursion through the attractive gorges of Goddess Stream. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to the gorges of Shennong Stream. Enter Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles), and the deepest of the Three Gorges. In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks. Additional optional Shore Excursion to White Emperor City (river conditions permitting), an ancient city overlooking the western end of Q utang Gorge. (B, L, D)
Three Gorges Dam/Yichang - Morning visit to the Three Gorges Dam at Sandouping, the largest in the world. Arrive Yichang in late morning and disembark. (B)
Itineraries and times are subject to change according to river conditions.
Included meals as noted in above itinerary: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner
Shibao zhai Pagoda or Fengdu Ghost City
Shennong Stream or Lesser Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam Project
Fengdu Ghost City 280 RMB p.p.
White Emperor City 280 RMB p.p.
Tips for the cruise crew 150 RMB p.p
Three Gorges 三峡
Originated in the far western part of China, Qinghai and Tibet Plateau, with a length of about 6300 kms, the mighty Yangtse or Changjiang 长江 is the third longest river in the world (after Nile and Amazon). This extensive waterway cuts through the heart of China. The river and flows through eight provinces before emptying its waters into the Yellow Sea near Shanghai. Over 700 tributaries draining a further six provinces join the Yangtse along its course.
The Yangtse has been described as the “wildest, wickedest river on earth”, a testament to its tendency to flood roughly once a decade causing death and destruction on a grand scale.
Generally Yangtse River can be divided into three parts:
The Upper reaches from the source in Qinghai Province to Yichang in Hubei Province, a distance of some 4400 kms. The Three Gorges are in this section.
The Middle reaches from Yichang to Hukou at the mouth of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province, a distance of about 1000kms.
The Lower reaches from Hukou to the Yangtse Delta, a distance of some 900 kms.
The Three Gorges of the Yangtse River lie between Chongqing and Yichang and are a popular destination for tourists the world over. With the building of the Shan Xia Daba (Three Gorges Dam) interest is higher than ever. In addition to the scenic grandeur of the gorges, the numerous rapids and odd-shaped peaks, the gorges are studded with countless historical sites and have been immortalized in reams of literature.
Immediately below White Emperor City, is Kui Men, the entrance to the first of the Three Gorges. Western travelers, also know the eight-kilometer Qutang Gorge as the Wind Box Gorge. The shortest but grandest of them all, the gorge’s widest point is only 150 meters. Mist frequently swirls around the limestone peaks, some nearly 1200 meters high, and the river rushes swiftly through the narrow entrance pounding the perpendicular cliff face on either side of the Gorge. Two mountains: Red Passage Mountain (Chijia Shan) to the North and the White Salt Mountain (Baiyan Shan) to the south, form the Kui Men entrance. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) chains were strung across the river as a gate to prevent passage of enemy boats.
Wu Gorge, “gorge of witches”, is generally considered to be the most enchanting of the Three Gorges. Below Wushan the river approaches the entrance to the 40 km long Wu Gorge which traverses Chongqing and Hubei Provinces. So sheer are the 2000m cliffs that it is said the sun rarely penetrates; sometimes the dappled light and misty showers give a surreal feeling.
Xiling Gorge starts at Xiang Xi Stream and zigzags for 76 kilometers down to the Nanjin Pass. It is the longest and historically the most dangerous of the Yangtse gorges. Before blasting made passage safe in the 1950’s the whole surface of the water was swirling mass of whirlpools sucking the froth they created into their centers! Landslides continued to destroy villages and in some seasons navigation remained treacherous before the first stage of flooding. Xiling is comprised of seven small gorges and two of the fiercest rapid stretches of the Yangtse between Chongqing and Yichang.
Travelers are advised to read the Trip Notes before your China tours.
Visas - A China visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China. Please view our web page for detailed information about China Visa: http://silkroadtrips.com/260.html
Insurance - Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. Please provide us with:
• Insurance company
• Policy number
• 24 hour medical emergency contact number
• The expiry date of the policy
You may check our webpage for more detailed information as below.
Vaccinations and Your Health - We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years.
Luggage - We suggest you to take one main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Don’t overload yourself, because you have to carry your own baggage.
Itinerary Disclaimer – The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
Accommodation - Each tour lists the hotel standard, you can check it before your booking, The hotels are selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range differently from tour to tour. In some remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities. Please note that there is no international classification system for hotels, and differences and quality do exist between the European Countries and China, though it is marked 4 or 5 star hotel.
In bigger cities and large towns the standard is similar although on a lesser scale. In small towns or villages where tourism is less prevalent, the hotels we use are smaller and facilities are more limited, though we generally stay in the best place in town. Rooms will still be en suite but rooms can be basic. Plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is warm, service levels may be less efficient than you may be used to.
Booking a Single Room – Silkroadtrips are pleased to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Kindly note our single supplement do not include sharing cabins on the overnight trains or cruises. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.
Aboard the overnight sleeper train, berths are usually in 1st class ‘soft sleeper’ lockable compartments for 4 which have 2 sets of bunks with clean bedding provided. WC and washbasins are provided for shared use at the end of each carriage. Hot meals and snacks are sold to your berth on all overnight journeys. In times of large demand we may have to travel in 2nd class ‘hard sleeper’ which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6,leading off an open plan carriage.
Bullet trains are getting popular, it is very modern with a high velocity of 300km per hour. There are western toilets, dinning car on the bullet trains, and normally for short distance running 1—8 hours.
You can check in 20 kg baggage and carry 5kg hand bag with you while boarding a flight in China. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.
Eating is always an important part of the tours. Each tour of Silkroadtrips has listed the included meals, please check it on-line. Our professional guide will always arrange the meals at clean local restaurants to taste different food with different budget approximately from CNY20 to CNY200 per person per meal. Please check our webpage for Chinese Cuisine as below.
Tipping - If you're happy with the services provided then a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. Tipping is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across China and other Asian countries. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in China or Tibet.
Tour guides: Throughout your tour you may at times have local guides or national guide. We suggest CNY10-15 per person per day for guides.
Porters: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest CNY5 per bag for porters.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). CNY5-10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Optional Extras - Our standard tours are planned to be as fully inclusive as possible. However, from time-to-time you may be suggested to join optional tours/sightseeing in addition to the standard sightseeing planned for that city. Such options are at an additional cost, with prices ranging from 20-200 CNY per person. If you do not wish to take part in any optional extras, you will have the option of enjoying some free time at leisure or to return to the hotel.
Personal Expenses - Kindly check the inclusions for your tour, you will need to take some extra money to cover drinks, laundry and souvenirs, plus any additional sightseeing that may be offered to you. Based on the advice of previous customers an approximate amount of $250 per week should be sufficient; however for those that can’t resist a bargain, consider allocating a higher amount.
Electricity Supply & Plugs
China operates on a 220V and uses a combination of US/European and Chinese style plugs in most hotel rooms. You can buy an international adaptor before the tour