Pretty Li River and Gorges Yangtze River Cruises
By: huiya chen
My two cruises along the Li River in Guilin and the Yangtze River are the most highlights in my fabulous 10 days china vacation. My trip starts from Beijing. After 3 days traveling there and a wonderful Beijing Duck dinner, we fly to Guilin and rest at Fubo hotel.
Guilin's scenery is quite different from Beijing. Not so modern and filled with more native soil feeling. The hills look so elegant. My tour guide is a lovely lady. She told us "if you come to china without visiting Guilin, your trip is not completed". Is it true?
My essence tour in Guilin starts at next morning after my breakfast. We drive about 40 minutes away from the city and start an excursion by boat along the Li River. The boat we took is a three levels one with an open deck on the top where I like to climb to enjoy the scenery along the bank or take photos. Along the river, we are inspired by the picturesque mountains, peaceful green fields, crystal-clear water, lush bamboos and villages with water buffaloes. The famous scenic spots like "Yearning for Husband Hill, Crown Cave, Painted Cliff, Reflection of Yellow Beach, Xingping Town, Five Fingers Hill, etc." are so pleasing to the eyes and the mind. The most interesting part is we come to a small village for 1 hour to visit a nearby school after we arrive at Yangshuo. I even get two grapefruits from the local students as gifts. They all look so lovely. I like the way to communicate with local Chinese directly.
In all, this 4-5 hours sailing was a fabulous trip and we were enjoyed so much and eager to tell more people to do this.
The popular food in Guilin is local noodle. It is quite different. If you visit there, don't forget to taste it.
Yangtze Cruise is the last destination in my 10 days trip. I want to have a look of the largest water conservancy project- Three Gorges Dam.
Normally there are downstream and upstream cruising routes available. Starting from chongqing to Yichang, or Wuhan and Shanghai is downstream where starting from Wuhan, Shangahai or Yichang to Chongqing is upstream. Upstream direction needs one day more on the ship. I choose to leave China from Shanghai so downstream is suitable for me.
The ship we took was Yangtze Paradise, a ship with five decks and houses 196 passengers and 120 crews. The ship is always known as "the flowing hotel." On the ship we get many Chinese style entertainments such as the lesson about Chinese painting and calligraphy, pearls, Jades. I just try Taiji in the morning. It is not so difficult to try Taiji. There are also traditional folk performance at the nighttime.It is really big fun on this trip. We are not only to view the beautiful scenery but also get more friends from different countries on the board.
The daily shore excursion to Fengdu, Shennong stream and Three gorges dam site also make us exciting. We take a smaller wooden boat called "pea-pod boat" drifting along Shennong Stream. Shennong Stream is a small tributary of Yangtze River with 60 kilometers long, popular with its special virtues of serenity, uniqueness, primitiveness and wilderness. We are quite excited to view the groups of monkeys sporting among the trees, ancient hanging coffins, and the minority people.
Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man. It will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on the top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. Upon arrival at Sandouping, we have a chance to get a bird's eye view of the magnificent project from the observation deck. We also observe the five-step ship lock, the diversion canal, the dam in construction, and the power station.