Tuesday, July 12, 2011

China Part 10: Yangtze Cruise

All the stories about how beautiful the Yangtze River is are true.

We embarked on our Victoria Cruises ship in Chongqing.  It was a delightful river boat and our cabin was perfect.  We had plenty of room without wasted space.  (My favorite thing was that the beds were high enough for our suitcases to fit underneath.  That is not always the case, even on ships that you would expect this convenience.)

The river is busy, very busy.  I hadn't given any thought to what the river traffic might be, but I guess I'd assumed we would be virtually alone on the water.  WRONG!  There is a constant stream of barges, river boats, sampans, all sorts of commercial boat traffic, day and night.

With every twist and turn of the river through the gorges, the scenery changed.  It seemed that the views just got better and better.

This is a fishing contraption.  I never did figure out just how exactly it worked, but we did see a few of these along the river.  There was a lot of fishing, usually near the villages.

We saw some cliff burial places along the way.  This man enhanced cave in the side of the cliff used to contain coffins, although at this place they are gone now.  We did see one coffin still in situ.  Many were either moved or covered with water when the Three Gorges dam began its dramatic filling up of the gorges along the Yangtze.

We were lucky enough to take a day trip into the Lesser Three Gorges (on a tributary of the Yangtze).  The waters in this tributary are a startling turquoise and very beautiful.

We started out in the Lesser Three Gorges trip on what was called a ferry boat and ended up on a sampan when we entered the even smaller gorge area.

Here Nonie and I are on the sampan.

You can see the coffin we saw on the cliff side in the above photo.

One of the boatmen on the sampan sang a traditional song for us, wearing the local style hat.  It was hot there, very hot and humid, and I'm sure the hat was a necessity.

Here is the beautiful Rhoda, who was our UWAA liaison.  She was a delight and did a fantastic job coordinating with Peter Wong.  The whole tour had nary a hitch, due in part to all the careful arrangements Rhoda oversaw.  I've been lucky enough to see a little of her since we returned home.  I hope to nurture our budding friendship as I find her a joy to be around----she's funny, smart as a whip, interesting, out-going and just plain fun.  And, yes, I am one of her biggest fans!

It was just so beautiful along the river.  I was sorry we were only on a three day cruise.  If you ever get a chance to take a Yangtze River cruise, jump at the chance!

Scenes from a little town where we disembarked.  I can't remember the name of the place----sorry!

There are the boats that shriek of the history of the river.....

.....and barges and river-side factories that are the face of the New China.


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

STUNNING images! This area of the world has been on my list forever! JEALOUS! I am so glad you inhaled the whole experience...and shared! Lovely.

Meri said...

Another great tour!

Yangtze said...

Stunning pictures! I personally think that the hanging coffins are interesting part of the sampan trip. Our river guide was telling us in the speak that the boat was appoaching the site to view the hanging coffins. I tried very hard, and finally managed to see where it is.

Which month did you do the cruise? I can see the water is very green. I assume in April or early May?

Michele R. Unger said...

Yes, Yangtze, I was cruising in May. You do know "your" river!