A Wonderful Trip Along the Yangtze River
"The Yangtze River is the world’s third largest river with a total length of over 6,300km, originated from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau - renowned as the “Roof of the World”, traversing the entire mainland China eastward and flowing into the Pacific Ocean. There are beautiful and spectacular natural views, and places with fascinating historic culture and distinctive local conditions and customs along the river. Along this travel route, lots of places of interest can be found in such places as Chongqing, Yichang, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Nanjing and Shanghai along the Yangtze River. In particular, the Three Gorges scenic area, one of top ten scenic spots in China and a world famous scenic area, boasts peculiar landforms, exquisite sceneries and cultural landscapes well-known in both ancient and modern times at home and abroad. The Three Gorges has displayed its immortal beauty for millions of years and attracts tourists in the world."
Description of the Itinerary
Day 1: start from Chongqing. Visit [Zhazi Cave] and [Bai’s Mansion] to learn about the war-time culture of the secondary capital in Anti-Japanese War; stroll along the [People’s Square] and visit the landmark building of Chongqing - [Great Auditorium of the People in Chongqing]; visit [Hongya Cave] to experience “stilted buildings on the cliff and old Chongqing in memory”, and taste special Chongqing snacks; then take a bus to Chaotianmen Port; take a luxurious cruise ship and float downstream along the Yangtze River, and enjoy the sight of Pinghu in eastern Chongqing region and the scenery of villages and towns. Day 2: arrive at [Fengdu County] in the morning, and go to [Wulong County], a world natural heritage site of Wulong Karst landform, to visit the [Fairy Mountain National Forest Park], known as the “Eastern Switzerland”, and appreciate the 100,000-mu sea of forests and 200,000-mu mountains and meadows (by mini-train) in the south China; in the afternoon, transfer to a bus in the scenic area to [The Three Natural Bridges] scenic area, a world natural heritage site and also a setting where Zhang Yimou’s film Curse of the Golden Flower was shoot, and appreciate the amazing geologic wonders of [Yangshui River Karst Canyon] and [2 pits between 1 canyon and 3 bridges], and take a bus to [Fuling District], the hometown of Chinese Zhacai (pickled vegetable of Sichuan), and return by boat. Day 3: arrive at [Shibaozhai] - “one of eight strange structures of the world” in the morning; arrive at Wanzhou Port in the afternoon, and visit [Qinglong Waterfall] - the “Asia’s first waterfall” and appreciate the green hills, clear water, wide waterfall, fantastic caves, quiet water and beautiful rainbow. In the daytime, stroll on the ship and enjoy the sight of Pinghu in eastern Chongqing region and the scenery of villages and towns. In the evening, go ashore and visit [Zhang Fei Temple], a cultural site including main hall, Jieyi Building (the Building of the Sworn Brothers), Zhufeng Pavilion and Cuckoo Pavilion, to learn about heroic and legendary life of Zhang Fei, a famous general during the Three Kingdoms period, and then visit the new county of Yunyang on the cruise ship. Day 4: arrive at the wharf in Xiangxi Village by boat and take a bus to [Shennongjia Forestry District]: proceed to [Zhaojun’s Hometown] - the hometown of Mingfei - Wang Zhaojun who is one of the Four Beauties in Ancient China, to experience the [guest welcoming ceremony in Han Dynasty], visit [Zhaojun Memorial Museum], [Zhaojun Residence], [Black Bamboo Garden], [Nanmu Well], [Niangniang Spring] and [Han Dynasty Village Site] to feel the growth environment of one generation; take a bus to [Xiangxi Source] Scenic Area (the tour takes about 1 hour). On this historic site of ancient glaciers, there are ancient trees towering to the sky, mountain flowers in full bloom and boulders in valleys. Then go to [Shennongtan] scenic area to worship Shennong - Emperor Yan (the first ancestor of the Chinese nation), and taste original and unique scenery of Shennongjia Forestry District. Day 5: arrive at Fengjie County, known as the “city of poetry” in the morning, go ashore and visit Baidicheng Scenic Area - the remains of Three Kingdoms Period and a 4A scenic area, to feel the vicissitudes of history of Three Kingdoms accompanied by Li Bai’s poem “In the morning, I said goodbye to Baidicheng in clouds and took a boat to Jiangling County a thousand kilometers away where I will arrive within one day”, and visit Mingliang Palace, Wuhou Temple, Observing Stars Pavilion (Guanxing Ting) and other buildings which will remind you of last words of Liu Bei for his son Liu Chan- “treat him as your father while working with the prime minister”; then cross the Qutang Gorge referred in the poem “if there is one place with most distinctive scenery, here has the best among Three Gorges”, enjoy the spectacular view of “water converge in Kui Gate, struggling to flow through the Qutang Gorge”, take a close look at “no place is more majestic than Kui Gate”, admire the unique and splendid landform at Qutang Gorge, and appreciate world famous wonder [Kui Gate]; arrive at Wushan Port in the morning, and take a boat tour to the natural masterpiece [Lesser Three Gorges] or [Goddess Creek], and you will be reluctant to leave the dreamlike place with clean water, rare stones and primitive environment. Turn around and continue to visit the Wu Gorge which is as beautiful as a gallery, appreciate rain and clouds over Wushan Mountain, and visit the famous [Goddess Peak]; then appreciate the beautiful [Xiling Gorge]. In the evening, pass the [five-level ship locks of Three Gorges Dam] by boat to experience the spectacular view “down the ladder” in person. Day 6: in the morning, take a bus along the special highway for Three Gorges Project to the world-renowned [Three Gorges Dam], climb to the Tanziling Mountain overlooking panorama of the dam and grand five-level ship locks, go to Interception Memorial Garden to learn about the process of river closure, and climb to 185 Platform near the dam feeling the majesty of the grand dam, viewing the wonderful scenery of “river water in a high gorge converges into a flat lake”, admiring this great magnificent feat of Chinese nation, and experiencing the magnificence of “cities sit above the water, water flows below cities”. Day 7: in the morning, arrive at Chenglingji Wharf of Yueyang by boat, and take a bus (about 3.5 hours) to [Shaoshan] - a beautiful place where talents are produced from generation to generation; visit the Former Residence of Mao Zedong, where the great leader Chairman Mao was born; visit Mao Zedong Bronze Statue Square to pay respect to this great man of the generation; visit Nan’an Private School; in the afternoon, take a bus to Huaminglou where Liu Shaoqi, a former Chairman of China, was born, to visit the Former Residence of Liu Shaoqi, Bronze Statue Square and Liu Shaoqi Memorial Hall; return to Yueyang by bus and board the ship. Day 8: arrive in [Wuhan], and enjoy wonderful views of Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge - “a bridge links the south and north, making natural moat become a thoroughfare”, at Yellow Crane Tower in the morning. That’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Yellow Crane Tower to the nearby Red Tower - the former site of Wuchang Uprising in the Xinhai Revolution, which is a small distinctive red building and actually the Museum of Wuchang Uprising with a statue of Sun Yat-sen who is widely respected standing at the gate. Visit [East Lake Scenic Area of Wuhan] - China’s largest lake within a city, and Xingyin Pavilion and Changtian Mansion and other places to appreciate the perfect combination of natural sceneries and cultural landscapes. Enjoy the free time on your own at Pedestrian Street on the Hanjiang Road and then return to the boat by yourself. Day 9: arrive at Hubei Provincial Museum - the only provincial comprehensive museum in Hubei Province which contains over 200,000 world-famous and precious historical relics such as Bianzhong of Marquis Ji Yi of Zeng State, Sword of Goujian in the Yue State and Spear of Fuchai in Wu State, early in the morning. Watch Bianzhong performance at 10:30 a.m. and enjoy the ancient music for 15 minutes which will put an end to the journey in the morning. After lunch, go to Wuhan University where the scenery is the most beautiful in the cherry blossom season but if you miss it, cultural atmosphere of old buildings and natural beauty of mountains surrounded with meadow can be felt. In the evening, you can go to Optics Valley Pedestrian Street, the world’s longest pure pedestrian business street. Day 10: arrive in Jiujiang by cruise ship. Go to Lushan to visit Lulin Lake, Lulin Bridge, Lushan Museum (Lulin No.1 Villa), and Stele Display Garden of Poems of Maozedong; visit to the scenic spot [Stories of Old Villas] referred in “one cannot know Lushan well without seeing old villas in Donggu”; visit Ruqin Lake (Violin-shaped Lake), Tianqiao (Sky Bridge), Jinxiu Valley, Haoyun (Lucky) Stone, Perilous Peak, historic site of Tanpan Platform (Negotiation Platform), Guanmiao Pavilion, Fairy Cave, club moss and Yubei Pavilion (Imperial Stele Pavilion); take a [Xinglong Ropeway] at the dam to [Shimen Gully] - the most famous scenery of Lushan referred in “It’s like a range when you look at the mountain from the front. But it’s like a peak when you look at it at its flanks. The mountain shows its different features in different levels near and far.”, and visit Lenin Stone, Suspension Bridge, Tiechuan Peak (Iron Boat Peak), U-shaped Valley and other sites; in the evening, roam the street garden in Kuling Town to appreciate the charm of various architectures built by any style of the world in such a mountain city in clouds! Stay at Lushan Hotel at night. Day 11: visit the Hanpo Pass with natural beauty of lakes and mountains, and look at the Wulao Peak, known as the leader of peaks when seen from afar; pass Lushan Botanical Garden - the “first subalpine botanical garden in China”; visit Sandiequan Waterfall referred in “one shall not be a real visitor of Lushan without going to Sandiequan Waterfall”; visit White Deer Grotto Academy which boasts a history of over a thousand years - the best of the Four Great Academies in ancient China; visit Xunyang Building - the place where Song Jiang (the leader of a group of outlaws in the Song Dynasty referred in the telegraph “All Men are Brothers”) wrote an anti-government poem after being drunk; visit Suojiang Pavilion in “silver-grasses surround the bank along the glistening light of waves, yellow plum trees are reflected in the river along with the beauty of mountains”; finish the trip and return to Jiujiang by bus. Day 12: go to Mountain Huangshan Scenic Area by bus, transfer to a bus in scenic area at Tangkou Town near the south gate of Mountain Huangshan and go to Ciguang Pavilion, and walk to or take a cable car to [Mountain Huangshan], visit Yuping Peak (Jade Screen Peak), overlook Tiandu Peak (Heavenly Capital Peak), take a close look at Guest-greeting Pine, Guest-goodbye Pine and inscriptions on precipices, visit 100-step Scaling Ladder and One Line of the Sky, climb Aoyu Peak, and climb Bright Summit Peak - the second highest peak of Mountain Huangshan, visit Feilai Stone (Stone Flying from Afar) and Paiyun Pavilion. Or visit the fantastic scenic area of Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon. Stay at Huangshan Hotel at night. Day 13: get up early and watch the sunrise, visit the Stone Monkey Gazing at the Sea, Dream of Flowers Blooming at Pen-tip and the Eighteen Arhats Worshipping at the South Sea, climb the Shixin Peak and watch wondrous pines on Mountain Huangshan - Black Tiger Pine, Lianli Pine (Couple Pine), Longzhao Pine (Dragon Claw Pine), Shuqin Pine (Harp Pine) and Tanhai Pine (Sea Exploring Pine), visit White Goose Ridge, walk down the mountain or take a Yungu ropeway down the mountain, and take a bus in the scenic area to the transfer center; in the afternoon, watch poetic and picturesque Huizhou tea culture performance and taste Maofeng Tea from Huangshan Mountain at [Spring Tea House]. Return to Jiujiang by bus. Day 14: arrive in Nanjing by cruise ship. Visit [Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum] - a 5A scenic area in Zijin Mountain Scenic Area, and visit [Xuanwu Lake]: enter Xuanwu Lake area from Xuanwu Gate, stroll around the most famous lake of Nanjing, enjoy the natural beauty of lakes and mountains, watch the Purple Mountain and City Wall of Ming Dynasty, and visit Fraternity Gateway, Fraternity Square, Stele Pavilion, Mourning Hall and other places. Visit [Confucius Temple - Qinhuai Scenic Area], an integration of culture of capital of six ancient dynasties and folk culture: cross the Wende Bridge, and visit Wuyi Lane, “Pivot of World Culture” memorial archway, the largest screen wall in China, big red wall, Pan Pool, eastern and western market and so on, to feel “The 10-kilometer-long Qinhuai River has been flowing for thousands of years; the capital of six ancient dynasties is more glorious now”. Day 15: arrive in Shanghai by cruise ship. Visit Pudong New Area, Nanpu Bridge and Huangpujiang Tunnel by bus, visit Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower which is 468 m high, 88-storey Jin Mao Tower and 110-storey Shanghai International Finance Centre, and visit the [Shanghai Bund] - a mark and symbol of Shanghai for a hundred years, the exotic building clusters in the Bund of Shanghai and Huangpu River scenic area, and view the magnificent sceneries aroung the Huangpu River, such as Scenic Area in the Bund of Shanghai, and Pedestrian Street on Nanjing Road, experience the prosperity of the old Shanghai, and stroll the five-star business street in Shanghai. Finish the cruise trip along the Yangtze River.