The longest river in China and the world’s third longest, the Yangtze spans more than 6300km, meanders through Qinghai and across Tibet. It travels through seven provinces, passing the much eulogised Three Gorges and ends its journey in the East China Sea.
For centuries, travellers have braved the turbulent waters and rapids. If travelling upstream, hundreds of coolies would use long ropes on either side of the river bank and heave the boat along. Small boats are still seen being hauled upstream in this way today. The journey upstream and downstream are less labour-intensive today and massive cruise liners have made their entry along with large freight vessels.
Despite the increased traffic along the river, especially on the stretch from Chongqing and downriver towards Shanghai (a week-long journey), the Yangtze River Cruise is an exceptional experience and one of the must-dos while visiting China.
The unsurpassed scenery and plentiful stops in charming villages and attractions offer visitors a fascinating insight into a China of yesteryear.