Cruise the Yangtze River, China
A cruise on the Yangtze River offers the chance to witness the merging of Chinese culture and landscapes. The bright lights and bustle of Shanghai and Beijing are wonderfully contrasted with the rural villages tucked upstream among dramatic cliffs. A cruise allows you to experience both sides of China, especially in the Three Gorges region. This part of the Yangtze boasts misty mountains, sheer gorges and verdant bamboo groves. It is also home to the world's largest engineering project, the Three Gorges Dam which is the biggest hydro-electric power station in the world. Nowhere is the marriage of rural landscape and technological advancement more evident than here, as your boat is whisked up five locks which overlook the stunning mountain scenery. The Yangtze also offers the opportunity to discover authentic China, from tasting gorgeous Peking duck, to revealing tours around jade and silk carpet factories and the rice fields which accounts for 70% of China’s total produce. The vast river basin is also home to a huge array of rare and endangered species. These range from the finless porpoise, the only creature of this type in the world, in the water to the beloved giant panda and the elusive snow leopard in its forests.
Where is it?
Asia’s largest river runs through the centre of the country, which historically marked the north and south of the country. It stretches over 19 Chinese provinces.
What is it?
The river stretches an incredible 3,964 miles from the Tibet Plateau to the East China Sea. It is the third longest river in the world behind the Nile and the Amazon.
Best time to visit?
The Yangtze cruise season runs from April to October but visit in April or May when the spring weather is at its most temperate.
Shibaozhai Temple is an epic 12-story red temple lovingly described as the Pearl on the Yangtze. Built around 1650, legend has it that the higher the climber ascends the more their prayers will be answered. The temple offers unrivalled panoramic views over the river as it stretches away to the horizon.