Along the Yangtze river

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September 15th 2014
Published: September 16th 2014
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After a very long bus ride from Emei Shan, we arrived in Chongqing. It took nine hours, when it should have been around five, and included a stop at the most horrible ladies toilets ever! It was interesting to see some of the countryside, but we were very glad to get on our boat, the Oriental Emperor.

The boat set sail along the Yangtze overnight with about 150 Chinese tourists and our small group. At breakfast the next morning, a few Chinese people stood and stared at us eating - it would have been disconcerting if we hadn't already been photographed lots by Chinese people, including a monk with an iPad...

The next day we docked at a couple of places - they weren't keen on letting you off the boat unless you paid for their expensive excursions, and we discovered why when we finally got off and found they were charging 260 yuan for a short walk to somewhere with an entrance fee of 50! The views from the boat were good, and it was nice to have a relaxing day watching the world go by. Meals on board were quite cheap, and most of the dishes were nice.

On the second day, we sailed through two of the three gorges - spectacular scenery, and quite strange to think how it's changed since the three gorges dam was built in the mid-90s. In the afternoon we got a smaller boat down a tributary with a narrower gorge with monkeys and hanging coffins from the local people wedged in the rock. We were taken to their village, clearly relocated when the dam was built and designed for tourists. A bit depressing really.

We were due to sail through the five-stage ship lock at the dam in the late evening, but it was closed due to heavy rain. Instead we took a bus to Yichang the next morning to catch an overnight train to Liuzhou.


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