5 Days Natural Cultural & Historical Yangtze River Cruise

Unveiling the secrets of Yangtze River - longevous locals, hanging coffins... (Yichang to Chongqing)

When we talk about the Yangtze River, what do we think of?

Is it the longest river in Asia, or is it "the world's largest water conservancy project-the Three Gorges Dam" in the news network? In the development of human modern civilization, the aborigines of the Yangtze River are often the forgotten ones. The locals have always been labeled as barren and undeveloped.

I have heard from other places and never seen it with my own eyes. All the pictures are speculations in my head, and they are very subjective. It was not until I landed on my feet that I could see the real side of the Three Gorges. The beautiful mountains and rivers, the diverse Tujia tribes, the sunrise and sunset at the end of the horizon, there is a place beyond all photography and imagination. I can't record her one percent beauty with lenses and words.

On November 22, 2019, I embarked on a destination I never expected: the Golden Waterway-the Yangtze River, to complete my chic and adventure.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Arrive at Maoping Wharf in Yichang-check in at the Victoria Anna Cruise at night.

Day 2: Three Gorges Tribe (Longjingxi section)-return to cruise ship for lunch, lunch break--Three Gorges Dam--dinner--Crew talent show. (Chinese Minority Costume Show)

Day 3: Shennong Stream--return to cruise ship for lunch, lunch break-- White Emperor city--dinner--Crew talent show. (Magic, Chinese folk dance, etc.)

Day 4: Sleep until nature wakes up--lunch-Fengdu Ghost City--Jade Emperor Scenic Area--Captain farewell dinner--Traditional Chinese costume experience (Dragon Robe, Ancient Chinese Noble Costume, etc.)

Day 5: Waking up to sleep naturally-Breakfast-Chongqing Chaotianmen Pier left.

Memory of the Yangtze River

Unforgettable night-first meeting with Victoria Anna

This is my first time on a large river cruise. I was worried that the hull vibration would affect the rest due to cruise ship sailing or work. But on the first night of the cruise, there was no noise or vibration, and I had a good rest.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Embarking Victoria Anna

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Cozy Cabin of Victoria Anna

The first stop of the whole voyage-the Three Gorges Tribes. Looking back now is also one of my favorite spots in the itinerary. Early in the morning, Ms. Cen, a tour guide wearing Tujia costumes, was waiting for us in the lobby. Along the way, she always enthusiastically explained to us the sights to visit today and the local human history. The Three Gorges is a 100% natural scenic spot. The entire journey requires walking, and it takes about 1.5 hours to travel. Attractions staff are locals. Along the way, we can see the locals' lives, housing, wedding and funeral customs.

I have heard of the unique local funeral customs before I came here. After the locals die, they will be put into the coffin, and then the coffin will be placed in the gap between the cliffs on the banks of the Yangtze River. The locals believe that hanging the deceased on a cliff can suspend the body so that the soul can go to heaven and earth, gain divine power, and protect the children and grandchildren.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Hanging Coffin on the Cliff

Tujia Wedding: There is such a traditional "cry marriage" in the local area. This means that when a woman marries, she will sing a local crying marriage song while crying. The louder the cry, the better it sounds, and the happier your married life will be.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Experience Tujia Wedding

Green mountains and green water, a leaf flatboat, a beautiful Tujia girl. All my beautiful imaginations of the Three Gorges are here.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Tribes of Three Gorges

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Tribes of Three Gorges

The Three Gorges Dam - the Largest Water Conservancy Project in the World

There is a lot of information on the Three Gorges Dam online, and I won't go into too much here. The visit time of the Three Gorges Dam is about 3 hours. China is developing rapidly, with more and more new energy (nuclear, wind) power stations being built. At present, the ratio of the Three Gorges power generation to the national power generation is less than 2%. The current function of the dam is to prevent flooding. 

The best seasons of the year to visit are March-April and October-November. The dam is a multifunctional engineering structure with flood discharge in the middle and power generation on both sides. With the dam as the center, power is provided for the area with a radius of 1,000 kilometers.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Three Gorges Dam

Incredibly, there are so many different outfits on the cruise ship. (Mongolian, Uygur, Bai, Miao, Cheongsam, Tang Costume, Hanfu, etc.)

The fashion show after dinner was attended by the crew on board. Maybe one of them has poured wine for you at the table. So don't be too restrictive. After the performance, they will invite every guest to take a photo with them on the stage. If you like their service, don't miss this opportunity.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Performances on the Cruise Ship

Rest in Nature along with the Mountains upon Shennong Stream

The round trip takes 2 hours. Shennong Stream was originally a small tributary of the Yangtze River, with a water depth of only 2-3 meters. After the completion of the Three Gorges Project, the water level rose by more than 90 meters. Shennong Stream is the hometown of Ba people, which has given birth to Ba culture with its characteristics. Ba mountain near Shennong Stream is rich in wild tea and Chinese herbal medicine. The area is famous for its longevity. 

The secret of longevity is that the local soil and water quality are rich in Selenium. Therefore, the local animals and plants are rich in selenium. Selenium is respected as "the tinder of life" by the medical and nutritional circles at home and abroad, and enjoys such reputations as "the element of longevity", "the nemesis of disease" and "natural antidote for the human body". It plays a huge role in human health.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze River and Shennong Stream

The captain welcomes the banquet, enjoys the food, and has a close contact with the captain for a relaxing afternoon.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Welcoming Party with Captain

Walk into White Emperor City

White Emperor City is next to the Yamen Gate, and it is surrounded by water on three sides. Easy to defend but difficult to attack. A strategic location is extremely important.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

White Emperor City

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Kuimen Gate

Eastern Anubis Castle - Fengdu Ghost Town

Are there ghosts in Fengdu Ghost Town? Not any at all. The culture of ghosts and gods represents the awe of etiquette and respect in ancient times. Etiquette and law are the foundation for maintaining social stability and harmony. No rules, no standards. Only with awe can we exercise restraint.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Fengdu Ghost Town

Unforgettable Captain Farewell Dinner, Cheers!

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Captain Farewell Dinner

The unnamed birds along the Yangtze River fly as leisurely as the locals.

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Gulls Flying around the Port of Fengdu


At the end of the journey, the previous questions gradually had some answers but they were not clear. It is indeed far from modern industrial civilization. There are no skyscrapers or roads. Only mountains and water and cruise ships. Staying on a cruise ship is in a 5-star hotel, leaving the cruise ship to a completely primitive nature.

Even though the people here are not rich enough, they are happy enough. It may be the optimistic gene left by their ancestors. When we met, they all laughed and waved, greeting our cars without borders and giving us a warm and genuine welcome.

Therefore, it is not necessary to look at it with compassion or pathetic emotion, after all, this is their life. Not to mention they have this unparalleled simplicity and beauty. Moreover, the Yangtze River Basin does have enough magic power to make people who have been here unforgettable for a long time and hope to return to it tirelessly in the long life in the future.

A story about Mike in Chongqing. Let's talk about it next time……

Five Days Yangtze River Cruise

Exploring Chongqing Hongya Cave

Travel with Me

Hi, I'm Mike. Are you interested in my Five Days Yangtze River Cruise? Feel free to contact me, and I will be glad to tell you more stunning stories about the places I have visited. Or, if you want to customize a tour on your own, I'm always ready to help at any time. With my passion, knowledge and understanding of the essence of travel, I promise I will try my best to make the tour memorable and meaningful for you.

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