A dream comes true!
We loved every minute of it. Wonderful experience. We started our cruise in Yichang (about 1000 km from Shanghai), sailing upstream- recommended way to go at this time of the year. And ended our cruise in Chongqing. We sailed with the Century Legend. Warmly recommended, also because of its fabulous staff, particularly Christine, Allan and Daniel. In no particularly order. They made us feel very much at home, systematically translating information from Chinese to English, just in case we missed something, as it's also provided over the sound system. OK, back to the cruise.
We traveled by train to Yichang. A real adventure. Boarding was easy, also because our wonderful travel agent in China, Lily of China discovery, had explained the procedure to us very well indeed. The train was packed with cruise passengers, going on a variety of cruises. Food is available on the train, as well as drinking water from tap (warm, that's the way it is in China). Good toilets as well. Also important. At Yichang, some 7,5 hours later we were met by Allan, one of the cruise managers, to guide us to free shuttle buses going to Maoping port, a 1.5 hours drive. Harking back to us that China is a vast country indeed. Transfer to shuttle bus is very straight forward.
Embarkation is via a cable car, 2 Yuan per person, luggage included, or via some 100 (?) steps. We opted for the cable car. Dinner on night 1 (embarkation night) is not included in the package. But food is available a la carte in the main dining room. On day 2, we had 2 excursions, one optional (against payment), visiting the Tribal people of the Yangtze - warmly recommended as well/wonderful mountainous setting (dress in layers - it can be chilly early in the morning and wear good walking shoes)- learning about their way of life. In the afternoon we went to the Three Gorges Dam. Another must see. 40 mountains were flattened to make space/provide building material for the Dam. Another wow factor.
Miss Tanja S' Cruise - Century Legend
The dining room provides tables for 6-8-10 people. We had a table for 6 persons, together with 2 English speaking couples from Singapore, who ''adopted'' us, bringing us tidbits of yummy food. Very sweet of them.
The next day we visited the Goddess Stream (15 km long!) and the White Emperor City (optional visit - including 368 steps which are manageable). If not there are sedan chairs (against payment of Yuan 100). Another must visit, providing insights into China history and customs.
Goddess Stream - a stream in China is easily 15 km long and maybe 20 meters wide, or wider? In small boats. Dress warmly as it can be chilly early in the morning. And enjoy. Our guide told us lovely stories. We bought Ginseng and green tea on board.
Peaceful Journey to Goddess Stream (photo shared by Miss Tanja S)
368 steps to get White Emperor City. Before the 3 Gorges Dam, it used to be 1000 steps. Now the water has risen. But don't feel daunted. It's an easy hike, with plenty of story telling stops in between. And one can even be carried up in a sedan chair, for Yuan 100 per person. It's a short bus ride from the pier. Views are stunning. I loved the stories. Making China and it's people come alive. Enjoy! NB: Somehow I cannot attach photos. A pity.
Scenery from White Emperor City (photo shared by Miss Tanja S)
Wonderful views of the Yangtze river as well. We passed by 2 of the Yangtze's famous gorges, the Wu gorge and the Qutang gorge with its famous peak (also on Yuan 10 banknote). More wow factors.
Yangtze River looks like a Chinese ink-picture (photo shared by Miss Tanja S)
The last day was sailing day, with a brief visit to the Red Pagoda. 100 very steep steps - but manageable, rest assured. But going down is easier, over an external stone staircase.
And that brought us to Chongqing. 32 million inhabitants. But somehow it did not feel crowded. Going up from the ship is by several flights of stairs. We got a porter to carry our luggage. 15 Yuan per luggage, plus tip, which is fair. We took a car (local kind of Uber) to the airport. Going rate for a meter taxi is Yuan 80. We paid Yuan 100, also because there are few taxis. And then we flew back to Shanghai, with loads of new memories and new experiences and lots of photos. Too many of course, some enclosed. Have a look.
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