Thursday, April 14, 2016

2009 Yangtze River Cruise

May 2009 - Chongqing and Yangtze cruise China

Toronto to Beijing
Beijing to Xian
Xian to Chongqing


07. Sat 09-May-09
Yangtze
Yangtze Paradise cruise ship
Shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City (8:00-10:00am).B,L,D




Breakfast and lunch are buffets.

Three of us went on the Fengdu Ghost City excursion, I stayed behind.



Staying behind


Our ship from ashore


She seems interested in what the guys are doing.







Riding the cable car.





























Coming back to the ship our cabins are the two on the top deck at the front.


Afternoon snacks.


Views along the Yangtze








Deliveries while we're docked.












Dinner at table 9 assigned to the Westerners aboard.







08. Sun 10-May-09
Yangtze
Yangtze Paradise Shore excursion to Shennong Stream(1:30-5:30pm).B,L,D

From the tour description:

On the border between Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge is the Shennong Stream. Taking its rise from the main peak of Shennong Jia (the first peak in the center of China) and flowing through Badong County, it ultimately flows into the Yangtze River via the Wu Gorge. Cruising along the stream by boat, visitors will become immersed in the wonders of zigzagging watercourses, the primitive environment, the canzonet by the boat tracker, and the mysterious culture along the banks.










We leave the large ship and change to the sampan (14 yards long and two yards wide), which holds ten visitors at a time, to experience another kind of feeling.

Drifting along the Shennong Stream in small open sampans (called 'peapod boats' by the locals) is the unique method for viewing the natural scenery, the ancient village and the flavor of Tujia (the local ethnic minority). 





One sampan is usually steered by six boatmen who are local peasants. While appreciating the natural beauty and historic sights along the two banks, you can hear the songs from the rowers as they row the boat. When reaching the shallow-stream places, they will paddle in the swift-flowing stream to tow the boat upstream by the rope. This scene has made the drift a unique one compared to other stream drifts.











We saw some of the suspended coffins hung on the bluff of the precipice. They are usually hung 33 to 164 feet high and some even as high as 328 feet above the ground.













Our guide entertains us with songs of lost love.


One of the boatman accompanies her.



Disembarking


Back on the ship to take us back to our ship. We are the only Westerners aboard and the Chinese are fascinated and love to talk to us.

Our guide's shoes


Definitely not shy!


They all want their photo with John.



He wanted to buy John's sunglasses that were probably made in China!



A family portrait.



Back on board we relax, read, and of course capture the sights.











AS with most river cruises the ships follow each other.







River cruise ships dock at the same places and it is  common to be three deep meaning you might have to walk through another ship to get to shore.
In this case we have the prime spot next to the pier and I am looking at the two ships parked beside us.




The other Westerners on board.




We were "treated" to a talent show by the crew.







As always, John gets selected to participate.



Tonight we pass through The Three Gorges Dam area.
As well as producing electricity, the dam is intended to increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. The Chinese government regards the project as a historic engineering, social and economic success, with the design of state-of-the-art large turbines] and a move toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions. However, the dam flooded archaeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.3 million people, and is causing significant ecological changes, including an increased risk of landslides. The dam has been a controversial topic both domestically and abroad.

The four of us sat and went through the first few locks together but soon the women decided it was enough. The guys stayed for all the locks.




It turned into a party as they only let a couple of ships through at a time and you can practically touch hands.













09. Mon 11-May-09 
Shore excursion to The Three Gorges Dam Site.

Arrive in Yichang at 1:00pm.Airport Transfer (Yichang), Airport to Hotel Transfer (Shanghai)B,L

Yangtze to Yichang to Shanghai, Shanghai Airlines FM9366 Dep 4:35PM - Arr 6:05PM (Economy class)
The Bund Hotel Shanghai ****

Another day of transit. We opted to skip the Three Gorges Dam Site but our friends went.








After our 3 day cruise we were met in Yichang by Season who boarded the ship and then took us to our waiting van amidst the hordes of tourists disembarking from the ships. He showed us around Yichang as we had a few hours before our next flight. Once again our guide arranged our flight check in. We were now on our way to Shanghai.


LOST IN TRANSLATION









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