Friday 6 December 2013

The Yangtze River: The lifeline of China

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and is the third longest river in the world, stretching from the Tibetan Plateau in the west of China, and draining into the East China Sea at Shanghai, in East China. With one third of the Chinese population living on the Yangtze River basin, the Yangtze River has long been an important resource to the people of China and with the introduction of the Three Gorges Dam; the largest hydro-electric dam in the world, in 2012, the importance of its resource has continued to grow. China Holidays organises many group tours which allow for our clients to take a 3-4 night cruise up or down the Yangtze River, enjoying beautiful sights and exciting excursions.

The Yangtze River has a history that spreads back thousands and thousands of years. Human activity in the Yangtze Three Gorges Area has been discovered which dates back to over 25,000 years ago. There are signs of rice culture and rice production which suggests that the people who lived on the river basin of the Yangtze were some of the earliest rice users in the world. During the Han and Warring States period in Chinese history (475BCE-220CE), irrigation systems were being used on the Yangtze River, allowing for the Yangtze to become of economic importance and allowed for agriculture to become a stable sector. The Yangtze was and still is an important transportation method also. After the construction of the Grand Canal during the Sui Dynasty Period (581-618AD), the Yangtze River was connected with the Yellow River in north China allowing for transportation of products and people between the north and south. The Yangtze River often acts as a dividing line of the country of China, with the agriculture, climate, economics and customs being different between the different sides of the river.

At China Holidays, we can offer tours of the Yangtze River both upstream and downstream. The upstream route takes 5 days and 4 nights. It starts in Yichang in Hubei Province, travelling west and ending up in Chongqing. Going downstream, takes 4 days and 3 nights and starts in Chongqing, ending in Yichang. No matter whether you choose to go upstream or downstream, guests will have the same opportunities to see the same magnificent sights and natural scenery along the way.

During a cruise on the Yangtze River, China Holidays’ guests will have the opportunity to go on excursions down some of the many tributaries that the Yangtze River has. For example, an excursion down the Daning River allows China Holidays’ guests to see beautiful peaks, unusual stones and thrilling shoals. Guests will also take an excursion through the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, which offer a most exhilarating experience. The Three Gorges are the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and the Xiling Gorge. The Qutang Gorge is the shortest and most spectacular of the Three Gorges. One of the most famous sights is the uniquely cut mountain side called ‘The Rhinoceros Looking at the Moon’. Wu Gorge is also known as Great Gorge due to its elegance and mighty mountain scenery. The final gorge is the Xiling Gorge is the largest of the Three Gorges and stretches for a impressive length of 49 miles. The Xiling Gorge is well known for its dangerous layout as the river becomes tighter and mountains sharper in this section.

The Xiling Gorge is also home to the Three Gorge Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. China Holidays’ guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the Dam and learn how this might river is powered through the gorge to provide energy to a huge percentage of people in China.

On board the cruise ship, guests can also enjoy many activities inside the cruise ship. The majority fo 5* cruise ships operating on the Yangtze River offer many daytime and evening activities, including Mah-jong lessons, Tai Chi lessons, Chinese history and language classes and other culturally beneficial activities. Cruise liners on the Yangtze offer China Holidays’ guests a wide selection of dishes, both Chinese and Western. Private accommodation is offered on board, with many now providing a private balcony which allows for you to sit and enjoy the splendour of the River in a relaxing setting.

The Yangtze River truly is a splendid feature of China’s natural landscape. Throughout history, the Yangtze River has acted as a provider of arable land, a transportation method and a creator of power which has more than likely made China the country it is today. China Holidays recommends highly that travellers to China make a trip on the Yangtze River a definite part of your itinerary and vital in seeing in person the backbone of China as a country.

Tour featuring cruise on the Yangtze River are Land of Nine Dragons , Ultimate China and Panda, Places and Pagodas. For more information please call China Holidays on 020 7487 2999 or email us on Alternatively check our website at

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