A cruise is not the first type of holiday you would associate with China, however a cruise along the Yangtze River can provide the basis of an amazing holiday.
The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, second only to the Nile and the Amazon. The river is over 6300 km in length starting in the Quinghai Province the river flows eastwards towards Shanghai and the China Sea and is known as "the cradle of the Chinese civilization."
The Yangtze River offers some of the most memorable and beautiful scenery in the whole of China and that is quite a bold claim considering the beauty of some of the other attractions in the country.
A typical cruise holiday might start at Shanghai with some sightseeing. "The Paris of the East" as Shanghai is also known has many of attractions to see before your river journey such as the Shanghai Museum that houses over 120,000 relics.
From Shanghai a cruise would stop at Nanjing after sailing through the highly populated agricultural plains of the lower Yangtze Delta. Here you can see the ancient Ming Tomb walk and the Dr Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum at Purple Mountain.
Mt Huang is another stop that offers great views. You can take a cable car to the summit so that you can experience the amazing views of the mountain peaks, thousand years old pine trees and the surreal and mysterious mists that have inspired artists for centuries.
After cruising through the Gezhou Dam further up the river, you will see the three famous gorges of the Yangtze River. The Qutang, WU and Xiling gorges are most famous attractions along the river spanning 193 km from Eastern Sichuan to Western Hubei. While you are here you can explore the Gorges Hydroelectric Dam that is over five times larger than the Hoover Dam.
While travelling along this portion of the river there are many trips on land offering a whole plethora of sights. There is a trip along the Shennong Stream that is just divine. The trip along this waterway in a pea-pod boat really conjures the feeling of being a great explorer in a far off place.
This is a perfect opportunity to get some fantastic photographs and memories of the picturesque surroundings. Higher water levels at the Lesser Three Gorges mean that you can travel a long way upstream to see the undisturbed surrounding forests and riverbanks and traditional villages.
By Dave Kingsley