Welcome to The Land of the Long White Cloud. Good flight over with a great view of the Alps with their last light dusting of snow. Beautiful blue sky as we come in to land in Christchurch.
This morning we disembark and fight our way through the myriad of stalls and vendors desperate to sell their goods. Items with an initial price of 160 yuan often end up at bargain prices such as 20-30 yuan After a 15min walk we arrive at the "shaky bridge" a very rickety bridge leading to the Red Pagoda. It is situated atop an 80m rock, built in the 1800 and containing not a single nail. A precarious climb up to the 9th level rewards a spectacular view. Captain's Farewell Banquet tonight.Read more
This morning we transferred to another boat to cruise up the first of the Three Gorges. Hard to believe that so many villages and farmers were displaced when the Gorges were flooded during the dam building process. Very reminiscent of Fiordland, but without the beautiful waterfalls and clean water! Such a shame to see the amount of rubbish floating down the Yangtze. After 1hr we stopped at the information centre for the usual shopping opportunity and show. Back on board our boat, early afternoon we entered the Wu Gorge, the second Gorge. The Qutang Gorge is the last of the Three Gorges and the shortest at 5 miles long. Later in the afternoon, some local fishermen pulled up alongside and tried to sell some of their catch.Read more
Woke up this morning to find another boat tied up alongside - strange to be able to look into other cabin windows! After breakfast we took a tour up to the Xiling Gorge Dam project. Very impressive. Many ships were waiting patiently to go through the locks at the dam. Unfortunately we didn't get the opportunity to see any boats go up the boat lift. Then a very enjoyable afternoon relaxing on the boat.Read more
A welcome sleep in this morning. Pick up at 11am for our drive to the airport for a 2pm flight to Wuhan. Tour guide Cindy met us at the airport, then began a 5hr drive to Yichang then Xiling Gorge to join the boat. Dinner had been arranged by our guide at a restaurant an hour or so out of Yichang. Different countryside on the way - more rice paddies. The boat was a welcome sight after our long trip. We took a cable car down to the ship as the river is lower than the road. Finally into bed around 11pm.Read more
This morning we drove into town for a walk along The Bund before visiting the Shanghai museum. Had time for a little retail therapy and grabbed a bite of lunch before heading back to the bus for a trip across the river to the new financial district and the tallest building in the world. Unfortunately it was a rainy day which limited visibility. Then we were off to a fabulous market area where we took advantage of a free tea tasting and more retail therapy. Next, was our farewell dinner at The Bund Hotel. Finally, we took a cruise on the river to see the lights of Shanghai. A very long day, but did manage to be back at the hotel in time for Happy Hour!Read more
Early start today as we make our way to Shanghai. A visit to the Lotus Gardens and a boat trip on the Great Lake was our first stop. Very humid today. Next, we visit a green tea plantation for some tea tasting before lunch. Pleased to be back on the air conditioned bus, we begin our 3 hr drive to Shanghai. Beautiful 5 star hotel for the next 2 nights.Read more