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Oct 8, 2018 - What do coffins and champagne have in common? Day 3 on the Yangtze!

Docked this morning in Badong and left immediately after breakfast for our tour along the Shennong Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze River. We boarded a smaller sightseeing boat and soon after leaving the skyscrapers of Badong behind, we entered the first of several deep gorges. Unfortunately, the weather today was nowhere near as clear or sunny as yesterday, so we did not see the Shennong Stream at its best. The steep sides are heavily wooded with only occasional signs of human habitation - a few houses and some fishing boats - until we...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 7, 2018 - Three Gorges Dam and more

We have decided that we will not let our trip be defined by last night’s little setbacks. With that thought in mind, we turned our attention to the day’s activities, the first being our optional tour to visit the Tribe of the Three Gorges. We have learnt that the first of the Three Gorges, Xiling Gorge, is actually cut in half by the dam. Our boat is moored in Maoping, above the dam, and our tour was to visit Stone Tablet Village, a traditional village of the Tujia ethnic minority, located in the lower part of the gorge. It took around 50...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 6, 2018 - The Yangtze, at last!

Interesting, entertaining, and fascinating; tiring, frustrating and dramatic - every one of those adjectives could be used to describe parts of today! it turned out to be a pretty long day, what with activities, a drive and boarding our vessel for our Yangtze River cruise. Also, the end of today marked the halfway point for our Odyssey to China and an end to our long coach adventure tour across China. From here, it’s Trains and Boats and Planes - just not in that order! Jingzhou is one of the most historic cities in a country steeped in...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 5, 2018 - The long ride is nearing its end...

A pretty easy day today. Before setting off for (yet) another coach ride, we took the opportunity to take a brief stroll beside the river, across from the hotel. Our drive to Jingzhou was only around three hours - not much more than expected - and we arrived at a city centre restaurant for lunch at a very civilised 12:30. In the restaurant, we were on the second floor balcony, overlooking the main dining area, and had a very good view of a Chinese wedding in full swing. As we have learned over the last several days, holiday periods, such...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 3, 2018 - Our first High Speed Train

Yesterday was a really tiring day, so everyone was ready for a laid-back, relaxing journey to Wuhan, our next stop. For the remainder of the week, we will have three single nights in different cities before we finally board a boat for our cruise in the Yangtze River. Not being fans of one-night stands (as in, hotel nights!) we repacked our suitcases to ensure the absolute minimum unpacking each night. It took an hour or so, but we reckon it was time well spent. Some of our group took the opportunity to have massages to relieve the aches...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 19, 2017 - Three Gorges Dam

We visited the Three Gorges Dam the morning of October 19. Building the dam resulted in the relocation of many thousands of people, the obliteration of important cultural sites, and long-term environmental damage. Hundreds of miles downstream the rapidly growing municipality of Chongqing has been pumping untreated waste and chemicals into the Yangtze. The river isn't able to flush this out so the concern is that it could all collect in a 400-mile long cesspool. Not a pleasant thought. Every time our guide said "ship locks" I thought she was...

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Trip Journal


China and Tibet 2017

Oct 9, 2017 - Wuhan

About to disembark from the boat. It's been a lovely relaxing experience, lots of good food and experiences. Learned to play Chinese mahjong which is less complicated than American, fewer tiles and no card. We are in Wuhan 10 million pop. A small city by Chinese standards lit looks prosperous with many, many high rises including what will be the 2nd tallest building in the world when completed. Last night many of the high rises on both sides of the river were illuminated with a spectacular light show. Hard to capture on camera, especially...

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Oct 8, 2017 - Out of the Gorge

We are out of the gorge. This is last day on boat. We went to a school yesterday. 52 students in a first grade class with very few supplies, books etc. The children were absolutely lovely. Lots of singing and dancing. The afternoon lectures on modern china, Chinese culture and Chinese history are fascinating. Pictures still won't go through. Hazel The commerce by ship up and down the river is intense. Lots of ore coal sand etc plus Hugh ships filled with 190's of shiny new autos. The city of 10 million here in Wuhan is so modern similar to...

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Oct 6, 2017 - Down the Yangtze

We have traveled down the Yangtze River for past two days passing many "new towns" built above the river. The river is 180m higher than its original level. The displaced homeowners were provided new apartments if 3x the area new refrigerator TV and lap top as incentive. Lots of high sheer rock walls as we passed through the 3 gorges. Reminds me of the lake at home but with even higher peaks. David The weather has been cool and misty just the right ethereal touch of low clouds hanging around the mountain peaks along the river. The Yangtze is...

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May 8, 2017 - Shennong Stream and Xiling Gorge

We woke up this morning to find our travelling bedroom was somewhere else - it was docked at Badong to be precise. It's not particularly picturesque but the huge collection of large buildings, built close to and above the water's edge, are quite new. There is some local pride here in the fact that Badong is a 'famous tourism city', full of scenic nature spots. We disembarked 'President No. 7' on to a smaller tour boat for a shore excursion to Shennong Stream via Xiling Gorge. Before the construction of the Three Gorges Dam there were many...

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May 7, 2017 - The Three Gorges Dam Project or - "Where's Bruce?"

Warm Prompt: You can tap/click on the pictures to increase their size (in case you didn't know). On the bus from Ychang Airport to Maoping Port last night we were given our instructions regarding embarking our Yangtze River cruise ship, the President No. 7. Before leaving Canada we'd been given the option to purchase a 'VIP Package' for $100 each that would include "free coffee, tea and snacks at happy hours in the afternoon, enjoy all meals at VIP restaurant, free drinks before dinner, unlimited wine, beer with lunch and dinner, express...

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Oct 25, 2015 - Off The Boat & On To Shanghai

We disembarked the boat at 8.30am, boarded yet another coach and headed to Wuhan for our last internal flight to Shanghai. Wuhan turned out to be another modern Chinese city with forests of tower block flats, most of which seemed to be empty or still under construction. We had lunch at another of the large restaurants in the city centre but it was a bit different this time as each table group was in their own room. A lot nicer in many ways but the same scramble to get a reasonable share of the better dishes. We had an hour free after lunch...

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