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Yangtze River

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  • Qutang Gorge
    Qutang Gorge
  • Yangtze Three Gorges
    Yangtze Three Gorges
  • Wu Gorge
    Wu Gorge
  • Fengdu Ghost City
    Fengdu Ghost City
  • Yangtze River Cruise Tour
    Yangtze River Cruise Tour
  • Whole View of the Sluice Gate
    Whole View of the Sluice Gate
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The Yangtze is the longest river in China. It flows from its source in the Tanggula Shan Mountains high on the Tibetan-Qinghai Plateau, and into the East China Sea where Shanghai stands astride the estuary. On its course of 6,397 km (3,975 miles), the river passes through eleven provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, including Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu before reaching Shanghai.

The name Yangtze actually refers to a section of the Changjiang River (cháng jiāng in Chinese). At the end of the nineteenth century, during the closing years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), foreign ships sailed upstream from Shanghai and on into mainland China. The stretch of the river between Yangzhou to Zhenjiang in Jiangsu Province and on to the estuary was called "yáng zǐ jiāng" in Chinese, which to westerners' ears became Yangtze, a name they subsequently applied to the entire river.

 Yangtze River Cruise Tours 
The river has long been regarded as one of the top 10 destinations in China for its charming scenery; especially the Three Gorges section, where the running river flows through undulating hills and mountains. A classical cruise Tour lasts 3 – 4 days, and is either a downstream itinerary (from Chongqing to Yichang) or an upstream one (from Yichang to Chongqing). If time permits, a complete cruise tour all the way from Chongqing to Shanghai over 9 to 10 days, is also very popular among visitors.

 Recommended Yangtze Cruise Itineraries: 
China Tour with Yangtze Cruise: 11-Day Small Group of Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai 
China Cities with Yangtze: 15 Days of Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangshuo, Guilin, Hongkong
Yangtze Package Tour: 4-Day of Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang

The river offers a large collection of natural and cultural attractions. Every stop along the river provides the start to an amazing excursion for visitors. This is the sequence of stops along the river:
Fuling (White Crane Ridge)
Fengdu (Fengdu Ghost City, Snow Jade Cave)
Precious Stone Fortress (Shibaozhai) 
Yunyang (Zhangfei Temple)
Fengjie (Eight Elements Battle FormationWhite Emperor City)
Qutang Gorge (Mengliang Stairway & Iron Lock Pass, Chalk Wall & Water-Stealing HolesBellows Gorge)
Wushan (Wushan Men Ancient Site, Dachang Ancient Town)
Wu Gorge (Shennong Stream, Three Little Gorges, Twelve Peaks)  
Zigui (Quyuan Temple
Xiling Gorge (Fragrance Stream, Huangling Temple, Shadow Play Gorge, Yellow Ox Gorge, Nanjin Pass)
Yichang (Three Gorges Dam, Gezhouba Water Control Project)
Jingzhou → Yueyang → Wuhan → Jiujiang → Nanjing → Shanghai 

 Cruise Ships 
As visitors will spend large part of their time onboard, a luxury and comfortable cruise ship ensures a pleasant trip. Although there are many ships providing cruise tours, the facilities and conditions on board can vary considerably. Chinatour360.com introduces some first-class ships for your reference:
Orient Royal     Chinese Victoria     Yangtze Angel     USA Victoria     China Dragon     New Century

 Yangtze River Cruise Tips
How do I plan a cruise tour? How can I book a tour? May I bring my bags on the ship? What travel documents should I prepare for a cruise? What do I need to pack or what clothes should I wear? All your doubts will be solved in this section. See more Q&A

 Water System
The whole water system of the river covers 1.8 million square kilometers, taking up 18.8 per cent of the land surface in China. From the source to the estuary of the river, each section of the main stream is named differently (see the table below). Though originating from Qinghai, Yangtze River or Chang Jiang usually refers to the part from Min Jiang River in Yibin to the estuary. The section from Yibin to Yichang is the upstream, which is also called Chuanjiang River for it flows along the edge of Sichuan Basin and irrigates the whole Chengdu Plain; the metropolises along the upstream of the river are Chongqing, Yibin, and Luzhou. The section from Yichang to Hukou in Jiangxi Province is the midstream; Wuhan is one metropolis of the midstream, which is also the center for industry, finance, business, science, culture and education in Central Region of China. The rest part is the downstream.

Section Name Length (km./mi.)
Source – Dang Qu Kou in Tibet Tuotuo River 358/222
Dang Qu Kou in Tibet – Ba Tang He Kou in Qinghai Tongtian River 813/505
Ba Tang He Kou – Min Jiang Kou in Yibin Jinsha River 2,308/1,434
Min Jiang Kou in Yibin – Yichang in Hubei Chuanjiang River Changjiang River 2,800/1,740
Zhicheng in Hubei – Cheng Ling Ji in Hunan Jin River
Yangzhou, Zhenjiang in Jiangsu – Estuary Yangtze River

The river has many tributaries, such as Yalong River, Tuo River, Wu River, Xiang River, Han River, Gan River, and Huangpu River, as well as most of the fresh water lakes in China, including Tai Lake, Hongze Lake, Dongting Lake, and Poyang Lake.

 Yangtze River Resources
As it flows through the mountainous areas, plateaus, plains and hills of China, Yangtze River contains vast water and hydroenergy resources. The famous Three Gorges Projects and Dujiangyan Irrigation System have made best use of the water and hydropower resources of the river. Connecting rivers of Chinese inland areas and coastal ports, Yangtze is also a major river for shipping in China. Records show that the its cargo transport volume hit 795 million tons by the year of 2005, which exceeds that on the Rhine in Europe and the Mississippi in USA. In addition, there are many rare animals living in the river, such as Yangtze alligator, Chinese sturgeon, Yangtze River Dolphin, and finless porpoise. 

The unique culture of the river will also impress you during your cruise tour. As one of China's "Mother Rivers", the other being the Yellow River, the Yangtze River basin is a birthplace of Chinese culture. Historical relics excavated along the river date back to as early as 45 million years ago. Sites of Daxi Culture in Wushan, Hemudu Culture and Liangzhu Culture along the lower reaches of the river and Sanxingdui of the ancient Shu Kingdom all illustrate the glorious civilization of ancient China.


Yangtze River Location Map Yangtze River Cities Map

Questions & Answers on Yangtze River
  • Pls advise the schedules of bus and ferry schedules departing Wanzhou for Fengjie. Is there any ferry that departs from Wanzhou to Wushan or Badong.Where can I contact for hiring private driver for the 4 of us from Wanzhou to Wushan.Thank you.

    Asked By Linda (Australia) | Aug. 27, 2019 08:00
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • We would like to get from Wanzhou to Fengjie by ferry and if it is still running, please advise how often it runs and the frequency. I know it is actually the ferry that runs from Wanzhou to Yichang and stopping by Fengjie. Is it a big ship of just a small one. How many seaters? Is there a website address to view the timing of the departure? Thank you.I know there is also a bus that runs at regular interval from Wanzhou to Fengjie. Anyone has taken it and is the road very winding or is an express way. The reason I ask is one of us have problem sitting in a car driving along winding road.

    Asked By Linda (Australia) | Jul. 24, 2019 21:46
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • and also if the ferry boat still operating to go from wanzhou to fengjie..thanks ,nestor.

    Asked By nestor garcia (USA) | Nov. 20, 2015 11:15
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • I've seen you can go upstream from Yichang to Chongqing through the 3 gorges but what times do they leave/ arrive & what are the prices of the budget tourist boats?

    Asked By Keir Wingrove (UK) | Oct. 13, 2013 07:35
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • What type of clothes do I need

    Asked By Param (Malaysia) | Dec. 16, 2012 03:00
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
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