Originating from a glacier on the southern face of Mount Geladandong – at 6,621 meters or 21,720 feet, known as the “Roof of the World,” this is the tallest mountain in the Tanggula range which is located along the border between Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region – the Yangtze River flows mightily across China to the East China Sea and, ultimately, the Pacific Ocean. Stretching for more than 6,300 km (approximately 3,915 miles), the Yangtze River is the world’s third largest river. With so much to see and do along this major waterway, no visit to China is complete without a cruise along the Yangtze River.
Several portions of the Yangtze River offer spectacular natural vistas – from the high peaks of Qinghai to the inland plain and jungle. There are also many man-made attractions along the Yangtze, such as the world’s biggest dam and electrical generation installation, the Three Gorges, and several major cities, such as: Chongqing, Yichang, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Nanjing and Shanghai. And throughout this region, visitors will discover fascinating historic culture and distinctive local customs.
In particular, the Three Gorges scenic area – one of top ten attractions in China and a world-famous scenic area – boasts exquisite scenery and cultural landscapes. The Three Gorges offer several natural and cultural attractions between Chongqing and Yichang in the middle section of the Yangtze River. Qutang Gorge begins in the rural town of Fengjie, about 500 km (300 miles) downstream from Chongqing City. Wu Gorge begins where the Daning River joins the Yangtze at Wushan. Wu Gorge joins Xiling Gorge at the county town of Badong, where Shennong Stream and the Yangtze meet just over the border in Hubei Province, and ends at Wushan County Town. The crystal clear waters and suspended walkways make Shennong Stream a popular side-trip from the Yangtze. Sanyou Cave, about 10 km (6 mi) from Yichang on Xiling Gorge, is the best cave in the Three Gorges area; it is a site where three famous ancient poets are said to have stayed. The Three Gorges were once a dangerous stretch of the river. Since the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, cruise ships can now safely sail between Chongqing and Yichang on placid waters, enabling passengers to better experience the natural beauty of the gorges.