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China: Yangtze River
April 7-10, 2006

We took a 3-day 3-night cruise up the Yangtze River.  Actually, we were on a pretty dilapidated ferry boat with a bunch of Chinese people, but it was the cheapest option and the views of the gorges are the same no matter what boat you're on.  We took one of the cheapest cruises available, and it still cost a whopping $230 for the both of us (not including food, excursions, and a deck pass).  The only other foreigners aboard were 3 guys from Poland.  But at one of the stops on the second day, they failed to return to the boat and therefore were absent for the rest of the trip (making our completion of the trip seem more like an accomplishment. We didn't get lost.). The trip was not geared for westerners at all, so everything was in Chinese. Luckily our guide spoke a little English and managed to communicate basic information to us. 

The scenery was beautiful, the boat was crappy, everything was in Chinese, and we had a grand time.

Let's start with the boat we were on.  Jing Shan means "bright mountain" but this was one mountain of steel that had seen brighter days in the past. 

most passengers played mahjong the whole time

The 2nd class room we stayed in had 2 bunk beds and we shared it with another couple.

The hills that are
farmed and flooded

Boats and Bridges
of the Yangtze River

our boat goes through the locks at the dam near Yichang (not 3 gorges dam)
The Little Gorges

To traverse the little gorges, we had to get on progressively smaller boats. The little gorges were quite narrow with steep walls, and I can't imagine how magnificent they must have been before the flooding.  As it was, the eerily turquoise water wound it's way through the hills at a calm pace.

Excursions along the journey from
Yichang to Chongqing.

We stopped at a Ghost town and several temples.  They were a welcome break from life on the boat.

an old women yells at Sera

skewered baby chicken lunch

bamboo ladder

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