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Your Guide to Travelling the Yangtze

| Words by Ashley Diterlizzi |

The Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world, measuring an impressive 6,380 kilometres in length. Steeped in myth and legend, vertical limestone cliffs line the river as it rises up to the mountains of Tibet.

Three Gorges Dam

Cruise the Yangtze

The best way to experience the Yangtze is from the water. Travel upstream from Yichang to Chongqing or downstream in the reverse direction. Each journey takes three days.

Attractions along the river

The gorges

There are a number of gorges along the river including Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge. The most popular are the three little gorges which lead into an impressive dam.

Three Gorges Dam

Almost half of the world’s dams are in China and the largest of them is the Three Gorges Dam. The dam raised the Yangtze River’s water levels high enough to turn the stretch of river into a placid lake, making it the most popular part of the river to cruise along. Yichang, a small and compact city with a vibrant street-food scene, is the call in point for many cruises.

Fengdu Ghost City

The large city on the slopes of Ming Mountain is known as “Ghost City” for its shrines and temples dedicated to the afterlife. Located on the northern banks of the Yangtze River, the city combines the cultures of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taosim.

Limestone cliffs


The 200 metre tall Shibaozhai hill sits along the bank of the river in Zhong County, famed for its 12-story, 18th century pagoda. Directly translated, Shubaozhai means “Stone Treasure Fortress” for its 50 metre high rock shaped like an imperial seal. The rock and pagoda have been well preserved despite a rise in water levels due to the Three Gorges Dam.

Gezhouba Dam

Located in the western suburbs of Yichang City, the Gezhouba Dam is the first large-scale water control project along the river. Located at the exit of the Xiling Gorge, the dam measures an impressive 2,561 metres wide with a height of 47 metres.

Shennong Stream

A left tributary of the river, located in the Hubei Province of China, the Shennong Stream zigzags through primitive environments and flowers that bloom all year long. Discover the mysteries of the shore as the Tujia, the local ethnic minority, show you historic relics.

Wuhan Yangtze Bridge

Commonly known as the Wuhan First Yangtze Bridge, the double-decker road and rail bridge spans an impressive 6,300 kilometres. Built in 1955, the bridge improved transportation as well as communication between the villages and towns on the north and the south of the river.

Discover the Yangtze River on your holiday to China. Check out our range of small group journeys or speak to our experts about private tours.