Yangtze river

Apr 12th, 2004, 04:14 PM
  #1  
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Yangtze river

I am very curious about a fast boat or ferry along the Yangtze. We would really like to see the river and dam project, but don't really care to spend 3 days on a boat. Anyone have any info on this. Thanks.
norv is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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If you use the search function on this site you'll find a recent discussion of hydrofoils on the river. Otherwise ships move at much the same speed, and you'll only spend less time on the Yangzi by travelling a shorter distance.

It's not the best way to spend three days of a limited period in China.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
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Apr 12th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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Thank you so much (again) for replying Peter, I was hoping for your input. I know you are not a fan of the river trip, but my husband would like to see some of the river and the dam project but we are not that keen on spending all that time on a cruise boat. Any suggestions ?
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Apr 12th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Well, it's been suggested that although the hydrofoils are grubby inside, and both spray and dirt on the windows make it hard to see, that if you stand up in certain areas the views are excellent, and the speed, of course, fast.

I've travelled on these hydrofoils but not on the Yangzi itself, so I'm not speaking from personal experience. But the following comments appeared on The Oriental-List in reply to a query from the same person who posted here on the hydrofoils:

"I took a hydrofoil a few years ago from Chongqing to Fengdu and it was good for fast transportation but not for seeing anything along the way... Most
seats on the hydrofoil had no windows to the outside and those that did, in the front section, were too high and covered by water splash to see out of. It was also obviously overbooked and many people were sitting on life preservers in the aisles, making for a bit of anxiety on my part. I'm
afraid this wouldn't be a good way to see the Three Gorges if that's what you want to do."

And there was a further reply from a resident of Chengdu who's always reliable:

"These are dilapidated Russian-made cigar-shaped ships that ply the Yangtzi from morning to night.

The price is about double or triple the regular slow boats [so, NB: nothing like the $50 quoted for advance booking in the other post], but also much faster. As Jean indicated, not much of anything can be seen from a normal seat in the boat, but if you can stand the noise, you can stand above the engine room and get a view of the passing scenery. A better place is the small open area where you
board the craft where two or three people can stand you can see what is going past.

If you decide to try it and have a choice, try to get a seat in the forward section. The rear section is very noisy and some passengers in this section choose to disregard the no smoking prohibition.

One good thing is that they stop at many places and if you wanted to the river trip quickly but see the gorges at a leisurely pace and during the
day (some of the boats pass through the gorges at night), you could board the hydrofoil in Chongqing and zip down to Wushan, and then transfer to the a slow boat to travel the three gorges on a slow boat.
Once past the last gorge, you could transfer to a hydrofoil and zip on down to Yichang or stop and take a tour of the astounding dam.

Getting a second-class ticket on one of the big old Chinese boats with a huge (and usually vacant) stateroom at the front would one way to enjoy the gorges economically in relative style.

Getting tickets: During most times of the year you can buy tickets just before the boat arrives at the ferry terminal."

It all depends on how adventurous you are.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html

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Apr 13th, 2004, 01:58 AM
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Thank you Peter...perhaps doing the river just isn't feasible for us. If we just chose to see the dam site (my husband is in the business and we are trying to see all the big ones) can you tell me the best way to get there from Beijing. We have about 5 days after Beijing before we head to Nanjing. Thanks so much for all your help on this trip. We leave tomorrow and look forward to it.
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Apr 13th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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I can't put my hand on my air timetable at the moment, but I believe there's an airport at Yichang. Bus, taxi, or tour from there.

Peter N-H
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Apr 13th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Yes, there's an airport in Yichang. China Southern flies there 3 times a week from Guangzhou and twice a week from Beijing; China Eastern doesn't seem to fly there; and Air China's site is down (as always). There may be other air services.

Or you can fly to Wuhan. Yichang is about 250km by bus, and over half of that route is something that resembles a freeway.
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