Holidays Our little holiday diary

China Part Two

Part Two:

Day 3. Packed our suitcases and departed for Shanghai airport for flight to Yichang. We nearly missed it ‘cos we had been told to go to gate 2 and we missed the tannoy to go to gate 4, it was like a scene out of one of the Airplane movies, dashing from one gate to another. How embarrassing, the last one’s on the aircraft. Oops! The four of us got picked up from Yichang in a people carrier (this seemed to be the norm for us four) to board the cruise boat for a cruise along the Yangtze River. On the way, we were taken to an embroidery factory and shop…surprise! In fact, they are very clever these Chinese. We were so impressed we actually bought some stuff. From the airport to the boat took 5 hours. Got unpacked and went to dining room where the meal was booked for eight’ o’clock for the four of us and for some reason we were served a beautiful but luke warm meal (as the holiday went by, this seemed to be the norm at mealtimes) It didn’t seem to do some of our stomachs any favours. Every meal on the trip was arranged so there was no choice.


Day 4. Trip out to see the Three Gorge Dam. This is being built to provide about 20% of electricity for China. One thing struck me as curious, the four of us were being driven along this country road towards the Three Gorge Dam

Plan of the Three Gorge Dam

and right out in the country, miles from anywhere, there was a side road with two soldiers in full uniform and with rifles stood stiffly to attention. There appeared to be no installation, town, village or anything else that they could have been guarding. The Yangtze River level will rise to 175meters above sea level and finished in 2009, so 1.3 million local people will be relocated to various places throughout China. (This bit is nothing if not educational)  Whoever sails up the Yangtze from now on will see less of the gorges because of the flooding. We then had a trip out to an authentic tea tasting. Plenty of Jasmine, Ginseng, plus other tubs with weird and wonderful sounding names. Eric spent a fortune on them for some reason. He got carried away by the occasion. Not my cup of tea, if you will pardon the pun.


Day 5. Morning excursion (did we ever say on the whole of the tour we were getting up at six every morning and not going to bed until silly ‘o’ clock pm), to Shennong Gorge . To get there, we were transferred from our boat to a smaller ferry which took us nearly two hours up a side gorge. We then transferred to sampans rowed by six people. After almost an hour, the oarsmen had to get out and physically pull us by home made ropes because the river was too shallow for the oars. Legend has it that the boatmen used to do their job in the nude (hence all the female passengers) for some reason we couldn’t get off the sampan. Oh well! Story of our life.

We got back to the ferry… gift shop…no change there then.

After getting back to the main boat, we had another luke warm lunch…Yuk!  There were talks given in any spare time on various subjects, some quite interesting, but always a sales pitch at the end in broken English. (Having said that, none of us could speak Chinese) apart from please, thank you, yes, no, hello and goodbye… so we did make the effort.


Day 6. Went to Feng Du (Ghost City) very Chinese buildings. Very steep so we decided to go up in a cable car. Unfortunately, it was extremely misty, so we couldn’t see much. We were told because of the mist, it was saved from bombers during the last war ‘cos no one could see the city. It was very pretty if rather compact. It least that made it easy to get round. There were loads of legends and stories about the place. Quite a number of shops which funnily enough we didn’t have time to buy from. No bung probably. Back to the boat for the evening meal. The boats crew entertained in the evening, singing and dancing, they were extremely good for amateurs. They certainly had to work for their Yuan’s.

Now's your chance to go to Part Three

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