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Overview

China's great river, the Yangtze, slices China in half, gathering power at Chongqing in the west and spreading east through a vast delta to the East China Sea. Major cities along the course include Chongqing, where most Yangtze cruises begin or end; Wuhan, a former colonial outpost, and Nanjing, China's former capital. The three cities possess a wealth of historic sites: the earthy Luohan Temple in Chongqing, a favorite of today's fortune-tellers; the ancient coffins, mummies, and bronze bells of the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan; and the Ming city walls and temples of Nanjing. The highlight is the river cruise. The Three Gorges, ...

China's great river, the Yangtze, slices China in half, gathering power at Chongqing in the west and spreading east through a vast delta to the East China Sea. Major cities along the course include Chongqing, where most Yangtze cruises begin or end; Wuhan, a former colonial outpost, and Nanjing, China's former capital. The three cities possess a wealth of historic sites: the earthy Luohan Temple in Chongqing, a favorite of today's fortune-tellers; the ancient coffins, mummies, and bronze bells of the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan; and the Ming city walls and temples of Nanjing. The highlight is the river cruise. The Three Gorges, diminished by the reservoir formed by the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest, are still spectacular, as is the tributary cruise to the Three Lesser Gorges. Quaint shoreline villages, like the ghost town of Fengdu and the walled settlement of Zigui, are rewarding to stroll. The Yangtze River also passes by the Grand Canal city of Yangzhou and the sacred mountain of Huangshan, China's most quintessential cluster of peaks.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Yangtze River flows from its source in Qinghai Province, eastward into the East China Sea at Shanghai
  • Language: Mandarin, Wu (Shanghaiese), Yue (Cantonese)
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Yangtze River | Yangtze River
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring or autumn