Saturday, December 1, 2007

China Odyssey, Day 17 - Yangtze River Cruise

Day 17 - Yangtze River Cruise
Saturday December 1
Rest and Missed Opportunities

This morning we docked at Fengdu, which is known as the "City of Ghosts". It is considered the #1 tourist attraction on the upper reaches of the Yangtze. The temple area on top of Ming Mountain pays tribute to the King of the Underworld, and there are many displays in the temple portraying interpretations of the Afterlife. The ancient Chinese Buddhists believe that when you died your soul went to Fengdu, hence the abundance of ghosts in the area.

Unfortunately, this attraction was not included in the OAT itinerary, much to the chagrin of many in our group. Instead OAT had planned a home visit to a relocated family, and to a local farmer's market.

Keith and I did neither, as Keith is sicker and Kathy am not feeling all that great. Two other people in our tour group are sick as well (cruise crud?). We spent the morning napping and then went down to lunch which did not seem appetizing to either of us. We returned to our room and slept the afternoon away. We are both enjoying our trip very much, but the pace of travel is a bit more strenuous than we would like. As we are entering week 3 of our trip we are becoming weary. We did, howeer, feel well enough to stick he camera out of our balcony door and snap a few photos of passing river traffic. We especially enjoyed watching the wide diversity of watercraft which ply the Yangtze.

Typical Yangtze River Traffic

Traditional Chinese Vessel (Junk?)

Traditional Chinese Vessel (Sampan?)

Typical Yangtze River Workboat

Ultramodern Yangtze Transportation

In the evening we docked at Chongqing. From our balcony the city of Chongqing looks like Las Vegas on steroids. Flashing lights in bright neon colors are everywhere. There are many pleasure craft in the water at all hours. The people of Chongqing like to enjoy themselves, all 30 million of them.

Our voyage on the Yangtze was approximately 461 miles. Our time on the cruise has been pleasant. The room was clean, and comfortable, the food OK and he scenery spectacular. There was another tour group on board, and we struck up a couple of acquaintances. Tomorrow we debark and board a bus for Chengdu.

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