Cruising down the beautiful Yangtze River of China for 3 nights was definitely the most relaxing part of our China Odyssey.
Arriving at the Ferry terminal early in the morning it was packed with people waiting to board the cruise boat. The sun was already beating down on us and sweat was pouring down my back by the time we got to the docks with out backpacks.
We were then presented with a choice to carry our bags down loads of steps in this heat or pay 2 yen to take the lift down to the walkway. We all immediately opted for the lift and boarded the Yangtze Angel cruise boat at Chongqing to travel downstream for 3 nights. The Yangtze River basin is home to over 400 million people; a third of China’s enormous population. A cruise on the Yangtze is definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Yangtze Angel cruise ship was the first one that has the splendor of a luxurious lobby among cruise ships on Yangtze River. Its pioneering design enabled more space in the ship, and it opened a new age for decoration of luxurious ships. Fitted with central air-conditioning it makes Yangtze Angel an ideal place to relax in the hot July summer.
Our cabins all had little balconies that were fabulous to sit on and watch the mountains go by as we cruised down the river. It was hot and hazy outside but was still one of the most beautiful sceneries I have ever had the opportunity of seeing!
We were the only foreigners on this cruise and had a great time getting to experience the culture differences in China. During the cruise the dinner and lunch buffet was delicious but an experience as here we got our fist culture shock of the cruise. The Chinese people would actually push their way to the front and dish up as if everything will disappear in a bit. As soon as new dishes were brought out they would charge the buffet and dish up as much as they could. We soon learned to act fast otherwise we would lose out. There were loads of different dishes with rise or noodles and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I enjoyed the food although the fish was so filled with bones that it was hard to eat.
Mom had loads of trouble using chop sticks and as we were only provided with chopsticks she started carrying a spoon around in her bag.
We all had some lovely lazy afternoons and even early nights as the summer heat was quite exhausting. Our guide Jay taught us how to play mahjong which was loads of fun. Here I decided that I would definitely buy myself a set closer to the end of the tour.
Mom and I went for a Chinese medical massage. It was quite painful during the process but was a fabulous experience. It tickled a bit at times and they did a lot of hitting of the shoulder blades. They used massage oil that heated up as she massaged it into our muscles and quite surprisingly it didn’t leave us feeling all oily afterwards.
One of the sweet things about the cruise was the morning alarm that was a beautiful Chinese tune that started playing at 6:30am and continued for a whole hour. It was a lovely way to wake up on this peaceful cruise.
The scenery down the Yangtze River is absolutely amazing especially through the gorges and just to see the ‘small’ towns on the banks of this river is an unforgettable experience. I would definitely do this again if I ever had the chance.