Yangtze River Cruise Tour from Guangzhou

9 Days Guangzhou - Guilin-Chongqing-Yangtze River Cruise-Yichang

In our nine-day tour, you will see the beautiful landscape along the Yangtze River. In our Yangtze River cruise tour from Guangzhou, we will first visit some historical attractions in Guangzhou, and you can see both ancient and modern Guangzhou on this trip. During our Yangtze River cruise tour with Guilin, we will see Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave, and you must be amazed by the uncanny power of nature. You will also have a cruise trip on the Li River, and feel the picturesque beauty of the Li River in the misty environment. In our downstream Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, you will not only see the Three Gorges Dam, the great hydraulic project in China but also learn to play Tai Chi with a Tai Chi teacher on board. I’m sure that you will have a unique experience during this tour and be charmed by the landscape in China.

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival in Guangzhou
You will arrive in Guangzhou and we will take you to the hotel for a good rest

Welcome to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province of China. Upon your arrival, you will see your tour guide waiting for you at the arrival hall with your name sign, and then you will be transferred to the local hotel we arranged for you. In the next few days, we will bring you to many special places in China, and you will also see a lot of beautiful scenery and historical sites when you cruise along the Yangtze River. Today, you can have a good rest in your room, and tomorrow we will start our journey.

Day 2 Guangzhou
Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Museum of the Nanyue King of the Western Han Dynasty, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Canton Tower

This morning, we will visit the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family. The Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, built in 1894, is one of the largest traditional buildings in Guangzhou. It was built by the Chen families from all over Guangdong Province, providing a temporary residence for the Chen family's children to prepare for the imperial examinations and some other things.

The temple is known for its exquisite decorations and magnificence. You can see wood, stone, brick, clay, pottery, and iron sculptures everywhere when walking around the halls, courtyards, and verandas in the temple. Among them, wood carving is the most numerous and largest architectural decoration in the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family. The wood carvings here are mainly in relief and openwork, and almost all of the wooden elements in the buildings are carved with historical stories and auspicious patterns. The 20 double-sided openwork screens in the middle entrance have been described as a gallery of historical stories carved by folk artists using wood and steel knives. Take a leisurely stroll inside the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, and you will be amazed at the skillful carving and wisdom of the Chinese craftsmen of a century ago.

Next, we will go to the Museum of the Nanyue King of the Western Han Dynasty (closed each Monday). It mainly exhibits the tomb of Zhao Mo, the second king of Nanyue Kingdom of Western Han Dynasty (202 BC- 8 AD), discovered in 1983. There are more than 1,000 pieces of precious cultural relics unearthed from the tomb of the Nanyue King. It is the only stone tomb built entirely with stone blocks and the first painted stone tomb with murals.

There are three sets of bronze chimes, 36 bronze tripods, 39 bronze mirrors, three gold seals, and more than 240 pieces of jade in the tomb. You can also see the jade coat worn by the tomb owner, which is the earliest and the only jade coat among the complete Western Han jade coats found in China so far. In addition, the blue-plate glass, the world's first set of printed copper plates, African ivory, and other items unearthed in the tomb are also meaningful and rare treasures. Many relics unearthed in the tomb have been hailed as national treasures.

After lunch, we will see the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a temple with a long history and known at home and abroad. The temple is filled with pagodas, trees, and cultural relics, as well as many famous people's footprints. The temple was named after the inscription of Su Dongpo, a famous Chinese poet, painter, and calligrapher in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

During the Northern Song Dynasty, Su Dongpo was delegated to Hainan in the south of China, and later the emperor called him to return north. When he passed by Guangzhou on his way, he visited a temple called Jing Hui Temple, and the monk asked him to write an inscription for the temple. When he looked around the temple, he saw six ancient banyan trees that were so green and lush that he felt cool under them, so he inscribed Six Banyan. Then in the Ming Dynasty, the temple was rebuilt, and the words Six Banyan given by Su Dongpo were engraved on a wooden plaque and hung on the temple gate. From then on, Jing Hui Temple took on the alias Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. As time went on, it gradually became the official name of the temple.

Next, we will visit the Canton Tower, the highest building in Guangdong Province. The main body of the tower is 454 meters high, and the antenna mast is 146 meters high, and that’s a total height of 600 meters. As a landmark project in Guangzhou, the tower can withstand earthquakes of magnitude 8 and typhoons of magnitude 12. Canton Tower is equipped with a variety of entertainment facilities and has multiple functions. From 168 to 334.4 meters, the tower has a Spider-Man Trail, which is the highest and longest skywalk trail in the world. At 422.8 meters, there is a revolving restaurant, which is the highest revolving restaurant in the world. At 450~454 meters on top of the tower, there is the world's tallest Bubble Tram. In addition, there is a Sky Drop ride at 455~485 meters of the tower, which holds the Guinness title of “the highest trill ride”. You can try these activities above at your own expense.

Canton Tower
Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family
Day 3 GuangzhouGuilin
From Guangzhou to Guilin by train, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave

Today, we will say goodbye to Guangzhou and head to Guilin. After breakfast, your tour guide will take you to the train station to take the estimated train D2812 10:05/12:47. About two and a half hours later, you will arrive in Guilin, Guangxi Province.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Elephant Trunk Hill, a symbol of Guilin, and named after a giant elephant standing by the Li River and drinking from it. According to local legends, this elephant once saved the local people. What’s amazing is that between the elephant trunk and elephant legs is a round hole with an area of about one hundred and fifty square meters, through which the river water passes. In China, there is a saying that Guilin's landscape is the best, and I believe you will have a pleasant experience here.

Next, we will go to the Reed Flute Cave. The Reed Flute Cave is 240 meters deep and owns a large number of exquisite stalagmites, stalactites, stone pillars, stone mantles, and stone flowers, which make up a colorful and peculiar landscape, just like a fairyland. It is known as the Palace of Nature's Art. As far back as 1,000 years ago, people started to visit Reed Flute Cave, so many inscriptions of ancient people were left on the stone walls in the cave. Inside the cave, you can see more than 70 inscriptions since the eighth year of the Tang Dynasty (792), most of which are travelogues with autographs.

Reed Flute Cave has received more than 40 million visitors, including more than 180 foreign heads and dignitaries, such as the former U.S. President Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, former German President Richard von Weizsäcker, former U.N. Secretary-General Deguillier, and former Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They all highly praised the cave after their visit, and thus it was also called the State Guest Cave.

After visiting the Reed Flute Cave, your guide will take you to the hotel we prepared for you. Have a good rest today!

Reed Flute Cave
Elephant Trunk Hill
Day 4 Guilin
Li River Cruise, Yangshuo West Street

This morning, we will drive southeast for about 55 minutes to the Mopanshan Dock, and spend four hours on the Li River Cruise ship from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Li River waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo is an ancient masterpiece of nature. The turquoise water of the Li River and the strange rocks as well as peaks gather along the river, making a picturesque scene. The natural beauty of the Li River scenery is mesmerizing.

You will have lunch on board. After arriving at Yangshuo, your guide will take you to Yangshuo West Street. It is the oldest street in Yangshuo County, with a history of over 1,400 years. Yangshuo West Street is nearly 800 meters long and is paved with locally produced betel marble, which is dark green and shining. The road is lined with low brick houses built in the Qing dynasty (1636-1912), with white walls and red windows, reflecting the simplicity and elegance of the local architectural style. In 1984, the street was renovated, and then it turned into a quaint and elegant tourist culture street. Now, you can see numerous handicraft stores, calligraphy and painting stores, hotels, cafes, bars, and specialty stores when walking here.

Leaving Yangshuo West Street, you will be driven back to Guilin and stay in the hotel we arranged for you. Have a good rest, and tomorrow we will start our new journey!

Li river
Yangshuo west street
Day 5 GuilinChongqing
From Guilin to Chongqing by train, Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, we will leave Guilin and go to Chongqing, taking the estimated train D1864 10:52/15:49. After you arrive at Chongqing, you will be sent to the Yangtze River Cruise ship and check in. Your ship will set sail tonight at about 9, and I’m sure you will have a great experience!

Day 6 Yangtze River Cruise
Ghost City of Fengdu, Shibaozhai Pagoda

On the first morning on the ship, you can learn to play Tai Chi with a Tai Chi teacher on board. As a type of traditional Chinese Kung Fu technique, Tai Chi can not only strengthen your body but also nurture your temperament. After the morning exercise, you will feel refreshed and energetic.

After breakfast, we will get on board to take a Shore excursion to the Ghost City of Fengdu. Ghost City is famous for its various buildings of the Netherworld style. The Netherworld is where the human spirits of the dead gathers according to ancient Chinese legends. The main attractions in this Ghost City of Fengdu are the Ghost Country Shrine and the group of statues with the Netherworld style. These statues are creative, reflecting the Chinese concepts ghosts and hell. Another place you cannot miss is the Naihe Bridge, located halfway up the mountain, and has a history of nearly 2,000 years. According to Chinese myths, this is the bridge that dead souls would walk on, leading to  the Netherworld. And the good people would have the blessings of gods and Buddhas to cross the bridge smoothly, while the evil people would be beaten into the pool of blood beneath the bridge to suffer. In addition, there are verdant forests and exquisite buildings, and the scenery is enchanting no matter when you come to visit. There are also inscriptions on the hill by many famous poets and literatus in the past generations. The Ghost City of Fengdu is not only a legendary ghost town, but also a treasure house of folk culture and art, and one of the most famous humanistic landscapes on the Yangtze River tourism line.

After our buffet lunch, we will visit Shibaozhai Pagoda on the shore, which would be a self-funded attraction for you. In the center of Shibaozhai town on the north bank of Yangtze River, stands a huge mountain with a north-south direction. On the south side of the mountain, you will see a majestic red pagoda with 12 floors, the Shibaozhai Pagoda, also known as the Pearl on the Yangtze River. Legend has it that this giant mountain the pogoda is located was left by Nuwa (a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology best known for creating mankind and repairing the sky) after repairing the sky with stones, so the local people later called this place “Shibaozhai” (means the place with a treasure stone in Chinese).

The Shibaozhai Pagoda is with a total height of 56 meters. The higher up the pagoda, the smaller the area. The whole pagoda is built in the architectural styles with local characteristics, without using a single iron nail. You will find that there are statues, portraits, and paintings of famous people on each floor of the pagoda. When you reach the seventh floor, besides climbing up the stairs, you can also take an adventure to climb up stone ladder with the help of the chains at the west end. It is said that this stone ladder was a necessary way for locals to go up and down the mountain before the pagoda was repaired. Climbing up the ladder, you will reach a small platform on the south side of the cliff, known as the observation deck. Standing here, you can see the Yangtze River, and it is a magnificent sight.

At night, you will be invited to a captain’s welcoming party on the ship. The captain will lead the crew to welcome and greet all of you.

Fengdu Ghost City
Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise
White Emperor City, Wu Gorges, Xiling Gorges

In the morning, you can  get up early and practice Tai Chi with your Tai Chi teacher and then have breakfast. When passing by the Qutang Gorge, we will go ashore to visit White Emperor City. This is not included in our itinerary and you would have to pay extra if you decide to take the tour. White Emperor City is located on the northern estuary of the Yangtze River, on a mountain called White Emperor Mountain. When you look up at the foot of the mountain, you can see a corner of the city in the lush woods, surrounded by clouds and fog, just like a fairyland. After entering the main gate, you will come to the main hall, which tells the story that Liu Bei (the king of Shuhan Kingdom in the Three Kingdoms period, 220-280) entrusted his young son to the care of his minister.

Once, Liu Bei's powerful general Guan Yu was captured and killed by the enemy army, and his strategic lands were taken away, which made his regime started to go downhill. After hearing this, Liu Bei raised all his troops to invade the enemy country to avenge Guan Yu's death, but he was defeated by the enemy general Lu Xun. Liu Bei was defeated and retreated to White Emperor City. Liu Bei fell ill in White Emperor City and summoned his Prime Minister Zhuge Liang to entrust him with his young son. Liu Bei said to Zhuge Liang  “If you think my son is an emperor in the making, assist him, but if he is not, you can replace him and take the throne yourself.” Zhuge Liang cried and said, I will do my best to revitalize our kingdom until the moment I die.

You will see these people’s sculptures in the main hall, which are all lifelike, telling the touching stories to tourists around the world.

In the afternoon, we will pass by the Wu Gorge. The Wu Gorge is the second gorge we will pass during the cruise tour along the Yangtze River, with a total length of 46 kilometers. It is a long, narrow, and deep valley, with exotic and magnificent peaks and mountains. The mountains are surrounded by clouds and fog, and the river is flowing with twists and turns. When you travel through the gorge, sometimes encountering a large mountain in front of you that looks as if there is no way out, and then suddenly when the cruise ship turns, you will find a new path appears.

The peaks on both sides of the Wu Gorge also have their characteristics. On your way, you will see an abrupt stone pillar on the peak, resembling a vigorous girl. The stone pillar is about 6.4 meters high, with an elevation of 1,112 meters. This is the Goddess Peak. According to the legend, Yao Ji, the youngest daughter of the Queen Mother of the West (a Chinese goddess known from ancient times), was passing through the Wu Gorge when she saw a group of evil dragons fighting and harassing the residents. She stopped and killed the dragons to help the people. Then she helped the locals to dredge the rivers and control the floods. She also stayed to navigate the passing boats, and eventually became the Goddess Peak.

Next, we will cruise through the Xiling Gorge, which is the longest in the Yangtze River, with dangerous terrain. It is a place full of reefs,  strange rocks, and fast streams. However, after some artificial remodeling, Xiling Gorge is different from the past and becomes less dangerous. You will see different views in different seasons, each has its characteristics. If you travel to this place in autumn, you will see orange groves on both sides of the gorge, and the wind in the gorge will be intoxicating. The dangerous but beautiful landscape here impressed tourists from home and abroad.

Wu Gorge
Xiling Gorge
Day 8 Yangtze River CruiseYichang
From Yangtze River Cruise to Yichang by bus, Three Gorges Dam Site

Today, we will visit the Three Gorges Dam, and if you are willing to pay an additional fee, you can take a Ship Lift to have a closer look of the dam. The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric project in the world today. It showcases the engineering and hydrological culture in all aspects, combining modern engineering, natural scenery, and humanistic landscape. The altitude of Tanziling Ridge is 262.48 meters above sea level, which is the best location for getting a panoramic view of the Three Gorges Project.

After visiting the Three Gorges Dam, you will come to the tourist center by taking the shuttle bus. Your tour guide will pick you up in the tourist center, and then take you to the hotel we prepared for you to have a good rest. 

The Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam
Day 9 Yichang Departure
You will be transferred to the airport and fly back to your sweet home

On the last day in Yichang, we will take you to the airport according to your flight schedule to return to your comfortable home. We hope that you have had a good time these days, and we welcome you to China again.

Author: Fan Lin

Proofreader: Liz

This tour ends here
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