Luxury Yangtze River Cruises

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The ultimate in luxury Yangtze River cruises today will include the five-level ship locks of China's Three Gorges Dam--built over the last decade or so amidst much controversy. The Yangtze, one of the world's longest at 3,900 miles, runs west to east, as all of China's rivers do. So much controversy surrounded the building of the dam and the displacing of so much of the population that the three famous gorges themselves were almost sidelined.

Sights along Luxury Yangtze River Cruises

All of three gorges have long been renowned for their spectacular beauty, which anyone taking luxury Yangtze River cruises will certainly appreciate. Qutang is the most precipitous of the three. Wuzia is the deepest and most beautiful. The longest and most dangerous is Xiling, which is rocky and full of rapids.

Attractions in the immediate area of the Three Gorges include Baodingshan (Precious Crown Hill). Its more than 10,000 magnificent sculptures were carved during the Song Dynasty (between 960 and 1279). Baideching (white King city) lies on the north bank of the Yangtze and guards the Qutang Gorge. The Xiling's submerged reefs, swirling waters, and shoals make it particularly scenic.

Other attractions for participants of luxury Yangtze River cruises include Jingshou (built more than 1,700 years ago), the Wanshou Pagoda, the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan (also 1,700 years old), and the Chimes of Marquis Yi. Dating back to about 400 BC, these chimes were unearthed only in 1978. Engraved with more than 2,800 Chinese characters, they are the oldest known written musical score.

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