The Yangtze River is Asia's longest river. Only the Amazon River and the Nile River are longer. Its 6,300 kilometers stretches from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's snowy height in Western China. It is commonly called Chiang Jiang ('Long River') but, because it spans quite many towns and regions, it also has several local names. Over 700 tributaries feed the river, but the main ones are Yalong, Min, Tuo Jiang, Wu Jiang, Jialing and Hun. At its origin, you can see the Tibetan Plateau's glaciers, which also provide part of the river's waters by way of its melting ice and snow.The scenery in which the River wends its way through is simply breathtaking. You can go on a cruise along the river and experience what the Yangtze offers in terms of picturesque landscapes, natural wonders, architectural gems and historic towns. The main attractions are the Three Gorges, the Lesser Three Gorges, and the controversial Three Gorges Dam. From east to west, you can see the Yichang, Maoping, Zigui, Badong, Fengjie, Yunyang, Wanxian, Shibaozhai, Shongxian, Fengdu and Chongging. You can also have shore excursions to Yellow Mountain and Nanjing. The Yangtze River also has much to offer to the culture vulture – ancient remains, ruins and ghost cities, burial customs and festivals.Situated in the western Wu Shan (Witch Mountains), the stunningly striking Three Gorges is made up of the Qutang Gorge, the Wu Gorge and the Xiling Gorge. The Three Gorges are legendary for their scintillating beauty as they tower over the river. They also offer many historical and religious attractions along the way. The Qutang Gorge is the shortest of the three, but it is seen as the most spectacular. It is only eight kilometers long. It boasts of sheer cliffs and scenic shores that lead to the magnificent Meng Liang Staircase, the Seven Gate Cave and the ancient Plank Road.The Wu Gorge stretches for 44 kilometers of beautiful scenery and tranquil waters. Its sharp twists and turns provide you with a view of forest and valleys in one turn and mountains and jagged peaks at the other. It is where you can find the Twelve Peaks, which, legend says, house spirits of fairies. It provides an entirely enchanting effect. Look closely, and you might see the silhouette of a goddess gracefully standing on top of Goddess Peak. Popular sites along Wu Gorge are Badong and Zigui. You can also find the Lesser Three Gorges here.Furthest downriver, the Xiling Gorge is a 66 kilometer stretch of rapid and perilous currents and shoals. There is no need to fret as these danger spots have been removed. Be sure to watch out for Three Swords Peak (Nantuo), Mt. Qingshi (Shipai Town), the Huangling Temple and the Three Travelers' Cave.
Yangtze RiverLast updated on