Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yangtze River Postcard Day 11 Yichang

Hello Thursday! We carry on with Day 11 of our China trip where we left the Three Gorges Dam for Yichang.

The buses dropped off the passengers by their cruise ships, we gathered near the parking lot while the staff did a head count. A shot below of the afternoon sun as it gradually set behind the mountains.
Next to where we stood, a small plot of cultivated land, no chance to see what kind of vegetables as we were called back to the boat.
The couple pictured below replaced the 3 ladies who previously tended the stall. The woman adorned a typical peasant hairstyle and attire, her face bronzed by the sun. More baskets filled with oranges appeared on the ground, along with some empty knapsacks.
Back on the cruise ship, passengers hastily packed their luggage and checked out of the rooms. Everyone was getting anxious to arrive in Yichang on time as delays would create havoc to travel plans. We decided to capture some last moments on our river journey, below a shot out our cabin window.
Ships constructed on shore, their hulls incomplete, the one on the right revealed an intricate structure.
Junks on the Yangtze, an unexpected but fitting sight! I have never been on a junk before and am curious to see one up close. On the left some traditional looking buildings, was it a hotel?The pagoda on the left marked the look out point, I think the hike amongst the trees would be intriguing and the view gorgeous.
Below a newly built hotel by the waterfront, the top floor suites equipped with air conditioners, its roof suited with solar water heaters.
Finally after an hour we arrived in Yichang! We quickly found a cab for 180 RMB ($26 Canadian) and left for the airport, the car began to twist and turn as it climbed the hilly dirt road. There were numerous tiny brick houses amongst small restaurants and shops, chickens and dogs roamed freely while some locals played mahjong. The little village gradually gave way to straighter and wider roads. We came to this enormous bridge that went across the Yangtze River, construction was incomplete.
We drove by a newly developed area, our cab driver described it as a resort community. Its target audience wealthy entrepreneurs who stayed for a mere 2 weeks during their annual holiday, their home away from home.
A soon to be completed "Living Mall" covered with unsightly green coverings promised the ultimate shopping experience. Do we need another shopping centre?Some newly built residential homes, a fair size with 3 stories. Grey lines covered the exteriors, a simple but very mesmerizing pattern.
A typical side road in Yichang, produce stalls with wheels in a neighborhood of residential low-rise, just like the ones we explored in Beijing. I much prefer the older community.
Locals chatted with each other as they waited for the bus, although I did not see a bus stop sign.
Four in a row, scooters for hire equipped with drivers waiting for customers outside the marketplace.
A fully loaded motorbike with empty baskets, it seemed their day at the market was a good one.Yet another hard working bike transported the whole family.
We noticed this adorable 3 wheeler below, the front part a motorbike, the back a small truck. The passengers looked like farm workers, the road was lined with farmlands.
Another 3 wheeler, this one loaded with freshly picked oranges, there must be an orchard nearby. Our cab driver pointed out Yichang is known for its oranges.
I spotted a young couple on a bicycle, he was smartly dressed as was she, a date perhaps?
We arrived at the airport after an hour's drive but was 3 hours early so could not check in our luggage. A leisurely lunch ensued at the airport restaurant where we reminisced about all the different things we did and places we saw, the cruise was most delightful. At 350 US dollars per person we felt the 3 day journey was great value, room, food, and shore excursions included. I felt very fortunate to be able to see the Yangtze River and am so glad I persisted in getting us on the cruise. Our 4 star ship Three Kingdoms had a great staff with good customer service, the only small complaint was the bathroom. I wish they got rid of the stench, other passengers shared similar views. There was the option of a 5 star ship at 700 US dollars per person, I think with the same itinerary at half the price we did well.

Stay tuned next week as our China escapade continues!

3 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to it!

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  2. Another great post Novi. Can't wait for the next installment. Ben

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  3. I remain impressed by the number of details and lively descriptions you include to these China postings. It is almost as being there myself! Thanks again! :)

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