Imperial Jewels of China – A river cruise adventure by Jim Riggins
Please see the photo album below
My wife and I experienced a memorable Viking river Cruise in China in late August. Our trip took us from Shanghai to Wuhan, Xian and Beijing. Shanghai is as metropolitan as New York, with many financial institutions, parks, and theater. We experienced the Bund, the city’s elegant riverside promenade and the Shanghai Museum, filled with exhibits of ancient Chinese art.
Flying to Wuhan on internal Chinese airlines was eye opening. Not only did they have state of the art airplanes, their local airports in Shanghai, Wuhan and Xian are all new and clean. Like many Chinese cities, we found Wuhan to be full of construction activities and sky scrapers. During our brief visit we enjoyed a musical performance of their museum’s noted collection of chimes and bells. It was in Wuhan that we boarded the Viking ship for our cruise up the Yangtze River.
Along the river we had a tour of the famous Three Gorges Dam, which has the largest hydroelectric power station in the world and a visit to the Shibaozhai Pagoda, a 12-story pavilion built in 1650 A.D., and giving one breathtaking views of the Yangtze River. After five days on the Yangtze, we disembarked at Chongqing, home of the “Flying Tigers” of World War II fame. We also got a chance to visit the Chongqing Zoo to see the Giant Panda Bears.
Later in the day we flew on to Xian, where we got to walk along one of the best preserved sections of the Xian walled city. The highlight of Xian was our visit to the site of the Terra cotta Army, where we saw soldiers, archers, horses and chariots that were buried with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang more than 2,000 years ago.
Finally, we flew to Beijing and arrived just in time for the Chinese celebration of the defeat of Japan 70 years ago. The weather was great since the government had shut down all factories for a month and had odd/even driving days for automobiles. We got to experience a walk along one of the best preserved section of the Great Wall, a visit to Ming Tombs and saw Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. T was a great trip and we recommend it to all.
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