We got on board the cruise ship very late last night. It was around 10pm or so, after watching the spectacular performance that captured the history and the story behind the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang.
We all stayed with our tour guide, Peter, who followed another main tour guide. We have first class tickets, which sleeps two in one bedroom including a private bathroom. We have air conditioning in our rooms so that is very nice in the summertime. We all went to bed and awoke the next morning at 6am to loud, yet soothing Chinese music playing through our ceiling speakers. I found there was a knob I could turn to lower the volume, so I wearily did. After, I realized it was playing throughout the entire ship, not only my individual room. I began to get ready, after laying down for a bit and fiddling with my small dinky Chinese cellular device…I had set two emergency alarms close to 6am knowing we would have breakfast at 6:30am…of course I did not know we would all get wake-up calls.
A short while later an announcement was made that breakfast was being served in the 3rd floor dining room. Yes, thankfully, it was a short stroll down the hallway to get to our assigned table, #10. We are the only foreigners (so it seems) on this ship. Therefore, we are traveling with the ordinary Chinese people on this cruise ship, as we are taking the 3 day, 2 night trip.
Breakfast consisted of mantou (white, semi-sweet wheat buns), hard-boiled eggs (limited to one per person), a mung bean congee (very bland), some preserved vegetables, and preserved mustard greens. Each one of us grabbed some mantou, and Peter told us to fill up because we were going to need the energy.
After breakfast, we went back to our rooms to get ready to depart the ship for our destination. Around 7am, we went up to the upper deck of the ship where it is a very open area. It was so beautiful when we got up there!
The students and Lei played some games with Johnny, our new Chinese friend from the cruise.
Along the ride we passed some mountains that were similar to the mountains on the back of the 10 Yuan (RMB) in Chinese currency.
We then docked at Fengjie, a part of the municipality of Chongqing, China. First, we boarded a bus which took us to a historical site.
There, we saw a historical site and climbed 300 steps to get to it.
It was extremely hot and humid as soon as we got off the boat, and throughout the tour anytime we had an opportunity to find shade, we did. It was a gorgeous and we saw many warriors and emperors from the Three Kingdoms.
We then boarded the bus at 10am and all headed back to the boat. We got there around 10:30am or 10:45am. We had an opportunity to take a rest before lunch was served. Lunch consisted of eight different dishes. We had fried fish, pork with preserved vegetables, chicken with peppers, bok choy, green beans, soy bean sprouts, rice, a soup, and a few other Chinese dishes. We all ate our meals super fast because we were very hungry after our morning adventure.
Our Cruise ship!
Yay, time for an afternoon nap until 3pm, where I felt quite productive, editing some pictures I had taken from days prior to painting my nails with some polish I had purchased from a mall in Yichang.
At 3pm our ship stopped and we all boarded another smaller boat, which took us to a stream with jade water. The part of the Yangtze River our ship has been taking us is quite different from the place the smaller boat took us to.
It took about an hour to get to our destination. Shannong River was where the boat dropped us off. We all split up into groups of 17 people on the traditional old wooden flat boat. In years past, the traditional draggers of the boat were naked, but since tourists started coming to the area, it was more appealing for them to put on some clothes to lug then row the wooden boats with tourists.
Fisherman and farmers still use those boats to transport food and produce from one place to another as we saw when we were on the boats. I enjoyed this wooden boat ride a lot. It was required for us to put on orange life vests in case of an emergency. We had some old men row our boats.
Other men grabbed some rope and started towing us along the river from the earth. Then, they hopped onto our boat and there were about five men, two in the back and three in the front, steering and rowing us along the river. There must have been about eight boats filled with mostly Chinese tourists wearing orange life vests. It was an interesting site to see.
Our tour guide on the smaller row boats was fun and pointed out different sites to see along the ride, such as old wooden coffins high up in the mountains as well as a beautiful and serene waterfall along the way. She also sang a few Chinese songs to us while we were aboard the row boat through her microphone. I learned that “huojie” is a way of saying hello in that part of the region of China.
Our ride back to the boat was quite long. But it only took us 20 minutes for us to get to another spot, where we all stopped to watch a minority folk performance. We climbed up many flights of stairs to get to the top.
Thankfully there was air conditioning when we got into the stage area. It was already around 5:15pm when the performance started.
The show represented the men who pulled the boats, their passion, and their spirit. There was a lion dance performance, a few dances, a song, and an instrumental. It lasted for only about half an hour, and we all returned to our smaller boat to get back to our cruise ship. It was already about 6pm.
And when we got back to the ship it was close to 7pm. An announcement was made that dinner was being served, and people all rushed to the dining room to find some nice dishes, rice, and a soup. There was tofu, rice noodle, steamed fish, potato with pork, steamed pumpkin, sautéed cabbage, and some other Chinese dishes. Dinner was great! Now it is about a quarter to 9pm here on the ship. Tomorrow morning there will be a wake-up call at 5:30am, and breakfast at 6am. We will be visiting a site after breakfast, and then packing our belongings to depart for Yichang around 9:30am.
Today was a magnificent day with so many different experiences for me. This was my first time to Chongqing, even though it was the outskirts of the city. It was absolutely gorgeous to see everything. It is so open in this area. I really enjoy seeing the fisherman and the people who row the boats along the river. What a great day…
Time to repack my stuff, woo…
Thanks for reading this rather long and detailed entry.