Many might consider the Yangtze to the Nile of China, its banks giving birth to a civilization that would chart a distinct course through history. The Yangtze River in China stretches nearly 4,000 miles across the country, traveling east from the Tibetan mountains to empty into the East China Sea at Shanghai. Along that path, the river touches some of China’s most astounding natural, cultural, and historical sites.

One of the most spectacular sections on the river is known as the Three Gorges. Qutang, Wu, and Xiling gorges make up roughly 75 miles of amazing cliffs towering over the waters. The largest dam in the world, Three Gorges Dam, is located in the middle of Xiling Gorge and provides electricity to the region while allowing for increased shipping capacity on the river.

This stretch is known for gentle sailing and beautiful scenery, but it also happens to be home to the oldest city on the Yangtze, Yibin, here rivers converge in a one kilometer wide watercourse, gentle enough for local commerce and transportation. Yibin has thrived on the banks, thanks to navigable waters.

China’s myths and legends come to life, or rather to death, in Fengdu, the Ghost City, said to be founded by the rulers of the underworld. According to legend, Fengdu is where good and evil come to receive their rewards. For visitors, this town steeped in legend offers valuable insight into Chinese mysticism, and the ancient cultures flowing much like the rivers into modernity.

Ker & Downey’s expert consultants will match you with one of our Yangtze River cruise tours to ensure that your experience of the Yangtze’s nature, history and culture is enhanced with the most luxurious surroundings and knowledgeable guides. Every balcony sunset, every up close encounter will bring you closer to the lore of this storied river that flows through the heart of China.