There are over 22,000 rivers in China, an immense number that not only provide links across the country but to many neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Russia and Vietnam. The most famous are the Yellow River – the third largest river in Asia – and the Yangtze, the third longest river in the world. With such extensive options of waterways, boat travel in China is an amazing alternative to see the country.
The most heavily-travelled river in China is the Yangtze River. A popular route is from Chongqing to Yichang, a 12-hour journey passing through incredible countryside on the way.
The Three Gorges Dam is also located on the Yangtze River. This mind-blowing sight is the world’s largest power station which has had a considerable effect on the ecology of China.
Guilin is a truly magical place for a boat journey, although not on a cruise liner but just a simple rowing boat. The journey is a strong contender with the sights on the Yangtze River. Floating down the Li River, you will find yourself surrounded by towering karsts, vivid colours and rural scenery.
Cruises are best during spring and autumn when the weather is relatively warm and there’s not much rain. During spring, Guilin is known to be covered in a mysterious and alluring layer of mist, whereas autumn brings with it vivid yellows and oranges.
If you are visiting a few places in Asia, see if you can travel by boat from your prior destination to China. Shanghai is home to China’s largest port where a number of cargo ships and passenger ships make stops. These ships travel from as far as Europe, the Americas and Australia, as well as many other destinations along the way.