China Yangtze River Information: cruises, maps, pictures, ships, three gorges dam.

Category: Yangtze River Facts (page 1 of 2)

Facts of Yangtze River

Yangtze is the busiest and longest river of Asia and 3rd longest river of the word followed by Amazon and Nile. It is called as Chang Liang in Chinese which means Long River and the name Yangtze is only for describing the section of the river which is near the mouth. Yangtze also means child of the ocean.

It flows for about 3,964 miles from where it originates about 21,700 feet up in the mountains of Kunlun on the Tibetan plateau which is to the East China Sea near Shanghai. It drops off the Tibetan plateau and descends about 1000 feet in the first 600 miles which is separated by the massive ridges from the Salween and Mekong Rivers.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

The Yangtze River passes through five canyons, nine provinces and literally divides China between North and South. After reaching the city of Chongqing at an elevation of more than 600 feet, it wanders through the massive alluvial plain and navigable for the large ships. Wuhan is 600 miles inland and one of the major ports of this river. Hanyang, Hankow and Wuchang are some important ports. At the mouth of Yangtze Kiang, it empties into the sea which is about 40 miles wide. The Yangtze River here releases about 8 million gallon into the Sea of East china every second.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

The Watershed of Yangtze River encompasses 700,000 square miles while is the 20 percent of the total land area of china and encompasses about 700 tributaries which accounts for the 35 percent of the total fresh water resources of China. pit carries the three-fourth of the internal waterway commercial of china and irrigates over third of the agricultural output of china producing 40 percent of the nation grains, 25 percent of rice, 30 percent of cotton, 48 percent freshwater fish and 40 percent of total industrial output of China.


Yangtze River Facts

Name– Yangtze River (Chang Jiang/ Chang-jyang)

Meaning– Long River


  • Longest River in Asia and 3rd longest river in the world
  • One of the two main rivers in China
  • Yangtze River Cruises
  • Ancient places, artwork and history
  • Industrial, Scenic and ancient sites
  • Huge inland waterway for industry and travel
  • Biggest dam
  • Stunning array of scenery- it ranges from the high peaks of Qinghai to inland plain and from jungles and natural highlights to the biggest dam, The Three Gorges Dam, having biggest electric generation installation to big cities along the Yangtze to the sea
Yangtze River

Yangtze River

Most Popular Sections

•          Middle Reaches: Lesser Three Gorges, Three Gorges and Chongqing,Fengdu Ghost City

•          Lower Reaches: Nanjing, Wuhan, Shanghai

•          Upper Reaches: Lijiang, First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge

Plan Your Yangtze River cruise

•          Most popular local products and souvenirs: Dairy and fruit products around Lijiang, porcelain, Chinese paintings, silk, jade, jewelry and silverware in Shanghai Nanjing

•          Most popular food: meat and products in Lijiang, reganmian  or hot dry noodles in Wuhan, hotpot in Sichuan and Boiled Duck and eight delicacies soup With Salt n Nanjing.


•          The British Empire established a trading concession in Wuhan in 1861.

•          Little captained the first steamship that reached Chongqing in 1898.

•          In late 20th century, many Yangtze River locations became international tourist attractions.

•          China began excavating a side channel for blocking the Yangtze River and building the dam in 1993.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River


•          Significance: The basin of Yangtze is the home for one third of population of China, and the river allows ship transport to all the way to Chongqing. It is the most important river for industry, agriculture and inland travel. It is also considered to divide the line between northern and southern China.

•          Tourism: You can view the one of the deepest gorges of the world at the Tiger leaping Gorges along with many ancient and scenic spots and one of the biggest cities and industrial areas of world in Shanghai.

Facts of yangtze River

The Yangtze River is third longest river in the world after the Nile in Africa and Amazon of South America and longest river in Asia. This river is called as Chang Jiang in Chinese which mean Long River and this name can be found on many modern maps in English.

The name Yangzi which is translated to Yangtze was originally used by the local people for referring to the lower reaches of this river. As this was the first name which was heard by the traders and missionaries, it has been applied to the entire river in English. The name is found in many forms which include Yangtse River and Yangtsze Kiang. It runs through the deep gorges in parallel to the Salween and Mekong before it emerges into the plains of the Sichuan. The river is known to the Chinese as Jinsha River or Golden Sand River. The Yangtze River is also referred to Golden waterway.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

This river is about 6,380 kilometers long and is traditionally considered as the dividing point between north and south China although The River Huai sharing the claim.

The Yangtze flows into the East China Sea. In the year 2003 ,before the construction of Three Gorges Dam, Fengjie, the first of a number of towns affected by the massive flood control and power generation project. This project is the largest irrigation project of the world and freed people living along the Yangtze River from the flood which threatened them in the past and offers them the electricity and water transport.



This river is the major transportation artery for China which connects the interiors with the coast. The traffic of river includes commercial transporting of bulk goods like coal as well as manufactured goods and passengers. River cruises of duration of several days especially through the scenic and beautiful Three Gorges area have become very popular as the tourism industry grows in China.


Yangtze River Facts

The Yangtze River holds the records as the largest river in Chine and third longest in the worlds. Lies along Tanggula Mountain, the river flows towards the East China Sea. The name Yangtze is actually inspired by the ancient Yangzijin Ferry in the past.

The basin of Yangtze River is as granary of China. It produces grain that provides half of the whole nation which is in total 70% rice supply. Other products like cotton, wheat, barley, bean, and maize also are grown from this area. The site is the most prosperous and having dense population.

Qutang Gorge

Some major cities located in the area are Shanghai, Nanjing, Chongqing, Wuhan, and Chengdu. Those cities have their own tourist attractions that can be visited along the Yangtze river cruise.

The Yangtze River covers the area of 1,800,000 square km. the upper stream of the river is located between Yibin city (Sichuan province) and Yichang city (Hubei province). Since most of the parts are flowing through Sichuan province, the river is also named as Chuan River. This area of upper stream has a big number of rapids and shoals. One famous scenic spot, “Three Gorger” can be viewed in this area. The middle stream flows from Yichang city to Jiujiang city. The system in this stream is very high developed. It is surrounded by lakes. The downstream or the main river is situated between Shanghai and Jiujiang.

The river has 49 tributaries that create a great water source.  The main tributaries are Yalongjiang, Hanjiang, Minjiang, Jialingjiang, Xiangjiang, Wujiang, Ganjiang, and Yuanjiang. Even the famous Huangpu river of Shanghai is also a tributary of the Yangtze.

The Bund

Irrigation projects of the Yangtze are the oldest system in the world. The first big dam was constructed in the year1988. The next dam, Three Gorges Dam, as well as the famous one was completed in 2009. Also, the biggest hydropower project is a part of Yangtze River. Two dams play significant role in generating power, controlling flood, and as navigation of the river.


The Upper Reaches, Middle Reaches and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River


Folk Houses in the South of the Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River

Folk Houses in the South of the Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River

Being a must-see attraction in China, the Yangtze River is divided into three reaches: the lower reaches including Hubei Province, Anhui Province, Jiangsu Province and Jiangnan areas; the middle reaches including Yibin City, Chongqing Municipality and other part of Hubei Province; the upper reaches however, including the Tanggula Mountains, The Sichuan Tibet Border, The Gorges of Yunnan and From Yunnan to the Middle Reaches in Sichuan.

The Upper Reaches of the Yangtze

yangzhou on the The Lower Reaches of the Yangtze

yangzhou on the The Lower Reaches of the Yangtze

The Upper Reaches of the Yangtze is a land of remote mountains, gorges and minority peoples, which stretches over half the Yangtze’s 6,300 km (3,900 mile) length, from its source to the first major city. Famous attraction here is Tiger Leaping Gorge, near the ancient town of Lijiang in Yunnan Province.

It starts from the Tanggula Mountains, the Source of the Yangtze, which is located in the Tanggula Mountains on the border of Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region, then flows east through Yushu Prefecture to south forming the border between Tibet and Sichuan Province and continue to Yibin City to enter Jinsha River in the middle reaches.

You can see the First Bend of the Yangtze River—Shigu (Stone Drum) Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the upper reaches of the Yangtze.

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze begin on the East Sichuan Plateau and flow steadily down through a system of canyon-like gorges to the plains of Hubei. The middle reaches are about 2,000 km (1,200 miles) long and the river takes in some spectacular scenery, notably the Three Gorges.

Yibin will be the first major city on the Middle Reaches, which meets the Min River coming from the mountains west of Chengdu where Giant Pandas live and are bred in captivity and flowing through Leshan, home of the Giant Buddha. Next is the Chongqing Municipality, the China’s largest municipality, inland port and a prosperous industrial center, where you can take a Yangtze Cruise there and view the Three Gorges, Fengdu Ghost City and the Lesser Three Gorges. Continue is to Hubei Province where you a have a birds’ eyes view of the Three Gorges Dam and , Gezhou Dam and enjoy the beauty of Shennong Stream.

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze

The Middle Reaches of the Yangtze

The Lower Reaches of Yangtze

Known as “a land of fish and rice” by the Chinese, there are many beautiful lakes and connecting waterways in low-lying region of the Lower Reaches and it is one of most fertile, most populous and most affluent zones in China.

The-First-Bend-of-the-Yangtze-River-in-Lijiang of the Upper Reaches of the Yangtze 6

The-First-Bend-of-the-Yangtze-River-in-Lijiang of the Upper Reaches of the Yangtze

The Lower Reaches of the Yangtze begin somewhere around Wuhan, which is a city with  many lakes and represent the land around the Yangtze in its lower reaches, where 10-20% of the land is permanently flooded with shallow fresh water lakes. Then pass through Anhui Province, where you can see the famous Huangshan – Yellow Mountain Scenic Area with its phenomenal scenery and legendary links to the Chinese ancestor, the Yellow Emperor there. Continuing are Jiangsu Province and Jiangnan areas. You will see the capital of Jiangsu—Nanjing, one of the Four Ancient Capitals of China; and Yangzhou, a historical and cultural city with beautiful Qing Dynastygardens. Jiangnan area, however, is the area south of the Yangtze Delta, you will meet Hangzhou and Suzhou with renowned imperial garden, the cities of the ancient water towns —Zhouzhuang, Wuzhen, Xitang and Tongli, and China’s largest and wealthiest city, Shanghai there.

What Make the Upstream and Downstream Cruises of the Yangtze River Different?


victoria-jenna of Yangtze Cruise
victoria-jenna of Yangtze Cruise

Taking a Yangtze Cruise is nearly one must-do thing during the trip in China for almost all of the foreigners nowadays. It is true that the prices of both streams are the same for most cruise routes except that of between Chongqing and Shanghai, where the price of the upstream is more expensive. However, few travelers know about their differences—Yeah, that’s right, downstream cruises are normally shorter than upstream cruise and shore excursions may also vary according to different schedules.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Downstream Cruise

Advantages of the Downstream Cruise include shorter cruises, no motion at night and cheaper price for cruises between Chongqing and Shanghai.

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

Cruising downstream is faster than travelling upstream: about 29 kph (18 mph) compared to an average of 16 kph (10 mph), which make the cruises shorter and suitable for people whose traveling time is limited. Cruises from Chongqing to Yichang (downstream) take four days, while from Yichang to Chongqing five days; and cruises from Chongqing to Shanghai (downstream) take seven days, while from Shanghai to Chongqing nine days. Besides, downstream ships dock and never travel at night. People who are very sensitive to motion sickness or are light sleepers can have a good night’s sleep as there is no rocking motion during nights, and you will not miss any charming scenery during the hours of darkness because all the scenery is passed during the day. Moreover, downstream is cheaper between Chongqing and Shanghai though most prices of cruise routes are the same in both upstream and downstream.

Disadvantages however, shore excursions for cruises between Chongqing and Yichang are the same in number while most cruisers run between Chongqing and Yichang.

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Upstream Cruise

Advantages will be a slower cruise and a longer cruise. You will have more time to enjoy the charming scenery, listen to the explanation of the attractions, ask questions about the attractions and take photos at the upstream cruise as the average speed is 16 kph (10 mph) compared to 29 kph (18 mph) for downstream cruises. Besides, there is time available for you to explore the Chinese culture, history and customs through the greater number of shows and longer commentaries as it is a longer cruise compared to the downstream cruise.

Gezhou  Dam

Gezhou Dam

Travelling at night and the more expensive price for cruises between Chongqing and Shanghai will be its disadvantages. Cruise ships travelling upstream have to travel at night in order to reach shore excursion destinations and scenic attractions in daylight hours because of the slower speed, which will affect your sleeping and inevitably you will miss some scenery at night. Besides, it is more expensive for cruises between Chongqing and Shanghai though the prices of upstream and downstream cruises are the same for most cruise routes.

Many Chinese people tend to choose downstream as it means “plain sailing”, however, both upstream and downstream have their advantages and disadvantages and how to choice just depends on your travel schedule and what is important to you.

Yangtze River—A Must-see Attraction in China!


Xiling Gorge

Xiling Gorge

With the length of 6,300 kilometers, the Yangtze River, also called Changjiang, is the world’s third-longest river, the longest river within a single country. It passes through 11 Provinces and municipalities in total including Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shanghai Municipality, with its source on the Mt. Geladandong in the Tanggula Mountains in western China, and mouth in the East China Sea near Shanghai.

Wu Gorge

Wu Gorge

It is known to all Chinese that the Yangtze River played an important role in Chinese history, where the human activities can be dating back to 2 million years ago. But what really make the Yangtze River being the must-see attraction in China, even in the world? The most important reason is that it is that Yangtze River is one of the most amazing and interesting rivers in the world, endowing with various and unique tourist spots, scenery, and culture from its resource to the mouth. All along its length, it winds its way through canyon gorges to fertile regions which connect waterways and lakes.  What you beautiful and astonishing cities and natural scenery you can see along the Yangtze River are as follows:

Qutang Gorge

Qutang Gorge

You can catch the view of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the arid roof of the world with its Tibetan culture giving way to the verdant mountains and steep gorges in the minority territories of the Lisu and Naxi in the upper reaches; You can also see the “Fengdu Ghost City” in the the middle reaches when the river pass through Sichuan, Chongqing and Hubei province. The shocking attraction in this area is undoubtedly The Three Gorges—Qutang Gorge, Xiling Gorge and Wu Gorge, which are the highlights of the Yangtze Cruise. Moreover, you’ll have chance to see the Three Gorges Dam, which is the largest dam and hydroelectric power plant in the world when you reach Yichang, Hubei province at your Yangtze Cruise. The Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River will meet the charming ancient water towns. Yes, that is right. They are Wuzhen, Tongli, Zhouzhuang as well as Xitang, where you will have a visit to Hangzhou and Suzhou with imperial garden , and Nanjing, the ancient capital of Jiangsu, even Shanghai with the skyscrapers. All the long way you will experience the natural scenery, historical scenery and cultural scenery of China. Huangshan, China’s “strangest” and “most scenic” mountain will also be a short distance from the Yangtze in Anhui Province.

Spring is a good season to have a travel to Yangtze River, just experience the beauty and explore the profound culture of the river personally,  it will leaves you unforgettable memory and you’ll find it worthwhile!

China Yangtze Geography

Yangtze watershed
The river arises from several tributaries, a couple of that have states function as the source. China government has recognized the origin from the Tuotuo tributary at the bottom of a glacier laying about the west of Geladandong Mountain within the Dangla Mountain Range about the eastern area of the Tibetan plateau. However, the physical source (i.e., longest river distance in the ocean) is based on esturine habitat at N32?36?¡¥14?¡À E94?30?¡¥44 and 5170 meters above ocean level in the mind from the Serta Qu tributary [[12]]. These tributaries join and also the river then runs eastward through Qinghai, turning southward lower an in-depth valley in the border of Sichuan and Tibet to achieve Yunnan. Throughout this valley, the river’s elevation drops previously mentioned 5000 m to under 1000 m. The headwaters from the Yangtze sit at an elevation around 4,900 m (16,100 foot). In the descent to ocean level, the river falls for an altitude of 305 m (1,001 foot) at Yibin, Sichuan Province, the mind of navigation for riverboats, and also to 192 m (630 foot) at Chongqing. Between Chongqing and Yichang (I-ch’ang), at an altitude of 40 m (130 foot) along with a distance around 320 km (200 mi), it passes with the spectacular Yangtze Gorges, that are recognized for their natural splendor but they are harmful to shipping.
It makes its way into the basin of Sichuan at Yibin. Whilst in the Sichuan basin, it receives several mighty tributaries, growing its volume of water considerably. After that it slices Mount Wushan highlighting Chongqing and Hubei to produce the famous Three Gorges. Eastward from the Three Gorges, Yichang may be the first city about the Yangtze Plain.
After entering Hubei, the Yangtze receives more water from 1000’s of ponds. The biggest of those ponds is Dongting Lake, that is situated about the border of Hunan and Hubei provinces, and it is the opening for the majority of the rivers in Hunan. At Wuhan, it receives its greatest tributary, the Han River, getting water from the northern basin so far as Shaanxi.
In the northern tip of Jiangxi, Lake Poyang, the greatest freshwater lake in China, merges in to the river. The river then runs through Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, receiving more water from countless more compact ponds and rivers, and lastly reaches the East China Ocean at Shanghai.
Cruise about the Yangtze River before sunset
Four of China’s five primary freshwater ponds lead their waters towards the Yangtze River. Typically, the upstream area of the Yangtze River refers back to the section from Yibin to Yichang the center part refers back to the section from Yichang to Hukou County, where Lake Poyang meets the river the downstream part comes from Hukou to Shanghai. It hosts many 1000’s of individuals.
The foundation from the Yangtze River is dated to about 45 million years back within the Eocene.However, many people don’t accept this time

Xiling Xia Gorge

About 8 km (5 miles) above Yichang, the ship travels past Nanjin Pass (Nanjin Guan) and you can see to your left the Three Traveler’s Cave (San You Dong) scenic area on the north bank, which must be visited by road from Yichang city. Then you enter Xiling Xia, the first of the Three Gorges.

Xiling Xia is the longest of the Three Gorges, at 66 km (41 miles) in length, but is divided up into two separate sections of gorges by the Miao Nan Gu broad valley in between them. If you include this valley, then the total length is 120 km (74.6 miles).

Xiling Xia Gorge, formerly one 70-km-long (43.5-mile-long) section of water, has now been divided into two quite distinct halves by the now completed Three Gorges Dam. The western half of Xiling Xia Gorge is upriver from the new dam and has now been flooded to the 135 m (442.9 ft) level. However, the eastern half of Xiling Xia Gorge is downriver from the new dam and has been left in its natural state.


The Three Gorges (San Xia)

The Three Gorges(San Xia)section of the Yangzi River stretches for a distance of 192 km (119.3 miles) from Yichang to Kui Men near Fengjie, not counting the relatively placid section of broad river valleys that extends from Fengjie to Chongqing.

You can catch a 7:00AM shuttle bus from your hotel for the hydrofoil (fei chuan) ship terminal. The hydrofoil service is by far the most convenient way to travel throughout the Three Gorges area. The luxury cruise liners taken by most foreigners are not only prohibitively expensive, but sail right past nearly all the historic sights and towns without stopping, usually offering only one or two token shore visits, the location of which are randomly selected at the whim of the cruise company. The hydrofoil service, on the other hand, is not only fast and reasonably priced, but it services nearly every port and town along the river between Yichang and Chongqing. Witb a whole fleet of ships in service, it is actually possible to visit more thawn one town in a single day if necessary. Unlike the other ships, the fei chuan do not depart from or arrive at the two main ferry terminals in Yichang. Instead, they use their own facility west of downtown, reached by taking the Yun Lian Highway across the Huang Bai He Qiao. This gives them the added advantage of not having to pass through the Gezhouba Dam ship locks, as do all the other vessels. Tickets for the fei chuan can be purchased at most hotels in Yichang, including the Ticket Booking Center in the bookstore of the Guo Ji Dajiudian, as well as the offices of most travel agents in the city.


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