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China Live Blog 5#

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    China Live Blog 5#

    Hi all! Just posting for Rachael once again - this one will be lacking images, but as soon as she's able to upload them she'll edit them in here!

    Hi all!
    I haven’t been able to connect to Wi-Fi for the last few days but I’ve finally managed to track some down to let you all know how the trip is going!

    I boarded my ship on Saturday evening after a quick flight from Xi’an to Chongqing. Having never heard of the city I expected it to be very small – and I couldn’t have been more wrong!

    Chongqing is a huge sprawling city full of skyscrapers and a population of over 30 million. There are thousands of high rise apartments and it has a vibrant night life as the whole city lights up a night to provide a dazzling show of colours. There is even a replica of big ben that sits on the shore line.

    As we arrived on the boat we were greeted by men in dragon costumes dancing and drums playing which made it a real spectacle. I was excited to be on board as the river portion of the trip was what most people had looked forward to. It was also nice to know that we would be in one room for 5 days after having done so much travelling!

    Shortly after we got on board we had our three course evening meal. All the food was very good, my favourite being the steak. It was then time for the sailaway and we all stood on the sundeck to watch the brightly lit city pass us by.

    The boat was much larger than I expected it to be. In comparison to European longships it is much larger but this means that the rooms seem larger and public areas are even better. There is also a great range of shops including a tailor, tea tasting and purchasing, artwork, pearls and general souvenirs. My room is at the back of the boat on the forth deck (and there are 6 decks in total) and it has great views from the veranda of everything passing by. I’ve also been really impressed with the staffs attentiveness as they learnt all of our names almost instantly… which can’t be easy considering there are about 220 of us!

    On Sunday the shore excursion was to Shibaozhai to see the Pagoda and the local markets. It was a very steep walk up – but quite a pleasant walk down! You could buy anything from clothes to fans to water pistols from the markets. The Pagoda was very impressive and most of our group managed to climb over it in three steps – which is meant to bring you good luck for life.

    Yesterday I also went to a tea tasting with the local expert Brian. He explained all the different types of tea and where they originate from. Similarly to the tea tasting in Beijing the tea’s all seemed to have magic properties, but I’m starting to think that there might be some in them after all! I particularly liked the jasmine tea as well as the black tea because they were so fragrant. I’m very tempted to buy some to take home with me.

    Dinner was a great array of Chinese food. Some of the best bits included wonton soup and the bbq ribs. You will certainly never go hungry on this cruise! Several of our group have special dietary needs including gluten and dairy free or vegetarian and they’ve also been well looked after throughout.
    After dinner there was a costume show where you could see all the different kinds of clothes that have been worn in Chinese culture over the centuries. It was interesting to find out that clothes we consider “traditional” actually aren’t!

    Today we arrived at the Qutang Gorge and disembarked to get on much smaller boats to travel up one of the tributary rivers. We got amazing views of the hillside and learned all about the Ba people who buried their coffins in the sides of the river cliffs.

    Our local guide Abby who joined us amazed us all when she announced that she had only started to learn English four months ago, and that she had a 16 year old daughter as she looked very young. Maybe the tea here is magic after all!
    She also impressed us with her singing as she demonstrated the lament that local women sing when they want to get married – to persuade their family to pay for their dowry!

    Top Tip: make sure you check your Viking Daily to find out when you will be travelling through particularly scenic parts of the gorge so you can go to the top deck and listen to the guide’s narration or else just snap some pictures!

    The last few days have been really relaxing which is a nice contrast from the very busy schedule we had during the first few days. It feels like we’ve been here for two weeks instead of one!
    Tonight we’ll be having a cocktail reception and then we’ll start to travel through the locks around 10pm.

    Until next time!
    Rach x
    Last edited by Fleet Admiral Dave, Redditch; 23rd July 2015, 10:33 AM.

    Thanks Rach. Very informative.

    Looking forward to the photos when you get back. Is it an 'informal' boat, i.e. no really dressy clothes required?


      Another great read, thank you, look forward to the photo's!


        Very interesting blog Rachael, it really sounds great. It will be interesting to see photos of the boat as well as the ship, if you can manage it..............HT


          Another great installment Rachael, the trip sounds like a once in a lifetime experience!
          BIG SHIPS, little ships, small world


            I've been away myself Rachael, so just playing catch up on something that is at the top of my bucket list.

            Looking forward to the photos. It sounds wonderful............Wilba


              great read, wish we were there too.


                Excellent - can't wait to be there in September!




                  Originally posted by Mrs M View Post
                  Thanks Rach. Very informative.

                  Looking forward to the photos when you get back. Is it an 'informal' boat, i.e. no really dressy clothes required?
                  Yes the boat is fairly informal. The only events people dressed up for were the Captain's cocktail parties. Otherwise it was smart casual and casual all the way!


                    Hi all! It's taken a little while (partially my fault!) but we've now got pictures on Rachael's blog above!


                      Great pictures...they give a real flavour of the trip
                      BIG SHIPS, little ships, small world


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