Cities and Interesting Places Along the Yangtze

century cruisesOne of the many reasons to take a cruise on the Yangtze River is to see many of the interesting cities and sights that are along the river. The Yangtze River is in many ways the lifeblood of China. Every day millions of people use this waterway for sustaining life, travel, shipping goods and more. Along with the many economic uses of this river, the Yangtze is also home to some of the most stunning sites of natural beauty in the world. Whether you want to see the modern city of Shanghai, the Three Gorges Dam, or some of the many historical sites that give you glimpse of China's past, a journey along the Yangtze will give you this opportunity. Below are just a few of the wonderful places you can visit when you travel along the Yangtze River.

The City of Shanghai

The city of Shanghai may be one of the most interesting cities in the world. Not only does the past and present meet in Shanghai, but so do East and West. This city is a blend of cultures and is truly a unique place. While many people think of Beijing as the center of China, Shanghai is actually the place where a lot of the world experiences China. Shanghai is currently the economic and fashion capital of China and is one of the leading shipping cities in the world. More often than not, any cruise along the Yangtze River begins and ends in Shanghai, giving you many opportunities to explore what this city has to offer.

Three Gorges Dam

While it may seem strange to think of a dam as something you want to see, once you see this towering structure you will understand why. The three Gorges Dam stands as a testament to the will of the Chinese people and a symbol of human ingenuity. This amazing structure is something you really have to see to truly understand its enormity. While there is some criticism of the dam's effects on the environment, it is a truly breathtaking piece of work. Spanning the Yangtze River at over a mile long and sending out enough electricity to give millions of people power, the Three Gorges Dam is truly one of the modern wonders of the world.

The City of Nanjing

When it comes to history, the city of Nanjing has more than its share. While the current capital of China is Beijing, Nanjing was the capital of China through several different dynasties. Although many people are familiar with the historical significance of Beijing, they do not realize that Nanjing is the home of just as much history. If you are looking to see a part of China that is sometimes forgotten by history, then you absolutely must visit the city of Nanjing. While it may not possess the same scope of Beijing or Shanghai, it is a truly wondrous place to visit.

The City of Wuhan

Wuhan stands at an interesting place in China's history and the modern world. Wuhan became the center of China's industry and trade during the 19th century but when China began adopting isolationist policies after the Chinese revolution, this city fell into decline. However with the re-emergence of China as a world power and center of economic strength, Wuhan is seeing a renaissance and once again is becoming an important city for industry and trade. While there are not quite as many historical buildings in Wuhan, it is a great place to see how the past and present converge in China.

The City of Suzhou

The city of Suzhou is the home of artists and writers and the nature of this city reflects this fact. Known for its gardens and winding canals, Suzhou is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you enjoy Chinese architecture and the arts of China then you must visit this city. Not only is the city of Suzhou worth seeing but the entire region around this city has been influenced by this city as well. This is a perfect stop for people who love arts and culture since Suzhou is truly a city of art to rival Paris or Venice.

And More, Much More

While the above sights are worth seeing, a journey along the Yangtze is filled with many wonders. If you have a love of oriental temples then there are plenty to be seen along the Yangtze. Many monasteries and other similar places were established near the banks of the Yangtze River and many of those buildings still stand today. While some of these buildings are closed to the public, many are not and give visitors a wide variety of tours every day. While the cities of the Yangtze are definitely worth exploring, so is the countryside of the river itself. China is home to some of the most splendid natural beauty in the world and a trip along this river will give you many opportunities to see China for yourself.

In the end even if you only stayed in Shanghai for a week you would find more to see and do than you have time for. When you travel along the Yangtze, you have access to so much of China. Not only can you explore many wonderful and beautiful cities, but you can also see gorgeous countryside as well. Another aspect to the Yangtze is that it stretches across the entirety of China and if you choose you can follow it up into the mountains of Tibet. A journey along the Yangtze is not simply about stopping here and there, but is about exploring and understanding the world of China. China is at an interesting crossroads right now where the long held traditions of the past are often found square up against the ways and methods of the present. China is a growing giant that is finally standing and taking its place in the world. The more we understand of this unique land, the better off we will be as people.