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Map of Yangtze RiverYangtze River

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Facts for the Traveler


  The three large cities along the Yangtze River Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing are Known traditionally as the 'three furnaces of China'. Between April and September, The temperature in the Yangtze River valley reaches 36'C (97'F) and above. Spring and autumn are therefore the best seasons for making the river cruises. However, With the tall mountains and gorges through which the river threads its path, Precipitation is very high and the peaks are often shrouded in cloud and mist, Although a light haze can enhance the beauty of the scenery. Summer rains are Torrential; you may find thunderstorms dramatic if you are on board your boat but a nuisance should you be trying to sightsee ashore. The winters are short, cold and crisp. Late-summer travels will coincide with the high-water periods, when the river Rises swiftly, almost perceptibly.



      Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr    May  Jun   Jul    Aug  Sep Oct   Nov  Dec
'C   7     10   14.5  19.5  23    25.5  29    30    25   19    14    10.5
'F    44.6 50  58.1  67.1  73.4  77.9  84.2 86    77   66.2 57.2  50.9


        Jan  Feb Mar  Apr  May Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov Dec
mm. 15   20   38    99   142  180 142 122  150  112  48   20
in.    0.6  0.8  1.5   3.9  5.6   7.1  5.6  4.8  5.9   4.4  1.9   0.8



     Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May  Jun   Jul   Aug  Sep  Oct    Nov   Dec
'C  2.7   5.2    10    16.2  21.1  26.1 29.1 28.4 23.9  17.6  11.4  5.5
'F   36.8 41.3  50    61.1  69.9  79.8 84.3 83.1 75     63.6  52.5  41.9

AVERAGE Rainfall

         Jan  Feb Mar Apr  May Jun Jul  Aug Sep Oct  Nov Dec
mm.  152  152 203 279 305 381 254 203 178 178  152 127
in.     6     6     8     11   12   15  10   8     7    7     6     5


  Light summer clothing is all that is required between April and September, with a Woolen cardigan or warm jacket for the cool evenings on board. To combat the summer mugginess, travellers should wear cotton rather than synthetic fibres. Those who rise at dawn to watch the passage through the gorges may imitate the Chinese Passengers who huddle in blankets supplied by the ship.

  The Yangtze River towns are very informal indeed; wear comfortable everyday Clothes when you visit them. Steep steps from the jetties to the towns require walking Shoes, and since the streets turn to mud within minutes of a heavy rainfal1, you may need an extra pair. Umbrellas can be bought cheaply almost anywhere. On board the More deluxe ships, however, many like to dress a little more formally for the last Night of the cruise; therefore women may want to bring a smart outfit and men a Jacket and tie.

  Warm clothes are essential for the river journeys during seasons other than summer. The boats can be draughty and the wind piercing. However, c1othing is one of the best bargains in China, with excellent down or quilt jackets available in many of the big towns and cities. Bring a pair of light hiking boots as the terrain can be hilly, Rocky and muddy.


  Everyone must get a visa to go to China, but this is usually a trouble-free process. Tourists Yangtze Rivertraveling in a group are listed on a single group visa issued in advance to the travel agent involved. Their passports will not be individually stamped with the Visa or on arrival and departure unless specifically requested.

  Tourist visas for individual travelers can be obtained at Chinese embassies and Consulates as well as from certain travel agents in your respective countries, from The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs visa office in Hong Kong or through several Hong Kong travel agents including branches of CTS. The application procedure is quite routine; you simply fill in a form, supply one photograph and hand in a fee with your passport.

  Visa fees vary considerably depending on the source of the visa and on the time taken to get it. In Hong Kong, for instance, you can get a single-entry or double--entry, Three-month tourist visa within one working day if the application is handed in Before 9 am. Multi-entry business visas are also available.



  Chinese currency is called Renminbi (meaning 'people's currency') and this is abbreviated to Rmb. It is denominated in yuan, referred to as kuai in even day speech. The yuan is divided into l0 jiao yangtze cruise(colloquially called Mao). Each jiao is divided into l0 fen. There are large notes for l00, 50, 5, 2 and 1 yuan, small notes for 5, 2, and 1 jiao, and coins and notes for 5, 2, 1 fen and 1 yuan.

  There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency you can take into China. Traveler’s cheques are changed at a slighter better rate than cash. All major European, American and Japanese traveler’s cheques are accepted by the Bank of China. International credit cards may be used to draw cash at larger branches and for payment in international hotels. In Most other cases only cards issued in China are acceptable.


  The accepted standard for tipping in the West is rapidly becoming the norm in modern China. While it is not normally practiced in local establishments, tipping would certainly be expected by local guides, drivers and waiter in places frequented by foreigners.


  With the exception of stores with marked prices, always bargain in markets and shops. Even state-run stores will often give discounts on expensive items like carpets intended for tourists. Bargaining in China can be good-humored or it can be infuriating; it is game won by technique and strategy, not by anger or threats. Thus, it should be leisurely and friendly, and not be seen as a one way process at all, since the Chinese enjoy it. Finally, it is bad manner to continue to bargain after a deal has been struck.


  China’s post-office system is rather reliable. Every post office counter has a pot of glue, as low-denomination stamps do not have glue on the back.
International Direct Dialing is available everywhere, and even by satellite phone from the more luxurious cruise ships (although at huge expensive). Long-distance calls within China are often cheaper than local ones, and even fairly modes hotels have business center with fax and internet connections and you can find a lot of internet cafe in every china town.

Local time

  Amazingly for a country measuring 3220 kilometers (over 2000 miles) from east to west, most of China operates from time Zone 8 Hours ahead of GMT and 13 hours ahead of EST. From Urumqi to Kashgar, local people work to a “local time” which is two hours behind Beijing. This time difference is “unofficial” but determines transport timetable and other service in the region.

Packing Checklist

  As well as bringing along any prescription medicines you may need, it is a good idea to pack a supply of common cold and stomach trouble remedies. While it is not necessary to pack toilet paper these days, it is advisable to take some with you when going out sightseeing, as public toilets do not provide it. Bring plenty of film and camera accessories, such as batteries and flashes. Although film is widely available, the right type may not always be obtainable at the right time. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are must.


  There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, although there is a nominal health form to fill out on arrival. Make sure your basic immunizations are up to date: polio, diphtheria and tetanus. To check on the latest recommendations contact your nearest specialist travel clinic or tropical medicine hospital- family doctors are sometimes not entirely up to date. The need for the following vaccinations may vary according to time of year and part of China to be visited: meningococcal meningitis, cholera, hepatitis A and B, and Japanese B encephalitis. Malarial protection must be begun one week before entering the affected area and these inoculations together, and some require multiple shots spread over a three-month period or more. They can also be very expensive.