End the Yangtze River Journey
Wanxian Market to Chengdu
The final of the three gorges is Qutang. The shortest but as beautiful to see as the others. We stopped in Wanxian, a small city known for its bustling market place. On day 13 of the trip, September 20, we finally came into Chongqing, a very large city (estimated at 30 million people) that you could barely see on the horizon because of the haze. From Chongqing, we took a bus to Chengdu, home of the General Stilwell museum which we toured.
One thing about river journeys like ours is that you never know what you will see. This is a Russian built hydro-foil and do they really move. Not for the scenic lazy trip up the river.
Another example of a city waiting for the river to close in on it. This is by no means representative of the cities and villages we saw on our trip through China but when you are to be doomed, there is no point whatsoever in maintaining anything.
The Wanxian city market is a bustling place that had everything you could want on sale. Fruits, vegetables, live and butchered meats, to baskets everywhere. The city is one of the more unknown cities to tourists and we saw very few here but is a thriving city of 400,000 people. While here, we had a chance to see the Wanxian Acrobatic troupe and school for a performance. Wanxian is currently at 99 meters above sea level and the water will rise to 175m. This means that 200,000 people will have to be moved to new housing being built on the hills behind the city. This is a very hilly city with virtually no bicycles because of the steep streets.
The Red Pagoda at Shibaozhai is one of the major sights along the river. It looks like one piece but is actually two with the section on the right actually built into the rock giving you 8 stories of steps up to the top. Most of this will also be under water.
At the end of our river cruise in Chongqing and the short overland trip to Chengdu.

Here we saw the Stilwell Museum.

We will return to Chengdu after our trip to Tibet but I for one was sorry to leave the comfort of the cruise ship. Next time, I think I will look for a season that is less hazy and humid because the views along the river were spectacular.
From here, On to Tibet, Roof of the World.

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