A Journey on the
River Yangtze

Day 6: Hydrofoil to a Film Festival

A beautiful dragon created from flowers in one of the main streets in ChongQing.

We sailed as far as we coiuld on the Yangtze but then on our final day, we had to stop because of the low water level. The boat was too heavy to go any further upstream in the shallow water. So, we packed all our bags and boarded a hydrofoil for the last few hours of the journey to the city of ChongQing (Q is pronounced like a CH). This is the point where the dam reservoir will end--some km (360 miles from the dam site).

Hydrofoil, another common form of transportation on this river.

We went to see the Great Hall of the People in this city. A magnificent building, it was constructed in the 1950s and is used for many events. With the present event in the city, the films entered in the festival were shown there.

One of the decorated structures over one of the doors of the Great Hall of the People in ChongQing.

Once we arrived in ChongQing, we left the group we had traveled with, said goodbye to some new firends and were met by a new guide. He took us to see some of the sights around ChongQing.

There were lots of balloons and decorations around some parts of the city--a film festival was taking place there.

Balloons hung overhead, celebrating the film festival.

An example of the magnificent detailed work on the structures pictured above. The dragon represents the Emperor.

Some of the decoration inside the Great Hall of the People. The Phoenix represents the Empress.

The gate in front of the Great Hall of the People.

Looking towards the city, a gate guards the entrance to the square in front of the hall. This area was crowded with tourists and local people, all enjoying the Sunday afternoon and time off work.

ChongQing is a city of 4 million people and is China's fourth 'municipality' (do you knonw the other three?) serving almost 40 million citizens. For eight years during World War 2 it served as China's capital and was bombed. Other cities have also served as China's capital, do you know what they are?

The city is located at the conflkuence of the Yangtze and the Jialing River. Dropping over 700 m (21,700 feet) from its source in the Tibetan Plateau and leveling out at ChongQing the river drops a huge amount of sediment. Even its fast flowing current fails to flush this further down river. With the dam completed, the authorities believe that the port here will be open for traffic all year round. Critics of the dam state that more sediment will actually be dropped here at ChongQing causing further problems. In either case, right now the city has a construction boom with cranes rising from the ground like tall trees casting shadows on all beneath them.

Children enjoy some of the free entertainment that the festival has to offer.

Because the festival was happening, there were many activities in the streets and it seemed that everyone in the city was packed into the city center!! I am sure that this was not the case, but it was very crowded. Still people were enjoying themselves and we enjoyed being in the middle of this hustle and bustle.

However, most people were out enjoying the day. The streets were very clean in comparison to some of the other cities we visited. But, its air quality, as in other large cities in China, is not very good.

People walking around in the city center.

At this point though, the Chinese authorities are making attempts to improve environmental awareness and quality --the clean streets here was a sign of that. Internal tourism is also becoming a large industry, which can help to educate citizens about clean environments.

I hope you enjoyed traveling with me on the Yangtze. You can learn more about my trip to China by visting my home page. But please be patient, it is not completed yet! Click here to follow a Journey on the River Yangtze from the beginning.

Special Feature: The World's Largest Construction Project--The Three Gorges Dam


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