Taking a boat down the Yangzi River (长江; Cháng Jiāng) – China's longest and most scenic waterway – is all about the journey rather than the destination. It isn't just an escape from marathon train journeys and agonising bus rides, but a chance to kick back as an astonishing panorama slides by at a sedate pace which allows time for contemplation and relaxation. Cruising the Yangzi is a truly unique experience, one that gets you up close with mostly domestic travellers allowing time for real interaction. Jump aboard.

When to Go

  • Dec-Mar The low season; rates are cheaper and the journey is more serene.
  • Apr & May The best weather, with fewer crowds than summer.
  • Jun-Aug Chinese summer holidays means crowded, kid-filled boats.
  • Oct & Nov Cooler climes but the crowds are back.