The Shennong Stream
Whilst on a two night Three Gorges boat trip on the Yangtze River there was a chance for an excursion to the Shennong Stream.
To be honest the Three Gorges were a bit of a disappointment, maybe because of the weather or maybe because I’d actually expecting to see the amazing scenery you see in the adverts for travelling to China.
The trip along the Shennong Stream turned out to be the highlight of an otherwise dull cruise along the Yangtze River.
The Shennong Stream is a tributary of the Yangtze River between Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge which flows to Badong. This area is home to an ethnic group known as the Tujia people.
The excursion is a sampan tour with a guide and boat men to see the beautiful scenery of the Shennong Stream and to hear the Badong Tujia folk songs as you go.
A sampan, by the way, is a flat bottomed wooden boat and travelling on the stream in this way was great fun – particularly the rapids. Yes, rapids… actually this isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The sampans hold 10 people at a time with two or three boatmen to steer the boat. In addition though there are around six other boatmen whose job it is to tow the boat upstream by the rope through the rapids and you then come back down through them using the current – great fun.
Along the way the boatmen and the young Tujia girl in your boat will sing folk songs which was nice.
Drifting along the Shennong Stream in these small open sampans is a nice way to see the scenery and there are other sights too. Mysterious suspended wooden coffins left by an ancient culture, and aerial plank roads high on the sides of the cliffs which are presumably how the coffins got up there.
Here are some more photographs from my trip along the Shennong Stream in the Three Gorges, China: