|Another method of travel in China is via the waterways. Navigable inland waterways in China total 111,000 kilometers and there are some 5,000 berths in the harbors, of which over 1000 are 10,000 ton class berths. The major inland navigable rivers in China include the Yangtze River, the Pearl River, the Heilongjiang, the Huaihe, the Qiantang, the Minjiang and the Huangpu, as well as the Grand Canal.
The Yangtze River, known as the golden waterway of China's inland river transport, has 6,000 kilometers navigable throughout the year. The annual water transits of both freight and passengers account for over 70 percent of China's total capacity.
Ocean shipping in China is divided into two major navigation zones: the northern and the southern zones. Shanghai and Dalian are the main ports in the northern zone, and Guangzhou in the southern zone.
Today, there are more than twenty major coastal harbors in China. Shanghai Harbor ranks among the 10 largest in the world, with an annual capacity of over 100 million tons. Nanjing Harbor, with an annual capacity of 40 million tons, is China's largest river harbor.
The following inland waterway tourist attractions are highly recommended:
Yangtze River Cruise
Voyage on this route, mainly from Chongqing to Yichang and Yichang to Wuhan, provides a grand view of the Yangtze River. A special feature is the magnificent view of the Three Gorges.
Grand Canal Cruise
Suzhou and Hangzhou are connected by the Grand Canal, a voyage totaling 146.6 km. Feast your eyes on the enthralling waterside village scenery, typical of the areas south of the Yangtze River as you sail along this route. In Nanjing, Wuxi or Yangzhou, dragon boats and pleasure boats provide for cruises on the Grand Canal - Yangtze River - Taihu Lake Tour. These cruises impart in full the flavor of Chinese poetry and painting. Tourists have the opportunity to enjoy good food while appreciating the surrounding scenery.
Li River Cruise
Surrounded by rolling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves and groves of bamboo, the Li River, with its fleets of leisure boats, is the largest and most beautiful scenic area in China. The 83 km long waterway from Guilin to Yangshuo - the spirit of Li River, is often called the hundred-mile gallery. Cruising along the Li River, one gets to enjoy both the stunning and unique scenery, and a galaxy of historical ports.