January 13, 2018

The Yangtze

This post covers Oct 17-21, when we flew to Chongqing, sailed on the Long River, bused to Wuhan, and flew from there to Hong Kong. Along the way, we cruised through three gorges, had a home visit with a family that had been relocated from the flooded river bottom, and toured the Three Gorges Dam.

The River. The river, which has several names along its length (Yangtze is the name for the last segment, at the coast, used in the title for its familiarity), was a fascinating few days. Everywhere we were on it was part of the Three Gorges Dam reservoir. The dam flooded many towns and displaced over a million people. New towns were built to house them, not all of them high rises. Our home visit was with a relocated farmer and was in a two story building with spacious rooms. I loved the gorges and the history along the way. And the Goddess Stream trip was an unexpected delight.

The countryside. The country along the river side was very green and, for a good part of it, very rugged. We also got a good look at varied country on the four hour bus trip from just upriver of Yichang to Wuhan. This included forested hills, lots of agricultural land, and some broad river valleys.

Apartment layout
The developers. Upon arrival in Wuhan, our tour guide rerouted the bus into a street under all sorts of development -- subway station, road resurfacing, and apartment development. It was the apartments that she was interested in. We'd been talking about housing for the entire trip -- how much has gone up, how expensive it is, and how a new space comes with nothing but roof, walls, and windows. So, we all trouped into the sales office for a new apartment complex (she'd spotted it from the highway). They were very nice to give us a tour and talk to us about their plans, which included a school next door.

While we were in there, a woman was signing an agreement to purchase an apartment for her fourteen year old son, because that's what's done. Now, this young man is in better shape to get married. The apartment was expensive for a teenager, but it was expected to be more expensive later, so the argument is to buy early. We learned this because our tour guide, in her inimitable way, just asked. The mother agreed that house buying is a bubble, but with prices always going up, it was hard to hold off. And, besides, with prices always going up, it's a good investment! It was a very interesting, unplanned, "learning discovery" experience.

Flickr has an album of photos.

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