Yichang Travel Guide

Yichang, known in ancient times as Yiling, is a lively, sprawling, modern-day city on the banks of the Yangtze River in Hubei Province. (See Yichang map)

Yichang lies at the eastern end of Xiling Gorge, one of the three gorges of the Three Gorges Dam area, and is the gateway to the Three Gorge Dam site, the Three Gorges(the Three Gorges being the Xiling Gorge, Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge), and the many historical sites along the Yangtze River.

Yichang was thrust into the limelight with the commencement of the construction of the Three Gorge Dam. The dam itself as well as the service and administration facilities are about a 45-minute drive from Yichang. However, most travelers know Yichang because of the popular Yangtze Cruise which starts (upstream) or finishes (downstream) in Yichang.

Although Yichang is often overlooked by travelers who travel straight through to board the Yangtze boat, nestled among the trees that line both sides of the river along this particular stretch of the Yangtze, Yichang has a freshness and tidiness, and is able to offer some picturesque natural sights in the region. If your schedule permits, you might want to consider taking a half-day excursion around Yichang to see, and appreciate, this important energy city prior to your Yangtze River Cruise – Yichang is not called "The Hydropower Capital of the World" for nothing.

Yichang belongs to the humid, monsoon climate of the subtropics. The best seasons to visit Yichang and take a Yangtze River cruise are spring and autumn. However, despite the factor of weather, winter is the best time in terms of price. The prices are the lowest for the winter cruises.

It is no myth that the Yangtze River Basin is the cradle of Chinese civilization, as the many cultural-historical sites along the banks of the Yangtze River attest. At China Highlights, we feel that a cruise up/down the Yangtze, is something that any tourist to the region would not want to miss, as it offers unique encounters with China's rich cultural heritage as well as some spectacular vistas that will remain forever etched in one's memory. Check out  2010 Cruise Calendar to explore the Yangtze River, and to explore China's brilliant ancient culture.


Yichang is especially rich in folk music and folk dances. There are 8 kinds of folk songs, such as "Mountain Songs", "Field Songs", "Lantern Tune", etc. The minority Tujia people is particularly good at traditional ensemble of Chinese wind and percussion instruments performances. There are a lot of instruments, such as horn, flute, trumpet, gong and plucked instruments. Besides these, there are three kinds of instruments that have national features. They are Muye, Local PiPa and Dongdongkui. The folk dances are Tiaopi Dances, Dihuagu, Huaguzi, etc. Wufeng Folk Culture in HubeiProvince is the most important part of the whole nation's culture. There are a lot of fairy tales. Depei is denominated "National Treasure" by China Association for the Study Folk Literature.


Yichang belongs to the humid, monsoon climate of the subtropics, with abundant rainfall throughout the year. The average temperature is around 17 °C (62.6 °F). Although Yichang is less hot than Wuhan (Wuhan is renowned as one of China's "oven cities", due to its blistering-hot summer weather), it is still very hot and humid during summer, by any measure. In winter, Yichang is damp and freezing cold. The best time to visit Yichang is therefore during spring and autumn.

Travel Tips

Traveling in winter, it can be quite cold and windy, so travelers are advised to take good warm clothing, including a hat and gloves.

Please ensure you have a pair of good walking shoes. Tours to Yichang and the shore excursions of the Yangtze Cruise can involve plenty of walking.


  • Name: Three Gorges branch, Bank of China
  • Address: Shengli No.4 Road

Post Office

  • Name: Yichang Post Office
  • Address: East Hill Road No.432, Xiling District

Questions and Answers About Yichang Travel Guide

Irene 2013-04-20
Show Answer
I am interested in a Yangtze river cruise in December before Christmas. What will be the good and bad points? Will it be very cold? Also what is the difference in going from Yichang to Chongxing or from Chongxing to Yichang? Which direction is better? What are the good and bad points? Thank you.

Hi Irene, December would be a bit cold if take the Yangtze River cruise. The good point is, the price is lower. The bad point is: there is not so much cruise ship available for your choice, and it is cold.

From Yichang to Chongxing is upstream, needs 5 days 4 nights. From Chongxing to Yichang is down stream, needs 4 days 3 nights. They all cover the elite of the Yangtze River. Usually we suggest downstream. It will save time and money.

Whitney Liao replied on 2013-04-21
Keith 2012-11-28
Show Answer
I am wondering about a Yangtze river cruise from Yichang to Congqing that departs Yichang on March 6 or March 7, 2013. I am interested in the Chinese tour companies that offer tours to citizens of China, not the luxury cruise lines for foreign tourists. My understanding is that the tourist boats will stop at 6 tourist sites and cost Y1525 for a first class two bed cabin with a shower. 1. Is anything like this available on the dates I am requesting? 2. What is the cost and how do I book the tickets?3. What is the itinerary of the cruise (2.5 days?)

Yes, we can book this kind of cruise ship for you,but the price , itinerary and schedule for March 2013 was not released yet, we can only get it in early February. We can book the tickets for you but there is no English speaking staff on the ship, only Chinese speaking.

Leon Long replied on 2012-11-30
adbkr@upcmail.nl 2011-07-15
Show Answer
Dear friend, Is it possible to go across the Three Gorges Dam proper, by car or taxi ? And which road to take, from where to where ? Bing Kan
Hi, Bing Kan, I have never heard anybody went across the Three Gorges Dam area by car or taxi. I don't think it's possible to do that, as there are so many high mountains which may block the way. However, you can hike parts of the gorges. Even by hiking, you need to take a ferry from one side of the river to the other side regularly. Ruru Zhou replied on 2011-07-20
laosi 2011-03-06
Show Answer
is April 29 - May 11 a bad time to be in China due to the May 1st golden week holiday. thanks
Laosi, The Labour's Holiday in May has shortened to 3 days (May. 1-3), so popular tourist cities (Beijing, Xian etc) are not so crowd as in National Holiday (Oct. 1-7). Also what are your destinations? If it is Yangtze Cruise, i think it should be ok, as there is max passengers for each cruise. But you should make the reservations ahead. I am happy to check the best route for your travel plan. Karen (karen@chinahighlights.com) Karen Yang replied on 2011-03-08
April Offer $25 Coupon
  1. Send your inquiry before Apr. 30, 2014, and we will email you a $25 coupon.
  2. The coupon is valid till Dec. 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth $250 or up.
  3. The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.
Travel Advice or Question? Ask us here
Do you want to book a tour/hotel/Wi-Fi. etc.
Your Name Your Email