Yangtze River Cruise was officially my first luxury-scenic cruise experience. I’m not exactly ‘luxury’ type of a traveler, but I wanted to experience what I don’t normally do.
Four days of the cruise was one of the highlights of my China trip, no doubt. Because of the scenery and because of the cruise experience. Here are three things I got to know from this cruise trip.
I’ve been on group tours. Once for my friends who were visiting me from New Zealand, and once a short trip to Japan that sponsored by my university. And countless school trips were of course, group tours. For me, the problem of group tour is that I just couldn’t remember the details. HOW did I get there, WHAT did I eat and see, WHY it happened, WHERE did I go, and WHEN did I do stuff. Everything’s vague. Because I didn’t involve with all the planning and reading ahead, I think I just didn’t care much. Whatever happened, it wasn’t a my responsibility.
However, this time around was different. Because I cared, because I wanted to cherish every moments, I enjoyed the aspects of the group tour. Since there’s no internet access on the cruise ship, the guided tour was a good source of the information. This cruise is included most of the tour programs except three shore excursions. We had a guide every step of the way; Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennong Stream, Three Gorges, and Three Gorges Dam. And it was informative and entertaining.
Most importantly, I walked with one of those flag. Finally, I did it! I was finally in China.
We didn’t have to do anything. Everything was in order. We just needed to follow the instructions from the central audio system. They told us the schedules and where we had to be. Food was served according to the time schedule and it was perfect. All the food was the perfect Chinese food. They even called us in the morning to make sure we were up for the breakfast. During the free time in between tours and meals, I worked on my writing while drinking tea. Unfortunately it was foggy for few days, I didn’t have a chance to have ‘enjoy the scenery while drinking tea’ option. Certainly, it was easy.
After three months of hardcore travel in China, no decision-making was refreshing and peaceful. No more where to go, what to eat, how to buy read this, why we can’t do this, and when should we go there. It was like a dream I never wanted to wake up.
It is like a whining from a spoiled child. For us independent travelers, ‘easy’ can be equalized as ‘boring’. The decision-making is stressful but that is what makes travel so much fun and worthwhile. Especially in China, we faced a problem every step of the way. The simplest thing a human can do; sending a postcard, caused a lot of troubles (somehow) so we ended up spent 30 minutes at the post office, solving the problem we didn’t know. It was exciting.
Following the schedule made me tired. I felt weirdly tired after the second days on the cruise ship, and I just couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t do any exercise, I wasn’t stressful, I didn’t think much, I ate well and I slept well. And I realized I was tired because of the exact reasons I just mentioned. I wasn’t moving and thinking like I did before. Food was too perfect, room was cleaned whenever we came back, the whole world was in just five deck cruise ship. And I wasn’t used to that.
It was a short trip, but I got to know the great aspects of the cruise. Certainly it was something that was different than what I knew. Long story short, if you are asking me if I want to do it again I can surely say yes to that question. I liked the atmosphere of the cruise. Also I liked the idea of using cruise as another way of transportation. It is scenic and relaxing, and also it will bring you to the destination you want to be. Of course, it was a bit boring in some ways, but it was due to the sudden environment change. Aren’t we all used to what we already know? I’m going another cruise trip in Vietnam soon. Then I will know more about the cruise. Can’t wait.