Yichang Travel Guide
Yichang, called Yiling (夷陵) in ancient times, got it name for “water flowing here is smooth, while mountain here is high”. Yichang is regarded as “Gateway to Three Gorges” and “Pearl of Xiling Gorge”. It is located at the junction of Upper Reaches and Middle Reaches of Yangtze River, at the west of Hubei Province, about 320 kilometers from Wuhan City. Upstream, travelers can sail through Three Gorges up to Chongqing and Chengdu; downstream, travelers can sail along Yangtze River down to Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai, reaching the mouth of Yangtze River delta.
To best explore essences of Yangtze River, it is highly recommended to take a Yangtze River cruise trip sailing between Chongqing and Yichang through awe-inspiring Three Gorges and world-famous Three Gorges Dam. Other historical and natural shore excursions include Shennv Stream or Shennong Stream, Shibaozhai Pagoda, Fengdu Ghost City and more interesting sites.
Latest News for Yangtze Cruise Embarkation & Disembarkation in Yichang: In 2019, most of Yangtze cruises are going to use Maoping Port for boarding & disembarkation instead of Taohuacun Port or New Century Port.
Start planning your tailor-made cruise/trip by contacting our cruise experts or calling at +86-28-85223685
Yichang Attractions & Top Activities
For many travelers, they come here simply for a relaxing Yangtze River cruise on spectacular Yangtze River. In Yichang downtown area, there is not so much iconic attractions and travelers can take a short break to explore before or after Yangtze River Cruise. Check All Top Attractions & Things to Do in Yichang.
Yangtze River Cruise
- Type: Rive Cruise
- Length: 4 or 5 days
Most travelers get to Yichang for Yangtze cruise. In 2023, you’ll choose to enjoy 5 days & 4 nights upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing, or 4 days & 3 nights downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang. Maoping Port is used for cruise embarkation and disembarkation.
Three Gorges Dam
- Type: Dam, Bodies of Water
- Length: about 2~3 hours
Three Gorges Dam in the largest power station in the world, spanning Yangtze River at Sandouping town in Yichang. This hydroelectric dam is at a length of 3335 meters and the height of the dam is 185 meters. A visit to this site you can marvel at the huge dam, hydropower station, ship lock and ship lift.
Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift
- Type: Ship Elevator
- Length: about 40 minutes
The Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift is a part of the dam site, regarded as the largest and most sophisticated ship lift in the world. Travelers who take a Yangtze cruise can have the chance to experience the ship lift and personally reveal the last mystery of the construction of Three Gorges Dam.
- Type: Gorge & Canyons
- Length: about half day
Xiling Gorge is about 76 kilometers which is the longest gorge of the Three Gorges, starting from Fragrance Stream and ending at Nanjin Pass. The scenery of Xiling Gorge is very breathtaking and some famous sights, like Tribe of Three Gorges, Quyuan Temple, dotted along this beautiful gorge.
- Type: Geologic Formations
- Length: about 2 hours
Sanyou Caves, also called Three Travelers’ Caves, is 10 kilometers from Yichang downtown. In history, three Tang Dynasty poets as well as three Song Dynasty poets visited this cave together, hence it called Three Travelers’ cave. It is a good place to overlook the long and beautiful Xiling Gorge.
Tribe of Three Gorges
- Type: Nature & Bodies of Water
- Length: about 3~4 hours
Tribe of Three Gorges is located along Xiling Gorge, about 19 km from Three Gorges Dam. A trip here takes you view a tranquil village where Ba tribes once lived, small tributary, hanging coffins wedged in a hillside cliff, crying wedding ceremony, bamboo rafts, traditional fishing nets, naughty monkeys…
- Type: Ancient building
- Length: about 2 hours
Built in 820 AD, Quyuan Temple is the birthplace of Qu Yuan, a great statesman and patriotic poet in the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC). Quyuan Temple is about 600 meters from Three Gorges Dam, offering best view deck to appreciate the dam and “high hills and flat lake” scene.
- Type: Specialty Museum
- Length: about 1 hour
Yichang Museum is a small museum with three exhibition halls displayed about 30,000 pieces of cultural items (pottery, bronze ware, jade, golden and silver ware, lacquers, paintings) excavated in Three Gorges region. The precious collections are Changyang Living Fossil, Qin-Emperor Beiming Bell.
- Type: Points of Interest
- Length: about 0.5 hour
Yiling Square offers a chance to get a glimpse of local city life with good vibe. It is located at the bustling main CBD area, close to shopping malls. You can catch folks doing their square dance, taste some local snacks, and watch the pigeons flying over the ground. It will be a great slice of modern Chinese culture.
- Type: Sacred & Religious Site
- Length: about 1 hour
Huangling Temple, also called Huangniu Temple, located at in the middle of Xiling Gorge in Sandouping Town, about 6 km away from Three Gorges Dam. It is a historical complex to honor “flood control” deity - Da Yu. You can also view precious materials about Three Gorges water level change.
- Type: Dam & Bodies of Water
- Length: about 1 hour
Gezhouba Dam is situated at the exit of Xiling Gorge in Yichang city, about 36 km from Three Gorges Dam. Gezhouba Dam is the first hydroelectric power station constructed on the tributary of Yangtze River, composed of ship locks, power house, water release gate, sand-sluicing gate, earth rockfill dam.
Chinese Sturgeon Park
- Type: Animals
- Length: about 1~2 hours
Chinese Sturgeon is a “living fossil” that dates back over 140 million years to prehistoric times when the dinosaurs also inhabited the land. Go with your kids and visit Chinese Sturgeon Park (14 km to Yichang downtown) to enjoy all kinds of fish and sturgeons, as well as creatures living in Yangtze.
Get to Yichang & Around
Yichang Sanxia Airport is about 35 kilometers form Yichang downtown area, 69 kilometers from Three Gorges Dam Project.
Travelers can take flights from/to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Xian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Chengdu, Kunming, Guiyang and more cities. If you take a taxi, it takes about 40-50 minutes’ driving about 70-90 Yuan to Yichang downtown area (like Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal).
Yichang East Railway Station is about 9 kilometers from Yichang downtown, 46 kilometers from Three Gorges Dam Site. It takes about 25-30 minutes’ driving for around 20 Yuan to downtown area.
There are many cities linking with Yichang by high speed train. You can take G or D trains from/to Wuhan (about 2 hours), Shanghai (about 8 hours), Nanjing (about 5.5~6 hours), Chongqing (about 4.5 hours), Chengdu (about 7 hours), Beijing (about 7 hours), Guangzhou (about 7 hours), Shenzhen (about 8 hours), etc. Also, there are trains (K trains) running between Yichang and Zhangjiajie, taking about 5 hours.
To know more detailed transfer information getting to/away Yichang, like Yichang to Shanghai, Yichang to Guilin, Yichang to Zhangjiajie, or getting to Yichang Maoping Port for embarkation, please head to our Yichang Transportation Guide.
If you want to stay one night in Yichang before or after your Yangtze River cruise, there are some choiceS for you! From luxury 5 star hotels to cheap 3 star ones, you are guaranteed a comfortable stay. All of the selected hotels are located in Yichang downtown, close to shopping malls, food shops, and lively squares. You can enjoy night city life when you live here.
Recommended 5 Star Hotels: Yichang WanDa Crowne Hotel, Yichang Ramada Hotel
Recommended 4 Star Hotels: Yichang International Hotel, Yichang Great Wall Beishan Hotel, Yichang Yiling Hotel.
If you have your own accommodation choice, please tell us your likes and we are here trying our best to book a satisfying hotel for you.
>> Check more about Yichang Hotels.
Weather & Seasons
Yichang, at the junction of the middle and upper reaches of Yangtze River, enjoys the humid subtropical monsoon climate. Rainy seasons and hot seasons appear together, while the dry seasons meet cold periods together. This city also has four distinct seasons during the whole year, among which spring and autumn are comparatively longer. According to the records in the past years, Yichang has an annual average temperature of about 16.9℃, with the highest temperature of 41.4℃ in the hottest month around July and the lowest one of about 9.8℃ below 0℃ in about January. It is pleasant and comfortable to visit Yichang and Yangtze River in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
>> Check more about Yichang Weather & Climate.
>> Check more about Yangtze River Weather & Cruise Clothing.
Travel FAQs & Tips
In 2019, almost all Yangtze River cruise ships use Yichang Maoping Port instead of Yichang Taohuacun Port and Yichang New Century Port for embarkation and disembarkation. Maoping is about 50 kilometers from downtown area which needs 1~1.5 hours for driving.
Yichang to Chongqing Cruise Embarkation Tips:
(1) Travelers should first gather at Yichang East Railway Station or Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal to take the arranged bus provided by the cruise company during 16:00~21:00, then transfer to Maoping Port for embarkation. (2) If you take a train to Yichang, you’d better use Yichang East Railway Station for transfer. At the exit, you’ll find the bus heading to Maoping. If you arrive early and want to do city tour in Yichang downtown, Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal will be a better choice.
Chongqing to Yichang Cruise Disembarkation Tips:
All the Yangtze cruise companies will arrange worry free tourist buses and pick you up at Three Gorges Dam Site after the dam visiting and transfer you directly to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for leave. You will arrive at Yichang downtown area around 12:30 or 13:30. We suggest you take a train after 15:30 or a flight after 16:00 for departure to next destination.
Useful Yichang Maps
To have a clearer understanding about the location of Yichang attractions, airport, railway stations, Maoping Port, Three Gorges Dam and Yangtze River, you can have a look at the following latest Yichang maps for your planning and visiting! All the maps are detailed, large, clear and downloadable! View all Yichang Maps >>
This 5-day Yangtze River Cruise begins in Yichang and ends in Chongqing. You’ll have an excursion to Three Gorges Dam Site, also visit Shennv Stream and Shibaozhai Pagoda along Three Gorges. It will be a relaxing way to see magnificent Yangtze River in great comfort.
Shanghai is always served as the important gateway city for Yangtze River cruise. You can easily reach Yichang by flight from Shanghai after 2-day super-modern elements exploration, then board at Maoping Port for upstream cruise leisurely sailing to Chongqing in 5 days.
In 10 days, you’ll explore China’s stunning historical sites as well as breathtaking natural scenery to the fullest. You won’t miss Terracotta Warriors, glass bridge walk over Grand Canyon, upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing with many exciting activities.
Top Yangtze Cruises
Popular Yangtze Cruise Lines
In 2023/2024, Yangtze River Cruises offer lines between Chongqing and Yichang with different duration.
New to Cruising?
Do you have questions about planning or booking a Yangtze cruise? The following articles introduce you to what makes cruising such a unique and memorable way to travel the Yangtze River, when is the best time to cruise Yangtze, how to choose your best route, how to choose a Yangtze ship, how to choose a cabin, where to board & disembark your ships, what you can do onboard and ashore...To know more detailed information about Yangtze River and its cruises, please take a visit to our latest Yangtze River Cruise Guide.