We Headed To The Yangtze River
We started our month long visit to China with a week in Shanghai. The next part of our trip was to cruise the Yangtze River in China with Viking Cruises. We took our first intra-China flight. And started our cruise in Wuhan on the Yangtze River.
A Quick Tour Of Wuhan
From the airport we took a bus to downtown Wuhan. Wuhan is the largest city in central China and a major transportation hub. The uprising that sparked the end of China’s Quin dynasty began in Wuhan. Streets and buildings throughout this city had names that included the word “shouyi” which means “revolution”.
Wuhan is yet another river city in China. We continued to marvel at the bridges built to cross the rivers. While most were very similar suspension bridges, every now and then we saw something a little bit different.
We saw a little of the city as we drove through. But we had one stop for the day.
Marquis Yi of Zeng Exhibit At The Hubei Provincial Museum
Our tour for the day was a short stop at the Hubei Provincial Museum.
As we walked around, we saw the ancient bronze work from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng. There was an interesting collection of bronze cooking dishes, wine vessels and even what might be the first refrigerator.
A small section showed off gold and jade jewellery. In another display case we saw a wooden lacquer mandarin duck. And on the way out we stopped to see the warrior and horse.
If you start your cruise in Wuhan on the Yangtze River, plan a visit to the Hubei Provincial Museum.
The 64 Bianzhone Bell Chimes
There was a large selection of the museum for the musical instruments in the time of the Marquis Yi of Zeng.
But the most famous relic at the museum were the 64 bianzhong (bell chimes) that were discovered in the tomb. These bells were created in the period from 475 to 211 BC. The 64 bells are bronze and in different sizes and shapes (from 8 inches and 5 pounds to over 5 feet high and 448 pounds). The bells cover five octaves. The fine detail in the carvings on the bells kept us entranced as we walked around all sides of the bells.
If you visit the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan on the Yangtze River, you will be amazed by the bell chimes.
We Enjoyed A Live Performance
There was one more treat schedule for us! We attended a live performance by musicians dressed in traditional garb. They played on a replica of the bell chimes and several other traditional Chinese instruments. The actual bells are only played for important ceremonies. But the replicas gave us the opportunity to hear the wide range of sounds the bell chimes made.
It was amazing that an instrument designed over 2,000 years ago could produce so many different sounds. The traditional Chinese music was played so beautifully. But we were also treated to a number of more modern tunes as well. Seeing this ancient Chinese performance was a great way to begin our cruise in Wuhan on the Yangtze River.
A Great Send Off From Wuhan
The bus took us to the cruise port. We boarded the Viking Emerald ship in Wuhan to cruise the Yangtze River in China with Viking Cruises.
Both sides of the river were lined with massive skyscrapers. Wuhan has been called the “Chicago of China”. We certainly loved when we explored the architecture of Chicago. The Greenland Centre building was under construction. The Shanghai Tower in Shanghai is currently the tallest building in China. But the Greenland Centre will be even taller. This competition for taller and more interesting buildings reminded us so much of our visit to Dubai.
We watched as the sun set over the buildings of Wuhan!
More Of The Great Night Light Shows Of China
We got the first taste of night light shows on our visit to Shanghai. The night light show in Wuhan did not disappoint. It was spectacular and covered both banks of the Yangtze River. Neon lights changed colour and created colourful shapes on virtually all buildings along the shore.
The night light show in Wuhan was a great sight to send us off on our cruise. This is definitely a sight not to miss in Wuhan on the Yangtze River.
We Started Our Cruise In Wuhan On The Yangtze River
We enjoyed our week in Shanghai. But we were excited when we reached Wuhan on the Yangtze River. It was time to start our river cruise in China with Viking Cruises.
But we loved the chance to spend a little time in Wuhan. A visit to the Hubei Provincial Museum to see the Marquis Yi of Zeng exhibit was a great treat. It was amazing to see the 64 bell chimes made over 2,000 years ago. And it was a treat to get a musical display to hear what these bells and other traditional instruments sounded like.
A sunset and then a great night lights show was a great send off to cruise the Yangtze River with Viking Cruises.
Did you start your cruise in Wuhan on the Yangtze River in China? Did you get a chance to explore the city and maybe see the Marquis Yi of Zeng exhibit?
What an amazing way to start you adventures in China. I’ve never thought of doing a cruise! Your post has made me reconsider
Jean, I am glad our Yangtze River cruise posts have made you think about a cruise in China. It was certainly a great part of our visit to China. Linda
So great that you got to go to the Hubei Provincial Museum. I found the museums in China to be so interesting, especially since their country is so old. I wish I would have known that Viking Cruises has cruises in China when we lived there. I fear there are a lot of things our translator didn’t tell us. So great that you were able to hear the musical performance.
Kathleen, The 6 days Yangtze River cruise was only a small part of our 23 day trip with Viking. We saw so many great spots like Wuhan. During the trip, we had lots of opportunities to see cultural shows like the bell show. We loved our 4 weeks in China! Linda
The 64 bells sounds like a fascinating relic. My math tells me that 64 is 8^2 so I would expect those bells to cover 8 octaves unless they are rich in sharps and flats. It sounds like they would have roughly the note density of a piano. It’s fascinating the math of music repeats itself throughout location and history.
Jenn and Ed, This was an interesting historical instrument. They only take the original instrument out for ceremonies. The show we saw was on a replica. I am not a music specialist. But I was amazed at the range of music it could produce. It is fascinating. Linda
That exhibition is so cool and the details in some of the pieces are amazing. How lucky you got to see the live performance. I’ve never been in China, but can’t wait to visit the country one day. Thanks for sharing and happy travels!
Marlene, If you do get to visit China, Wuhan and the museum are an interesting stop. Hope you get to make it. Linda
I’ve always found Chinese artifacts to be very interesting. I have seen bells like those in museums before but I didn’t know they were still being used in performances. Well, maybe not the actual bells from the museum, but I’m sure they sounded amazing! Chinese cities are always good for an interesting night light show. Thanks for sharing!
Stevo, The musical show was great. We were told that the actual bells sound just as good. Must be interesting when they are taken out for special occasions. We were so surprised with how many great night light shows we did see in China! Linda
We’ve never been to Wuhan, nor Shanghai in fact. And I must admit that I’ve never heard of the Marquis Yi of Zeng. Who was he? The bell chimes discovered in his tomb looks stunning! And so cool that you got to watch a show where they played with a similar instrument! Also, good to know that they have the supposedly first refrigerator at the museum!
Mei and Kerstin, We probably would never have seen Wuhan if we didn’t do the cruise on the Yangtze. It is not as popular. But we were really glad we got to see the historical museum and then the show. Fascinating for artifacts so old! Linda
The live performance looks like such an amazing way to experience the Wuhan culture. I think these are the best way to get an introduction to the history and lifestyle of the culture you’re visiting. Can’t wait to hear more about the cruise!
Kate, It was very interesting to get some of the history at the museum before we went to the musical show. We will keep posting as we travel along the Yangtze and then start our land tour! Linda
The pieces in the Marquis Yi of Zeng
exhibit are fascinating and the live show is so colourful. I think I’m going to have to put China back on my to go to list. I really love cruises too so that’s a bonus.
Christopher, We did love our 4 weeks in China. I was so surprised at how much we loved it. I would definitely recommend it be on your list. Linda
I really hope that one day I’ll come across you two. Great couple and adventures, what a website built with love! I have not yet been to China but seeing your post about Yang Tze made me wanna contact the Viking Cruise now! I remembered the nightlights show in Hong Kong, too. I think they’re kinda look the same but China with more expanded horizon. (Though I know that HK is part of China, I don’t consider myself to literally being in CHINA) Do you like Chinese foods? Is there a video of the dance? 🙂
Kate, Thank you so much for your kind words. The Viking trip was over 20 days and only 6 days was cruising the Yangtze. A most amazing way to see so much of China. Lots more posts coming 🙂 I thought that food would be an issue for me. But we really found a lot to eat. Lots more veggies than we normally get when travelling. I only got a video of the bells – playing “Good King Wencelles”. Enjoy as we share China! Linda
I never really thought of this as a tourist city, but I’m really intrigued now. You’ve done a good job at showcasing the city!
Christopher, We would not have visited Wuhan if not starting our cruise there. We were surprised too! Linda