(NOTE: I'm going to expand these entries when I get home, using my notes in my little Moleskine notebook.)
Liz and I just got back from three days down the Yangtze -- it's mostly flooded (140 meters, about 3/4ths of the top level, or so I understand) so some of the most distinctive features are gone, especially in the Little Three Gorges (no rapids to speak of -- spectacular cliffs, though).
The big problem we had was that the cabins (separate 2-bed cabins for each of us, at a very slight discount) we booked on a Chinese tourist (not foreign tourist) boat -- despite being promised otherwise -- had NO heat. I'm pretty sure it hit zero degrees C or close to it, and the damp winds blowing through drafty cabins didn't help. The last eight hours were fairly hellish, in that we ended the trip with a night-time tour of the Three Gorges Dam -- hell, we'd paid for it, and we thought it meant a ride on a warm bus. Which it did, as well as an aquarium, a historic horse pageant, and some random little temple, all to keep us occupied while the boat was going through the locks.
It was midnight by the time we finished at the temple by the ferry dock, and the nice warm tour buses had gone away, leaving us to wait among the food vendor tents stir-frying dinner for the tourists. The tour guide the boat company assigned to us (whose English was barely functional -- as I got more and more frustrated with our general situation, I tortured him by pretending not to understand anything he said) told us we had to wait an hour in the cold -- it turned out to be 2-and-a-half. That, and the unheated 4-hour bus ride from Yichang (where we docked) to Wuhan made us long for luxury. So we checked into the Holiday Inn Tian An Wuhan City Centre, to be certain we had HOT water and LOTS of room central heating. God, I feel so decadent.
More later, but they're closing the hotel Business Centre for the night.