Today’s shore visit was to the Gardens and Tower at Yueyang. Ranked as one of China’s top tourist destinations, Yueyang has been an important military location over the years, making it abundant in historic and cultural artifacts. It is the second-largest city in Hunan Province, which was Chairman Moa Zedong’s home province. The city produces grain, cotton, tea, fruits and vegetables, as well as paper and petroleum products. Its textile printing and dyeing mill is the largest in Asia. And its location on the southern shores of Dongting Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in China, makes it a base for the fisheries and shipping industries.
On the eastern shore of the lake is the graceful three-storey Yueyang Tower. This golden-tiled tower was built in the period of the Three Kingdoms about 1700 years ago and was used by the commander of the forces of Wu as an inspection platform from which the entire lake was visible. The commander stood on the top floor to observe and command his ships. We do the same! Additionally we stroll through the beautiful gardens and enjoy Silver Needle Tea and snacks at the tea house.
Back on board the Viking Emerald we enjoy a preview of the voyage film which guests may purchase on DVD before disembarkation. The cameraman Aleksey (from Russia!) has done a good job. And then we’re off to dinner, which didn’t turn out quite as expected for 50% of the Furlongs management. Somehow the entire Furlongs party managed to secretly arrange for two of the ship’s security officers to “arrest” one of the Furlongs proprietors, who ended up in hand-cuffs, attached to their spouse! The guests then agreed to unlock the hand-cuffs in return for a party at the bar. Suffice to say, a very good time was enjoyed by all, and hopefully the resultant bar bill is tax deductible!