One of the shore excursions while travelling down the Yangtze River on the President No. 7 cruise ship in mid-October 2013 was a boat ride down the Shennong Steam near Badong, China. We got off the cruise ship and were taken by a "ferry-type" boat down the Shennong stream to a location where visitors can go down the steam via "pea-pod" wooden boats. The whole excursion took about 1 1/2 to 2 hours - - - 1/2 to 3/4 an hour to get to the pea-pod boat location, 1/2 an hour on the pea-pod boats and 1/2 to 3/4 hour to get back to the cruise ship. Along the way, the local guides point out "hanging coffins, goats grazing, wild monkeys, etc.. The pea-pod boats are crude and the paddling is done by local men with equally as crude paddles......but that's what makes it fun!!!! The 3 paddlers per boat worked very hard to paddle us up the stream. The guide on our pea-pod boat sang a local song in her dialect.....it was great. On our way back to the cruise ship, we saw the local men who had paddled the pea-pod boats walking on the narrow steep paths up the side of the mountain to get to their homes (on the other side). This steep path up and the hard paddling that these guys do explains why none of the had any excess fat.......they were slim, trim and very fit. It was very fun thing to do and we would recommend it if you are travelling down the Yangtze River near Badong.
Wow, what an amazing way to see and meet the boatmen. We loved the peapod ride along the river and would highly recommend it to all!