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Yellow River Tour

"The Yellow River Links With Edo River"

At dusk of a snowy day, we arrived in Sanmenxia City from Luoyang.

Located between the two ancient capitals of Luoyang and Xi'an, Sanmenxia, surrounded by mountains and waters in almost all directions, is known as a pearl of the Yellow River. With rapid development in tourism in recent years, Sanmenxia now boasts three travel agencies, a motor vehicle team and a boat team catering to overseas tourists, and six star-rated hotels. The best hotel in the city is the Sanmenxia Dapeng International Hotel, which is a Hongkong-Mainland joint venture capable of accommodating tourists, business talks and conferences. The city offers diversified tourist programs including the Yellow River tour, folklore tour, pilgrimage tour and tour to ancient sites. One highlight is rafting on the Yellow River in summer, which is reputed as "a breathtaking romance". Since it was winter when we were in Sanmenxia, we missed the chance of the rafting.

The second day in Sanmenxia, we visited the scenic Hangu Pass. Located in a mountain gorge, the pass first built during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) was a strategic point on the way leading to the ancient capitals of Chang'an in the west and Luoyang in the east. It was here that Laozi, the founder of Taoism wrote the immortal "The Classic of the Virtue of the Tao" over 2,000 years ago. The reconstructed Han-style pass tower looks too modern, while the valley which lies to the north of the Qinling Mountain and to the south of the Yellow River reminds people of the ancient saying "If one man guards the pass, ten thousand can not get through".

Yang Ping, deputy director of the city's Tourism Bureau, told us that many Japanese tourists said they deepened their understanding of the Chinese culture after visiting the Hangu Pass. Some of them even claimed that their ancestors were immigrants from the Pass.

How Hangu Pass is related to Japan? Maybe the Japanese have had a deeper study into it. Around the time of the New Year, several Japanese tour groups visited Kaifeng, Zhengzbou, Luoyang, and Sanmenxia, and found Japanese culture has close links with these places. In conclusion, they said it is in vain to learn Japanese history without learning Chinese history. In his letter to the Henan Provincial Tourism Bureau, a Japanese reporter who had covered a Yellow River tour wrote "the water of the Yellow River links up with the Edo River in Tokyo".

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