“I wonder if anywhere will be showing the Manchester United Champions League match tonight?” I pondered out loud as our riverboat made the final adjustments to moor against a floating jetty linked to the bank by a thin, slippery metal walkway resting on a series of pontoons.

“That’s the trouble with you Manchester United fans,” the Irish dentist standing behind me scoffed. “You think everyone is interested in Manchester United. They’re not. This is the Yangtse. Nobody has heard of Manchester United here.”

Riverboat, Yangtse River, China

The riverboat secured, we shuffled off the old boat single file, passing signs in Chinese that meant nothing to me. It was a dreich day. The river was mud brown in colour, the riverbank was actually mud, the sky didn’t seem much different in tone.

As we edged closer to terra firma a huge angled billboard came into view. I’d no idea what it was advertising, but I instantly recognised the face beaming down at us all – Ryan Giggs in his Manchester United strip. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect

Everybody leaving the boat spotted it. I didn’t need to say anything.

Behind me I heard the Irish dentist sigh.

Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+

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