Great Videos and Photos of the Best Places and Things to see in Three Gorges China. For the independent traveller who is interested in seeing places while planning their next trip. Or for anyone who likes to be close to nature and see the quieter parts of the country or city
The three Gorges, Qutang, Wu and Xiling are one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Gorges stretch for about 120 km from the White Emperor City to Yichang.
Along the Qutang Gorge
The Yangzte is longest river in China which is also known as Chang Jiang, is very important to the Chinese people. It plays a great role in China’s history, culture, and economics. For most people, Yangtze serves as a division between North and South China where practices, topographical features and even livelihood is differentiated.
As water always has represented life, Yangtze is home for roughly three hundred fifty million people and countless species of both flora and fauna. The most popular ones namely: the snow leopard, the giant panda, and Yangtze finless porpoise. All in all there are 378 species of fish, more than 280 species of mammals, 145 species of amphibians, and 166 species of reptiles.
Unfortunately, many of them are being threatened already with the costs of urbanization, pollution, and industrialization. A trip to Yangtze could not only provide you with marvellous scenery but also with the awareness about these loving creatures as well as the people there.
Around half of China’s indigenous people live here like the Tibetan, Zhuang, and Qiang. It provides water for irrigation as well as for the generation of hydroelectric power.
Qutang to Wu George
The Qutang Gorge is the shortest among the three but is regarded as the Grandest Gorge. It runs only for about eight kilometres but boasts a number of sceneries in its area. It begins at Baidicheng or the White Emperor City then ends at Daxi County.
It is the first Gorge that would welcome you to the Three Gorges. It is also very narrow having its narrowest point at only 100 meters. With the vigour of the Yangtze trying to push itself in this narrow passage, a certain character or drama sticks to it.
Found here are the Chijia and Baiyan Mountains, Kuimen, the Mengliang Stairway, Chalk Wall, Iron Lock Pass, Hanging Monk Rock, Bellow Gorge, and the Phoenix Fountain.
Kuimen is the beginning of the beginning, serving as a grand gate for the Gorge. It is formed by the Chijia Mountain on the left and Baiyan on the right, both of which are roughly 500 meters high.
Yangtze as a cradle for many civilizations is a home to several ancient towns. One of which is the county of Wushan which is home for the ancient town of Dachang. Wushan County compared to the rest of the counties in the area of the Three Gorges, is the richest in cultural and historical relics, an astonishing 40 historic sites and approximately a thousand cultural relics in totality.
The site where one of the earliest human beings, the Wushan Man, was found is also located here, which is named Longgupo Pithecanthrope Site. The famous suspended coffins are also found here. As it is located in the Three Gorge, specifically at the entirety of Wu Gorge and a little part of Qutang Gorge, Wushan has a great access to the amazing works of nature.
It has twelve peaks but the most renowned of these geological wonders that could be seen here is the Goddess Peak which aside from its splendour is also filled with interesting legends. Wushan is also a great place to learn more about the diversity of Chinese culture for it cradles the Daxi, Bachu, Goddess, and Wu culture.
As a little addition, the Three Little Gorges of the Daning Rives is also accessible from here.
The Wu Gorge, ometimes called the Great Gorge due to its length is the second of the Three Gorges.
The Wu Gorge is the second or the middle of the Three Gorges and prides itself with its elegance and its enchanting character. It is also called Da Xia meaning Large Gorge. Wu Gorge stretches for about 46 kilometers, starting from the Daning River in Wushan County, Chongqing to Guandukou in Badong County, Hubei.
There are twelve majestic peaks along the Wu Gorge which are dubbed according to legends as twelve fairy spirits.
It embraces the Golden Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge (Jinkui Yinjia Xia) as well as the Iron Coffin Gorge. One of the Wu Gorge’s admirable eccentricities, is the enchanting mist that lingers in the area that is even escorted sometimes by a mysterious light, a wonderful optical phenomena, which Buddhists believe to be the presence of Buddha which led to it being called Buddha’s Light.
In addition to this, clouds and fogs of different interesting shapes form in the area due to the entrapment of airborne moisture caused by the short exposure to sunlight which is a result of the long ravines. Add these up, and you will find that nothing compares to the charm or hypnotizing beauty of the Wu Gorge.
Goddess Peak is also called Shennu Feng. It is the most noticeable among the twelve peaks along Wu Gorge. At first glance, travellers would surely pick up why it was dubbed as the Goddess Peak. It certainly resembles a well composed maiden elegantly sitting on the northern bank.
It is also called as Wangxia Peak meaning Looking Sunglow Peak. This is because of its close relationship with the sun. The Goddess Peak is the tallest among the twelve peaks which gives it the opportunity to be the first to be touched by sunlight as morning beckons and to experience the beauty of the sunset. The Goddess Peak is also one of the richest in legends. One of which says the Goddess Peak is the incarnation of Yao Ji, one of the fairies in the Palace of Heaven.
She once felt lonely and invited her eleven sisters to visit earth during the mid-autumn festival. There they met Yu the Great who was controlling the flood on earth. The twelve sisters decided to stay and help the people pacify the water. Eventually, they forgot to return to heaven and became the twelve majestic peaks.
Close to the slight bend in the river below Goddess Peak is the Goddess Stream. For the locals, it is also known as the Beauty Stream. No wonder why it got its nickname. The Goddess Stream is a very pristine part of the Wu Gorge. This wonder is hidden by the valley which is the reason behind its preservation.
It is 15 kilometers in totality and 10 kilometers of it is far from human activity. The virginity of the place, as if protected by the rising peaks, is the secret of its beauty. The Fei Feng Peak, Cuiping Peak, and Rising Peak are some of the nearby spectacles in the area of Goddess Stream.
Lower Wu Gorge
Enjoy the peaceful drift of the boat as it passes through the lower part of Wu Gorge on the way towards Badong.
Badong is found in between Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge, in Enshi Autonomous Prefecture of Tujia and Miao nationalities, in the province of Hubei. Almost every part of the Yangtze River boasts their natural beauty and scenery but for Badong, the secret of its beauty lies with the local community.
As it is home to the ethnic minorities Tujia and Miao, travellers could immerse themselves and get to know more about the uniqueness of the people and try some of their local products (e.g. Chinese medicinal material, tea, gastrodia tuber, konjac).
Nevertheless, Badong does not fall short in providing wonderful sceneries as well. Badong had lived for already 1,500 years.
There is no wonder that many natural wonders had developed there. The most popular destinations are Shennong Stream, Gezi River Stone Forest (also known as the Small Guilin of Three Gorges), and Autumn Wind Pavillion.
Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam, the largest by mega watt capacity in the world is close to the town of Sandouping.
Three Gorges Dam
As we have mentioned in the course of this article, the Three Gorges Dam had been the cause of the submergence of many towns and the relocation of many people along the Yangtze River. The Three Gorges Dam is known to be the world’s largest hydro-power project.
It is composed of three parts namely the dam, the hydro-power stations and the navigation facility. It is so massive that it took 17 years for the project, which started in 1992, to be completed. It is 607 feet tall with its top measures 3,319 yards wide.
The Three Gorges Dam is located near the Sandouping Town in Yichang City, Hubei Province. By the time you reach the midsection of Xiling Gorge or the third gorge, you would find the Three Gorges Dam there.
It has been a very controversial project and is believed to be an environmental catastrophe by many people especially the environmentalists. Now, even the Chinese government itself is realizing the possibilities already.
In the Locks
Three Gorges Dam
The Five Stage Ship Lock is one of the great marvels of the Three Gorges Dam. It is popular for being a massive ship elevator since its purpose is to raise or lower ships that would like to cross the Three Gorges dam. It could hold as much as 14,000 tons and raise it for about 113 meters.
It is known to be the world’s most colossal ship lock. This architectural wonder could help a ship traverse the dam for only forty minutes. It was designed in a way that it could survive the water pressure of the Yangtze. To reduce the pressure, it had to be designed with five locks rather than one.
The logic is actually just simple. To lower a ship, the ship is placed into a watertight compartment which is the lock. They close the gate behind it then release the water into another lock which is lower than the first one.
The ship then becomes lowered as the water is released. When the water level is just the same with the next lock, the ship moves forward, then the gate behind it is closed. The process is repeated till the ship reaches the level of the river. That is the beauty of it.
Three Gorges Dam
The town is popular for sheltering the Three Gorges Dam. It is located at the district of Yiling in the Yichang Prefecture at the Hubei province. It is found at the middle of Xiling Gorge. So from the town, travellers get to experience a wonderful view of the canyon.
Because of the proximity of the town to Xiling Gorge, its topography is very interesting with its surface being composed of limestone, and granite. Almost half of the area is covered with forest and mineral deposits are also abundant there. Before the Three Gorges Dam was erected, San Dou Ping used to be a small fishing village.
Now it is home to many workers of the Three Gorges Dam and to the families that were relocated due to the submergence of their original villages. The town’s precursor is said to be established in the late 1500s.
Along the Xiling Gorge
Xiling Gorgeis the longest among the three, stretching for about 76 kilometers. It is also well-known for being the most dangerous of the three. It used to be a haven for whirlpools and very strong rapids, but now it is already passable.
In fact, it shelters two of the most vicious rapids of the Yangtze and is also comprised of seven small gorges. Indeed, the seven small gorges here also have interesting names.
They are The Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge (Bingshu Baojian Xia), The Ox and Horse Lungs Gorge (Niugan Mafe Xia), Kongling Gorge, and Lantern Shadow Gorge (Dengying Xia), Yellow Ox Gorge (Huangniu Xia), Rice Granary Gorge (Micang Xia), and the Yellow Cat Gorge.
This daring gorge is also abundant with reefs and peculiar stones which are both alluring and dangerous. Aside from these, Xiling Gorge also has important remnants from China’s history like the Huangling Temple and Three Travelers’ Cave.
Tribe Scenic Spot
The Tribe Scenic Spot is the only scenic spot that was spared from the influence of the Three Gorges Dam project. In fact, it is regarded as the “Protected Center of the Popular Culture and Art of the Three Gorges”. For people who are really enthusiastic about culture, this place exhibits the Ba Culture and that of the Shu.
Along the Three Gorges, it is the best place to witness the life of the locals. Old-style as they say, witness the beauty of the time-honoured practices of these people. Tribe Scenic Spot is like a curator to the prestigious culture of these indigenous people. Located in the Xiling Gorge, it is also the haven of many panoramic natural wonders like caves, springs, valleys, streams, and interesting rock formations. These are some of the many popular attractions in the area: Village on the Water, Stream-Side tribe, Mountain-top tribe, The Stone Tablet, the Shadow-play Stones, and Boatman Performance.
Yichang is a city which was established long before, around 4,000 years ago. It has a very rich history. It has witnessed many historical battles like the Changbanpo Battle and the Yiling Battle in the time of the Three Kingdoms. These battles even left some remnants here which tourists could view.
Yichang is located at the northern part of the Yangtze River and is a home for many famous destinations, some of them have already been mentioned above like the Three Gorges Dam and Sandouping Town. The alluring Xiling Gorge is also near this city. Aside from these, it is also the home of Sanyou (Three-Visitor’s) Cave, Xiaoting Ancient Battlefield, Baima (White Horse) Cave, Qingjiang Scenery, and so much more.
Yichang is a city full of fantastic sceneries. Since this city is located at the middle part of China, it mediates the Eastern and Western part of the country.