Shennong Stream

Originating in the mysterious Shennongjia Primeval Forest in the Hubei Province, the Shennong Stream in Badong County rushes for 60 kilometers (37 miles) through the hills and gorges until it is finally embraced by the Yangtze River. This makes the boating on the crystal clear waters of the Shennong Stream one of the most exciting and must do attraction of the Yangtze River Cruise.

The peapod shaped boats, with a capacity of 10 people, navigate the stream without benefit of a noisy engine, and solely through the skillful boatman who steers it through the shoals and rip currents. In the past naked trackers pulled boats laden with cypress upstream for processing, but with the advent of tourism, they were required to be modest, and now wear shorts. Before the flooding of the Three Gorges Project headpond the stream was shallow in places, and this journey was dotted with shoals; the flooding has reduced the need for the trackers. Most are now employed to return the peapods to their upstream stations.

This area is the home of the Tujia Minorities, descendants of the ancient Ba people. Their distinct dances and songs offer an appreciation of the local culture. Hopefully, these local customs will be preserved after the flooding.

Like its neighboring Three Little Gorges on the Danning River, you will find the primitive natural beauty of the gorge very soothing and enjoyable. Each of the three gorges along the Shennong River have their unique features; the Longchang Gorge with it narrow stream and steep high walls that gives the impression of 'A Rift in the Sky'; the Yingwu (or Parrot) Gorge with its ubiquitous grotesque rocks and escarpment washed with the crystal green waters and graced with the colorful rainbow that span the gorge; and the Jinzhu George, named after the Jinzhu bamboo that grows here abundantly. 

There are over 60 Karst caves and features along the stream as well as the ancient Hanging Coffins suspended high on the cliff, and the remnants of the Ancient Plank Road that ran along the gorge walls. Bands of wild monkeys can be seen darting among the mountain forest, giving flight to the many flock of short beaked golden swallows that make this area their home.

Tip: Shennong Stream is part of the itinerary of Yangtze River Cruise, so visitors taking a Yangtze cruise ship will stop at Badong County and take a excursion tour to the Shennong Stream. However, some cruise ships will stop at the Three Little Gorges instead, so visitors are suggested to confirm your itinerary with the cruise company or travel agency.


More Wu Gorge Attractions:

 Three Little Gorges
 Twelve Peak 

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