Three Gorges

One cannot avoid thinking of the Three Gorges at the mention of Yangtze River. They form the most spectacular views, featuring steep mountains and rapid streams as well as a great many historical relics and natural spots. It has long been a famous tourist attraction absorbing visitors from home and abroad every year. The Three Gorges consist of Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge , from west to east, with each of them boasting a distinctive flavor. If we go downstream, the majestic gorges start from Baidi City in the county of Fengjie, Chongqing then stretches east to the Nanjin Pass in the City of Yichang in Hubei Province with a total length of about 200 kilometers (124 miles).

With the nursing of the Yangtze River, people living along it have achieved a splendid civilization and are represented in various forms. Thus a great many of historical sites are left in The Three Gorges region. It is among this distinguished region that the splendor of the Daxi Culture is recorded, and the hometown of the poet Qu Yuan is located as well as the hometown of one of the distinguished beauties Wang Zhaojun. During the period of Three Kingdoms (220-280) the Three Gorges region was a strategic point fought over by Wu Kingdom and Shu Kingdom; maybe the remaining relics can make you feel the traces of the warring times. What's more, the Three Gorges endowed infinite inspiration to many famous poets of old, such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Shi, Lu You etc. Lots of famous lines are still widely read by us now, creating a special feeling in the minds of every passer-by, which makes the gorges extremely genial and admirable.

When cruising along the river through the Three Gorges either downstream or upstream, visitors experience the breathtaking gorges between the steep mountains, reaching around 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) above the river, with some exceeding 1,000 meters. The two mountain ranges face each other forming a narrow interspace, the widest part being less than 150 meters (492 feet) while the narrowest part is less than 100 meters (328 feet); a nature-made gallery spreads before you while the ship is keeping ahead, revealing many of the inscriptions, steles and other historic sites alongshore. Down the river, visitors are transfixed by the imposing Qutang Gorge, the elegant Wu Gorge and the adventurous Xiling Gorge.

The on-gonging Three Gorges Project in the middle section of Xiling Gorge caused water levels along the gorges region to rise accordingly. Some scenic spots were submerged, but people did their best to protect them. Inscriptions and steles were copied and moved to a higher place; some were conveyed and reconstructed in selected sites, such as Ancient Plank Road, Quyuan Temple, Zhangfei Temple etc. Although some natural wonders are gone like Daxi Culture Site, new sceneries and sights have appeared. Moreover, the dangerous shoals have disappeared with the rising of the water line. Anyway, you are still assured an exciting cruise on Yangtze River to explore the fascination of Chinese culture.

Comments and Questions