Three Gorges
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Three Gorges

Three Gorges

Three Gorges is one of the ten famous landscapes of China and the first of China's top 40 scenic spots. From east to west, Three Gores stretches from White Emperor City of Fengjie County in Chongqing to Nanjin Pass of Yichang City in Hubei province. It is 192 kilometers long. Three Gorges is the general name of Qutang Gorge, Wuxia Gorge and Xiling Gorge. It is a beautiful and magnificent gallery on Yangtze River.

Most Magnificent Gorge – Qutang Gorge

Qutang Gorge is famous for its magnificence. From west to east, it stretches from White Emperor Mountain in Fengjie County to Daxi Town in Wushan County of Chongqing. It is the shortest and narrowest among the Three Gorges. It is only 8 kilometers long, but the landscape here is the most imposing and magnificent. The mountains of Qutang Gorge are pretty magnificent. Visitors here could see the steep and dangerous cliffs seemed to be cut out by axes standing on both banks of the gorge. The mountains rise sheer from the ground and the cliffs towers into the sky. The peaks here are very high, and some of them reach to 1500 meters.

The watercourse here is very narrow and just less than 100 meters wide. It is only dozens of meters at the narrowest. This made the cliffs on both sides pretty close and also adds to the magnificence of the gorge. At the west entrance of the gorge, the sheer cliffs are thousands of feet high while the watercourse is less than 100 meters wide. It was named Kuimen since it looks like a gate. And there is a famous saying goes that Kuimen is the most magnificent in the world. The mountain on the left bank of the river is Cijia Mountain and the mountain on the right is White Salt Mountain. No matter what the weather is like, there are always layers of looming silver light. Though Qutang Gorge is short, it controls the water of Chongqing and Hubei province. The ancient people described Qutang Gorge as "the cliffs here tower into the sky and the boats sail through the crack between the cliffs on the two banks". Shipping along the river, you could see a lot of wonders, such as the Ancient Plank Road Relic, Water-washed Wall, Ancient Hanging Coffins of Fengxiang Gorge, Phoenix Drinking Water and Hanging Upside Down Monk. There are inscriptions of the past ages on the Water-washed Wall really worth your view. After the Three Gorges Reservoir impounded its water to 135 meters, the Kuimen Inscriptions were submerged. The Cultural Relics Management Department of Fengjie County has moved the original inscriptions by cutting or copy, visitors could also appreciate them.

Most Beautiful Gorge – Wu Gorge

Wu Gorge is famous for its beauty and is the most splendid part of the Three Gorges. It is located in Wushan County of Chongqing and Badong County of Hubei province. From west to east, it stretches from the estuary of Daning River to Guandukou of Badong County. It is about 40 kilometers long. It got its name from Wushan Mountain. It is deep and graceful with various postures and carriages, and is worldly well known for its beauty. There is always a hazy landscape of rain and cloud since here is always surrounded by thick mist and drizzles a lot. Visitors here would be surprised by its deep valley, long gorge, peculiar cliffs, and circuitous watercourse. It just likes a beautiful gallery when you appreciate it on a ship sailing in the gorge. Once, Yuan Zhen - a famous poet of Tang Dynasty wrote a poetry: Don't mention streams to him who has seen a great ocean, and the clouds that circle Wushan Mountain are the only true clouds. The clouds and rain at Wushan Mountain really enjoys a good reputation in the world.

Golden Helmet and Silver Armour Gorge and Iron Coffin Gorge have a lot of twists and turns. Yangtze River cuts across the backbone of Wushan Mountain, and then the two gorges were formed. The Twelve Peaks of Wushan Mountain are more than 1000 meters above the river. Mist and clouds wreathed the grotesque peaks. The six peaks in the north coast are: Denglong Peak, Shengquan Peak, Shengquan (holy spring) Peak, Chaoyun (toward the cloud) Peak, Wangxia Peak, Songluan Peak, and Jixian (fairies get together) Peak. The six peaks in the south coast are: Feifeng (flying phoenix) Peak, Cuiping Peak, Juhe (cranes get together) Peak, Jingtan Peak, Qiyun Peak, Shangsheng (uprising) Peak. Only the Feifeng Peak, Cuiping Peak and Juhe Peak could be seen on the river. Godess Peak (also named Wangxia peak) is the most beautiful one.

Most Dangerous Gorge – Xiling Gorge

It measures 75 kilometers from the estuary of Xiangxi Stream to Nanjin Pass. It is the longest gorge among the Three Gorges and is famous for dangerous rapids. The whole Gorge area is covered with high mountains, gullies, dangerous shoals and hidden reefs of various sizes. There are gorges in bigger gorges and rapids in bigger rapids. The currents here are very strong and powerful. There are four dangerous gorges (from west to east): Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge, Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge, Kongling Gorge and Lantern Shadow Gorge. There are some rapids: Qing Rapid, Xie Rapid and Kongling Rapid. There are also some relics such as Huangling Temple, Three Visitors Cave and Lu You Spring.

The cruise of Three Gorges would be end outside Xiling Gorge. Visitors could leave the ship for shore and continue your travel by railway or highway. You could also cross the giant ship lock (it would be very interesting while you crossing the lock, maybe the "fourth gorge") of Gezhou Dam by ship and appreciate the majestic landscape of the wide river and slow currents.

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