Brief information on Three Gorges  

The Three Gorges region is a scenic area along the Yangtze River in China with a total length of approximately 200 km. Although it is primarily famous for its scenery, the Three Gorges region is historically and culturally an important region in China, including Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.

Qutang Gorge, the shortest and most majestic of the Three Gorges, winds five miles from Baidi City in Fengjie County to Daxi Town in Wushan County. The two banks of the Qutang Gorge contain numerous scenic spots.

Southwest of the Qutang Gorge is the Kui Gate, also called the Qutang Pass. Two peaks, Mt. Baiyan (White Salt Mountain) in the north and Mt. Chijia soar above the horizon. The two mountains resemble a gate that might have been created by Heaven and placed here on earth. As the peaks along the two banks are 3,281 feet to 4,921 feet high and the Yangtze River is only 109 yards to 219 yards wide, the Yangtze River looks like a narrow belt winding its way through the deep canyons. The deep gorge, fast-moving water, and chains of mountains form an imposing picture. Because of the Kui Gate, the Qutang Gorge is also known as the Kui Gorge.

The Wu Gorge is the second gorge of the Three Gorges of Yangtze River and is famous for its elegance. Winding over 25 miles, it starts from the estuary of Daning River (east of Wushan) in the west and ends at Guandukou in Badong, Hubei Province.

Also called Da Xia (Large Gorge), the Wu Gorge is comprised of Golden Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge (Jinkui Yinjia Xia) and Iron Coffin Gorge. As strange peaks, grotesque rocks as well as fog and clouds surround the gorge, it is usually the most notable of the three gorges. Because of the long and deep canyons in the Wu Gorge, the daily period of sunlight is short which impedes the dispersal of air borne moisture within the gorge and so creates clouds and fog in a variety of fantastic shapes.

Comprising many dangerous rapids and currents, Xiling Gorge starts at Badong County and zigzags for 76 kilometers (47 miles) down to the Nanjin Pass in Yichang. It is the longest part of the Three Gorges system with dangerous rapids like Xietan, Qintan and Kongling, collectively known as the Three Rapids of Xiling.

The first rapid in Xiling Gorge - New Rapid (Xin Tan) - rushes over submerged rocks, the oily surface of the water churned by whirlpools. The swift current carries boats down river through Xin Tan at the rate of seven meters (30 feet) per second. It is a thrilling ride.

The four-kilometer long Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge (Bingshu Baojian Xia) is the first spot at the western entrance of Xiling Xia. The name of the gorge refers to a stratified layer of rock resembling a stack of books, and a perpendicular rock shaft below it at a small cave on the north bank.

Rice Granary Gorge (Micang Xia) stands at the mouth of a ravine on the south side. Blown by river winds, fine sand piles up on the rock, and slowly leak through a hole underneath, hence the name Micang.

*You can download the bilingual note to show it to a taxi driver or someone else to find your way to Three Gorges if you plan to visit Three Gorges and have language problems.



Chinese Pinyin: San Xia

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