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Yangtze River
The Yangtze RiverThe Yangtze River (Changjiang), over 6,300 kilometers long, is the largest and longest river in China, and the
third-longest in the world, next only to the Nile in northeast Africa and the Amazon in South America. The source
of the Yangtze River lies to the west of Geladandong Mountain, the principal peak of the Tanggula Mountain chain
in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, southwest of China. The river flows from west to east through provinces of Qinghai,
Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu as well as the city of Shanghai, finally
emptying into the East China Sea. With plenty of rainfall all year round, the Yangtze River is named the golden
The most impressive section of the river is the three Yangtze River gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wuxia Gorge and Xiling
Gorge, collectively known as Sanxia, or the Three Gorges.

Qutang Gorge
Immediately below Baidi City is Kui Men, the entrance to the first of the three gorges of the Yangtze River-the eight--kilometre (five-mile) longQutang Gorg Qutang
Gorge (also known by early Western travellers as the Wind Box Gorge). The shortest but grandest of them all,
the gorge's widest point is only 150 metres (500 feet). Mists frequently swirl around the mysterious Iimestone
peaks, some nearly 1,200 metres (4,000 feet) high, and the river rushes swift as an arrow through the narrow
entrance, pounding the perpendicular cliff faces on either side of the gorge.

This gorge was a particularly dangerous stretch during high-water seasons and has been known to rise to 50
metres (165 feet). An upper Yangtze steamboat captain recalled how in September l929 the level of water was
75 metres (246 feet), and likened the passage to a trough, with the water banked up on both sides. His ship
became quite unmanageable, and was carried down, broadside on, only coming under control again at the
lower end. He would never, he vowed, try to negotiate it again at such a level.

Two mountains--Red Passage Mountain (Chijia Shan) to the north, once compared to a celestial peach, and White Salt Mountain (Baiyan Shan)
to the south form the Kui Men entrance, their steep precipices like the wings of a giant door guarding the tumultuous waters.

At the highest point above Hanging Monk Rock one can see Armour Cave (Kuanaiia Dong) where it is said a Song-dynasty woman general hid
her weapons. In 1958 the cave was explored and found to contain three 2,000-year-old wooden coffins from the Kingdom of Ba, in which were
bronze swords and lacquered wooden combs.

Near the Meng Liang Stairway is the Drinking Phocnix Spring, a stalagmite in the shape of a phoenix drinking the sweet spring--water. Nearby is
the Chalk Wall (Fengbi Tang) where 900 characters, dating from the Song dynasty, have been carved by famous calligraphers on the rock face.
The site derives its name from the limestone powder which was used to smooth rock surfaces before being carved.

Two kilometres (1.2 miles) further, the Baozi Tan (a triple rapid) and the XiamaTan used to be serious dangers to shipping at low-water level. A
traveller on one of the Yangtze steamships in the 1930s remarked : Only the throbbing of the engines as the bow entered the most turbulent part
of the rapid, and buried its nose deep in the boiling water, revealed its presence to the uninitiated. But on looking back one could see that there
had been a drop of two or three feet in the water where the rapid was most violent. Above it was a series of whirlpools and races.
Wuxia Gorge

Wu Gorge extends from the mouth of the DaningRiver in WushanCounty, ChongqingCity in the west to Guandukou in Badong County, Hubei
Province in the east. Wu Gorge 44 kilometers long. The gorge is known for its deep valleys and forest covered mountains. Wu Gorge is a long
and neat gorge divided into two sections - the Golden Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge and the Iron Coffin Gorge.

Wuxia Gorge

Wu Gorge is full of zigzags, weird peaks, rising mists and beautiful sights. As the river cut through the
WushanMountains, its roaring currents change their directions constantly. Travelling through the gorge in a boat,
one sometimes may find the way blocked by mountains. But a sharp turn of the boat brings one to an area of
entirely different scenery. It is the most beautiful part of the Yangtze, green trees and bushes, together with fogs
and clouds, cover the high peaks.

The famous scenery are as the following:
TwelvePeaks on both banks of the river, in particular, are the most spectacular. These triangle-looking peaks
described by legend as twelve fairy spirits, such as a fairy maid dancing, a dragon soaring into the sky, a peacock
displaying its feathers or a piece of colorful brocade. The best -known is the poetic GoddessPeak, the graceful
shape of which resembles a girl looking down at the boats in the river. Many mythological tales and countless
number of poems have been written about this particular peak.

Wushan at the entrance to Wu Gorge and Badong and Zigui in the broad valley of the Fragrant Stream (Xiangxi)
are famous towns in the gorge. There are many famous historical sites too. The town of Zigui is attracting a large
number of tourists because it is the native place of the great ancient poet and patriotic politician Qu Yuan and the
famous beauty Wang Zhaojun from East Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago.

The DaningRiver at the western entrance to Wu Gorge is flanked by continuous strange peaks, some of them rising into the clouds and
presenting an unusual scene. The section of the river becomes known as the Lesser Three Gorges. Their nordinary beauty is so charming
and it has been praised by more and more visitors.

Xiling Gorge

Xiling Gorge extends from Badong County in the west to the Nanjin Pass in Yichang in the east, about 66 km long. It is the longest of the Three
Xiling GorgesGorges and is entirely within Hubei Province. This gorge is full of shoals and rapid currents. The most
dangerous shoals are Xietan, Qingtan and Kong Ling, collectively known as the Three Shoals of Xiling. Among
all the dangerous shoals, Qingtan Shoal and Kongling Shoal are the most famous. Qingtan Shoal, stretched
between "Tactics Books and Sword Gorge" and "Bull's Liver and Horse's Lung Gorge", including First Shoal,
Second Shoal and Third Shoal, runs 1.5 km from west to east, teeming with reefs and convulsed with sweeping,
boisterous rapids.

Kongling Shoal lies in the Miaohe section. The local people have always said: "Qintan and Xietan are not real
shoals compared with hell gate of Kongling Shoal.

Many other scenic spots composed in Xiling Gorge, Bull's Liver and Horse Lung Gorge, "Tactics Books and Sword Gorge", and "Shadow Play
Gorge", "Huangling Temple", "Three Travelers' Cave", "Horse Bell Rock", Mt. Qingshi (Black Lion) in Shipai Town, Three Swords Peak at Nantuo.

Xiling Gorge
(Xiling Gorge)
China Regal Cruise
(China Regal Cruise)
China Dragon Cruise
(China Dragon Cruise)
Three Kingdoms
(Three Kingdoms)

(Oriental Emperor)

(Victoria Cruise)

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