CHINA  |  The Three Gorges, China Travel Guide
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Tributary Trips

The Lesser Three Gorges

A little way beyond Baidicheng, the Daning River joins the Yangzi, and there’s a great five-hour trip to be enjoyed up the “Lesser Three Gorges” as this dramatic stretch of the Daning River is known. You’ll transfer from your cruiser to smaller motor crafts and push farther upstream through some stunningly narrow gorges and, unless it’s been raining heavily, you’ll see the water color change from murky brown to emerald green as you progress. There’s a hanging coffin to be spotted in the second gorge and you might even see monkeys if you’re lucky. In days gone by you would be pulled up by men with ropes (see Shennong Stream, below), but as the water level has risen this is no longer the case. 

Shennong Stream

There’s another excellent upstream adventure to be enjoyed on the Shennong Stream, a little downstream of Wushan. This four-hour trip affords breathtaking gorge views from small wooden rowing boats, which are painstakingly pulled through the roughest parts by teams of men using ropes. The local people are famous for their singing and your trip might be accompanied by their dulcet tones. To get to the smaller boats you have to take a 40-minute ferry ride from your cruise ship. A little east of the Shennong Stream, Zigui is the hometown of famed minister and poet, Qu Yuan, whose river suicide is remembered by the Dragon Boat Festival.

Three Gorges Dam Site

Whatever you think of the project, it’s gone ahead and is being touted as the best thing to happen in China since boiled rice. I visited the dam site several times during its construction and every time was overwhelmed not only by its gargantuan scale, but also by its popularity with domestic tourists. At the site there’s an exhibition detailing construction and with a grand model of the dam. You can ascend to a viewpoint where you can overlook the whole site.

Last updated December 27, 2007
Posted in   China  |  The Three Gorges
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