Three Gorges and its Magnificent Dam

Yangtze River’s Three Gorges is one of the largest grand canyons in the world.  As China’s premier scenic attraction, it features a gorgeous landscape embellished with mountains, rivers and streams. Three Gorges goes across Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province and is comprised of three sections – the Wu Gorge, Xiling Gorge and Qutang Gorge. These three gorges are considered to be the most stunning sections of the Yangtze River.

Out of the three gorges, Wu George is the most visited, as it possess an uncanny charm and grace.  Here, you will feel peace and serenity contemplating on how clouds quickly change and how the mist spreads through the huge forested mountains.  It’s no wonder that it has become a favorite inspiration for a number Chinese poets.  The most scenic spot in Wu Gorge is called Twelve Peaks of Wushun, which occupy both sides of the gorge.  Among the peaks, the one that will most likely get your attention first is the Shennv Peak or Goddess peak, which resembles a tall slim and graceful woman.

To truly experience the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges, visitors usually go for a slow boat ride down the river. During the cruise, you will be enchanted by luscious mountains, riverbanks and tiny cliff villages.  Aside from slow boats, there are also cruises that explore the Three Gorges regions especially areas in between Chongquing and Yichang. Some of the companies that offer cruise tours in the Three Gorges are Century Star, Victoria Cruises and President Cruise Ships among others.

One of the most attractive highlights in the Three Gorgos region is surprisingly not the work of nature, but a product of man’s ingenuity.  Completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam is a massive project set in the town of Sandouping in Yinchang City, Hubei.  Aside from being world’s largest hydropower station, the dam is capable of holding an unprecedented amount of water to prevent flooding in the lower and middle sections of the Yangtze River.

The dam’s 386-square-mile reservoir looks like an artificial lake. Those who are interested in the functionality of the dam should not miss the chance of witnessing how it discharges water during flooding season. There are two excellent spots to watch the dam in action. The first one is on 185 Platform which has the height of more than 600 feet, and the second is the Dam Viewing Point, which offers a clear view of the flood discharge process.

Aside from the viewing points, the Three Gorges Dam Scenic Area also includes the Tanzi Ridge, the Memorial Garden and the Exhibition Hall for the project. The Tanzi Ridge, which is a survey point of the dam project, is divided into three storeys. While exploring the area, you can also check out the famous 800-million year old stone found at the bottom of the river and a massive book sculpture that has records of the Three Gorges Dam Project. If you have time, you may also visit equally interesting nearby attractions like the Chinese Sturgeon Museum, and the Huangling Temple, one of the oldest structures in the Three Gorges region.

From Yinchang City, there are regular tourist shuttle buses that can take you directly to the Three Gorges Dam Tourist Area. These buses specifically depart from the Luizhashou Touris Reception Center or No. 80 Dongshan Avenue.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!