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Three Gorges Chengdu

three gorges chengduThe Three Gorges Chengdu (San Xia) scenic area on the Yangtze River includes some 200 kilometers of rapids and dramatic, sharp bends set close between high limestone cliffs on either side, in the area between Baidicheng in Sichuan and Yichang in Hubei Province.

The first of the three gorges is known as the Qutang Gorge, which, at 8 kilometers long. It is the smallest and shortest of the Three Gorges, but contains the fastest water. On the north bank are remains of Warring States Period peoples who buried their dead in coffins set in crevices in high caves along the riverside cliffs.

Wu Gorge ( Wu Xia ) is about 40 kilometers long, with narrow cliffs on either side rising up to 900 meters above the water and sometimes seeming to close over approaching boats. A side trip leads to the Three Little Gorges ( Xiao Sanxia ) along the Daning River for 33 kilometers, passing the Dragon Gate Gorge and remains of a Qing dynasty road cut into the cliffs.

Xiling Gorge is the longest and deepest of the three at 80 kilometers, with cliffs that rise as high as 4,000 feet. It begins at the town of Zigui, known as the birthplace of the poet Qu Yuan of the late Warring States period, whose suicide is commemorated by dragon-boat races throughout southern China.

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