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Three Gorges

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The Three Gorges of the Yangtze River is a world-famous tourist attraction.It starts at Baidi Town,Fengjie County in Chongqing Municipality in the west and ends at Nanjin Pass in Yichang City,Hubei Province.It passes through Fengjie and Wushan counties in Chongqing,and Badong and Zigui counties and Yichang city in Hubei Province.The total length of the gorges extends 193 kilometers,forming the largest gorge area in the world.The river valleys in the Three Gorges present a magnificent view when the river course broadens and narrows alternatively. In the broad valley, the river has a wide channel and features an enchanting landscape.

When it comes to the narrow valley, the river flows swiftly in a narrow channel flanked by steep cliffs in both sides and presents a dangerous scene. Qutang Gorge is known for its magnificence and precipitousness, Wuxia Gorge, for its serenity and beauty, and Xiling Gorge, for its swift currents and rapids.

Qutang Gorge extends from Baidi Town in the west to the town of Daxizhen in the east. It is the smallest and the shortest(only 8 kilometers), but the most magnificent of the three gorges. Qutang Gorge is also known as Kuixia Gorge. It controls the flow of the Yangtze River and is the gateway between the east Sichuan and Hubei provinces. The gorge is like a narrow corridor with overhanging precipices rising vertically on both sides. The broadest span is only 150 meters, while the narrowest is less than 100 meters. At the entrance stand two perpendicular cliffs facing eachother. They look like two giant gates. Hence the name Kui Gate or Qutang Pass. The river water is forced in between turbulent waves, and the rushing water is roaring on like wild horses stampeding. It is known as the most fearsome waterway.

Wuxia Gorge starts from the Daning River Estuary in Chonqing in the west and ends at Guandukou in Badong County of Hubei Province in the east. It extends 40 kilometers long and narrow up towards east. It forms a meandering scenic gallery flanked by craggy peaks and grotesque rocks. The beautiful sceneries on both banks are too changeable to take them all in. The better-known scenic attractions along Wuxia Gorge are the 12 peaks, six on the northern bank and the other six on the southern bank of the Changjiang River.”On a cruise down the Wuxia Gorge, one’ smind is on twelve peaks”. This is a line composed by Lu You,a poet of the Song Dynasty, in describing the landscape there. The Goddess Peak (Shenni Feng), the most graceful of the 12, stands out from the other peaks on the northern bank to be the first to greet the morning sun and the last to bid it farewell, hence its another name, Viewing-the-Glow Peak(Wangxia Feng). Seen at a distance, it looks like a graceful girl. All the peaks vary in looks from seasons and weathers and have lasting appeal to tourists. And they are named according to their different shapes.

Xiling Gorge begins at the Xiangxi streams in the west and ends at Nanjingguan Pass in the east. Xiling Gorge stretches 78 kilometers eastward and the cliffs on either side rise to just over 900 meters. Xiling Gorge is awesome with dangerous rapids, shoals, reefs, sharp turms, billowy whirlpools. The water at one point is so turbulent that it seems to be boiling during the flood season. Xiling Gorge consists of 4 small gorges and several dangerous shoals: Binshubaojian Gorge, Niuganmafei Gorge, Kongling Gorge, and Dengying Gorge; the Blue Shoal, the Discourage Shoal, the Kongling Shoal, and the Yaocha River. The Kongling Shoal is the most dangerous shoal among them, especially in the dry season. Thanks to the comprehensive projects of the government since 1949, nearly 200 dangerous places along the gorges have been brought under control. Apart from shoals, the Xiling Gorge is also known for its malignant whirlpools, which usually appear at sharps turns in the gorges, or when the water is turbulent.

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