Chinese Name: 长江三峡
English Name: Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, Changjiang Sanxia
Location: From Chongqing City to Yichang City, Hubei Province
Type: Natural and Cultural landscape
Rating Level: AAAAA (5A)
Three Gorges of the Yangtze River 长江三峡 are three adjacent gorges along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River with a total length of 193 Km. Three Gorges stretches from White Emperor City白帝城 in Chongqing to Nanjin Pass南津关 in Yichang. Endowing with grand and enchanting scenery along the Yangtze River, it is one of the ten most famous scenic sites in China.
Three Gorges of the Yangtze River refer to Qutang Gorge瞿塘峡, Wu Gorge巫峡, and Xiling Gorge西陵峡, which were formed because the Yangtze River carved its own path when passing through the eastern edge of the Sichuan Basin.
There are about 4500 kinds of plants in the Three Gorges Reservoir area. There are more than 3,500 kinds of medicinal plants, 610 kinds of edible plants, 566 kinds of oil plants, 500 kinds of ornamental plants, 250 kinds of fiber plants, 300 kinds of wood trees and so on.
The Three Gorges of the Yangtze River straddles Chongqing and Hubei provinces. Both sides are dangerously mountains and lofty hills, beautiful scenery, exceptional surroundings, generally standing 700 – 800 meters high above the water. The narrowest part of the river is about 100 meters.
With the construction of the massive Three Gorges Bam, it has become a world-famous tourist hotline.
What is worth to visit and see？
The Three Gorges are world-famous as the most scenic section of the navigable reaches of the Yangtze River, and the location of the Three Gorges Dam三峡大坝. They form a series of natural and cultural attractions on a Yangtze Cruise between Chongqing and Yichang on the middle reaches of the Yangtze.
The landscapes of Three Gorges are distinct and magnificent, making it the most beautiful section of the Yangtze River. The three Gorges tourist area own many natural and historical scenic spots, the most famous Fengdu Ghost Town丰都鬼城, Shibaozhai 石宝寨, Yunyang Zhang Fei Temple云阳张飞庙, Qutang Gorge瞿塘峡, Wu Gorge巫峡, Xiling Gorge西陵峡, the grand Three Gorges Bam, the Lesser Three Gorges, etc
Qutang Gorge is the first of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River with precipitous cliffs. It stretches 8 kilometers from Baidi City (White Emperor City)白帝城 in Fengjie County奉节县 in the northwest. Although Qutang Gorge is the shortest, it has always been a garrison area linking Sichuan and Chongqing with Hubei together. The features here include Kuimen 夔门， Baidi City( White Emperor City) 白帝城， Xiaozhai Tainkeng小寨天坑 and so on, contributing to the human and natural landscapes.
Wu Gorge is the second of the Three Gorges, through which the Yangtze River flows. It stretches from Wushan County, Chongqing Province to Badong County, Hubei Province. It is the most charging and graceful gorge of the Three Gorges with a deep, serene, and winding course. There are the famous Twelve Peaks of Wushan巫山十二峰 standing on both banks, among which the Goddess peak神女峰 is the most marvelous one.
Xiling Gorge is the longest in the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River and is famous for its rapid water. It is comprised of several smaller gorges named The Ox and Horse Lungs Gorge牛肝马肺峡, The Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge兵书宝剑峡, and Lantern Shadow Gorge灯影峡, and Kongling Gorge崆岭峡. It is regarded as the most dangerous one particularly when flowing through Hubei Zigui秭归 where the Qu Yuan was born. Qu Yuan was also the author of Chu Ci which is a precious treasure of Chinese literature.
Three Gorges was once the ancient battlefield for the Three Kingdoms period, thus there are still many historical sites, which are spread among the three gorges along the Yangtze River.
Located in Yunyang county, Zhang Fei temple from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.) honors the famous Shu Kingdom蜀国 General, after whom the temple was named.
Baidi City is a great site to know the history of Liu Bei, King of the Shu Kingdom, entrusting his sons to Zhuge Liang, his loyal minister before he died there and more interesting stories of the Three Kingdoms period thousands of years ago.
The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, has handled a flow equivalent to 90% of its maximum capacity. At the time of its completion in 2006, it was the largest dam structure in the world.
As the completion of the Three Gorges Dam which has raised the water level of the Yangtze River, some historical sites have been drowned out in the water, thus some of them can not be seen when going to the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River but could see some stone holes in the cliff in some sections. However, natural sightseeing and magnificent mountains and water, famous historical attractions still can be appreciated freely.