an Aerial View
a distance of 6,380 kilometers, the mighty Chang Jiang, meaning "Long River",
is the longest river in China
and Asia and the third longest in the world after the Amazon in South America
and the Nile in Africa. Also called the Yangtze
River, it is like the Huang He in that it is
a cradle of the ancient Chinese people.
arising in Tibet in the
glaciers and snow-covered mountains of the "Roof of the World", the
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and fed by hundreds of tributaries, wanders eastward
across the mainland of China.
It makes an incessant rush to Shanghai and
empities into the East China Sea. The
enormous and inexhaustible hydroelectric resources of the Yangtze, producing
no waste gases, no waste water, nor waste residues, is superior to oilfields
and coalfields and therefore is considered the "King" of all
energies capable of generating huge profits with a minimum input. From its
source to its estuary, the Yangtze River
meanders over 6,300 kilometers. Its annual runoff is up to 268 million
of the large and important cities of China, the river has been an
important trade and transportation route since ancient times. The major
cities through which the Yangtze River flows
are (east to west):
a Yangtze River Bridge
Jiangjin, Chongqing, Peiling, Zigui, Jiangling, Yueyang, Wuhan, Anqing, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, and Shanghai. In addition,
along the River, one feels merged with nature and will have a chance to
explore the mysterious ancient country of China in the Orient and to learn
the life of country people.
secenery and landscapes along the River are beautiful with many historical
and cultural cities and towns, including Suzhou
There is a saying that goes: "The best place in the heavens is paradise;
the best place on the earth is Suzhou-Hangzhou." Other places the river
goes through are: Tai Lake; Naning, once the ancient capitals of China as well as the political and cultural
center in the Southeast; Mount Lu, a summer resort; and Wuhan.
Three Gorges, and other Natural Sites
The most impressive section of the river are the three Yangtze
River gorges: the Qutang Gorge, the Wuxia Gorge, and Xiling
Gorge, collectively known as Sanxia, or the Three Gorges.
With Baidi City,
Fengjie in the Sichuan province to the west
end, and Nanjin Pass of Yichang in the Hubei
province at the east, the Three Gorges, Qutang, Wu and Xiling, total 192
kilometers in length.
Wu Gorge, 44
kilometers long, is known for its deep valleys and quiet beauty. The "Twelve Peaks" lining the banks of Wu
Gorge have been admired by visitors from all over the world. Among the twelve
peaks at the Wu Gorge, the Goddess
Peak is the most
exquisite. It is said that if you look carefully, a silhouette of a goddess can
be seen at the top of Goddess
Peak, and hence its
known for its magnificence, is only 8 kilometers long with many scenic spots.
These include the Meng Liang Staircase, the Ancient Plank Road, the Kui Gate, the Seven Gate Cave,
the Bellows Gorges, and the Rhinoceros Watching the Moon.
San Xia Close-up
extending 66 kilometers in length and full of turbulent currents and
whirlpools, is one of the most dangerous shoals. It is composed of many
scenic spots, such as "Military Manual and Precious Sword Gorge",
"Ox's Live and Horse's Lung Gorge", "Kongling Shoal", and
"Shadow-Play Gorge". Among the cultural relics in the gorge are
"Huangling Temple" and the "Three Travellers
Three Gorges, referring to the three separate valleys of the Daning River, are respectively called
"Dragon-Gate Gorge", "Misty Gorge", and "Emerald
Gorge". With clear water flowing fast through the gorges and precipices
and peaks towering to the sky, one can take a small boat to enjoy these
extremely marvellous spectacles of nature.
The Red Cliff
is situated in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, about 38 kilometers
from the northwest of Puqi
City. It is an
important scenic spot of the ancient Three Kingdoms
and Three Gorges.
The Red Cliff
includes three parts - Chibi Hill, Nanpin Hill, and Jinluan Hill. The Chibi
Hill faces the Yangtze river in the north,
and the two characters "Chibi" (Red Cliff) are clearly carved in
it. At the top of the hill stand the "Yijiang Pavilion" and a huge
stone statue of Zhou Yu, chief commander of Wu State. On the east side of the
hill stands the Museum of the Red Cliff Battle which is the first museum
based on ancient battles in China.
60-kilometer Shennong Stream rises in the southern part of the Shennongjia
Reserve. The stream flows north to south through deep gorges and finally
merges with the Yangtze at the mouth of the Wu Gorge. The crystal clear and
unpolluted water flows very swiftly, and a tour by Sampan will give you an
idea of just how powerful the current is in this rapid stream. The Shennong
Stream is indeed a very attractive scenic spot.