Home : China Guide : Hubei : Three Gorges
From east to west, Qutang Gorge measures 8 kilometers, starting from Baidicheng and ending at Daixi township. With vertical cliffs of some thousand meters high as its two flanks, the Qutang Gorge is only a few dozens of meters wide just like a narrow gateway. With swash and rumble, the surging Yangtze River pours into the gateway with great momentum. Looking up towards the tops of towering precipitous mountains along the Gorge, one sees from a boat only a narrow strip of clouds and sky, but under foot the River tears on violently.
As you travel downstream, this is the first of the three gorges of the Yangtze River. Ninety-three kilometers long, it is flanked on both sides by steep mountain peaks and is often veiled by a thick mist on the river. The river suddenly narrows here to a width of 100 meters (150 meters at the widest point), and Qutang Gorge is therefore known as the "throat" between Sichuan and Hubei provinces. Sheer precipices on both sides form a colossal gate over the river, called Dragon Gate (Kuimen). The water roars through the gorge like galloping horses. To the north of the gorge there are several scenic spots including the town of Baidi, the Overhanging Monk Rock (Daoguaheshangshi), the Mengliang Ladder (Mengliangti), Bellows Gorge (Fengxiangxia), the Ancient Passageway (Guzhandao), and Pheonix Spring (Fenghuangquan).
This city is an important port on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, 327 kilometers from Chongqing. Nestling against a mountain and facing the river, Wanxian is well known for its natural beauty and such ancient sites as Liuhuan Pond, Fairy's Bridge (Tianxianqiao), and the stone tablets on Western Hill. Master Li Bai's Rock (Taiyan) on Western Hill is said to have been where the great Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai (701-762) once studied. Wanxian produces fur products, medicinal herbs, tea, and bamboo articles.
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