Tag Archives: Yangtze River cruise

Three-Gorges: lesser three gorges

This outing, commencing in Badong, is to an area where the streams drop directly into the reservoir formed by the Three Gorges Dam and is touted as an opportunity to see scenery reminiscent of how things were before the dam was built.

The area is very lovely. The outing consists of riding on a tourist ferry then embarking on a sampan to explore a stream that is tributary to the Yangtze.

A practical note, if you are planning to go: The sampan part was optional and cost a bit more, to stay on the ferry, which I believe travels farther on the more major tributary was included. If you are not fairly spry you might prefer to not go on the sampans.

Still working on the Daily Post Prompt:Gorge

Three Gorges-Wu Gorge

 

Wu is the middle gorge of the three gorges. It is between Wushan and Badong cities. You can see a larger version of any picture by clicking on it.

On the Yangtze River cruises there is an outing from Badong. I don’t know what the general rule is, or if there is one since we took different cruise lines different years, but going up the outing was to what they called the “lesser-three gorges” (hopefully my next post), going downstream last spring it was to Shennong Stream.

*If you read this post earlier: I made a mistake earlier and the actual name of the outing was “lesser three gorges”, sometimes called “mini-three gorges”, there is a similarly named “three gorges tribes” themed area in the Xiling Gorge.

Three Gorges-Qutang Gorge

Since I didn’t do a thorough job of assigning keywords to my pictures it is taking me some time to sort through my Gorge pictures.

Qutang Gorge

If you are heading down river the first gorge of the three gorges is Qutang Gorge. It starts at the White Emperor City (Baidicheng) and ends at Daxi. Here are some images from two trips through the Qutang gorge. In fall of 2014 my Dad and I went up river and in spring of this year, 2017, my son and I went downriver. The photos with brown water are from the fall of 2014, right after a flood, which washed a lot of soil and trash into the river. The ones from the spring of 2017 are, I’ve been told, the more normal water color.

Shennong Stream

I’m still working my way slowly down the Yangtze, photo-wise. The last “shore excursion” on our cruise didn’t include going ashore…or any steps.

They loaded us onto a passenger ferry in Badong, which took us to Shennong Stream, where they loaded us into sampans to go upstream. 


Before Dam the stream was too shallow to row and the boatmen would hop out and pull the boats…often in the nude. Our boatmen didn’t doff their clothes but they did demonstrate jumping off, pulling and jumping back on. 

The peak experience happened when our guide, Cherry, and one of the boat men started singing Chinese folk songs as we glided along through the mountainous landscape. It was as if we landed in a living Chinese painting.

Even more steps

I was determined to not miss a single opportunity. My tenacity meant tired legs. But the offered sedan chairs were scarier to me than tired tootsies. The thought of two tiny Chinese kids hauling my well-rounded self up steep stone stairs made me feel a bit queezy. So up I went.

The third shore excursion on our Yangtze cruise was White Emperor City. Like the first two it was at the top of a hill accessed by lots of stone steps. All of the other English speaking folks on our cruise didn’t opt in so my son and I tagged along with a Chinese group. James speaks Chinese so we figured we could manage. But it turned out that the guide spoke excellent English and after each stop she took us aside and explained. So it was like having a private tour. She even translated famous poetry off the cuff.

The White Emperor City was different fundamentally from The other two: it was not a shrine or religious site. It was a memorial to the White Emperor, a man named Gongsun Shu. He was a local king who did well for his area and was considered loyal. He was moved to become emperor after a dream about a white dragon going upward to the sky.

This site had a good display and explanation about “hanging coffins” and a very good view of Kuiwen (the “gate” to the western-most of the Three Gorges) as well. More about that later.