The Yangtze, 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 kilometers.
Passing many 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):
Natural secenery and landscapes along the River are beautiful with many historical and cultural cities and towns, including Suzhou and Hangzhou. 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.
Sanxia, the Three Gorges, and other Natural Sites
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 name.
Qutang Gorge, 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.
The Lesser 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 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.
Scenes from Chang Jiang
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