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Shennong Stream

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  • Rafting at Shennong Stream
    Rafting at Shennong Stream
  • Shennong Stream
    Shennong Stream
  • Shennong Stream Scenery
    Shennong Stream Scenery
  • Shennong Stream Tour
    Shennong Stream Tour
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Originated from the southern slope of Shennongjia Mountain, Shennong Stream is a tributary of Yangtze River. The stream runs among deep valleys for 60 km (37 miles), taking in 17 smaller streams and 8 hundreds-meter-high waterfalls, and merges into the Yangtze River at Wu Gorge. Two villages on the riverside divide the stream into three smaller gorges: Mianzhu Gorge, Yingwu Gorge, and Longchangdong Gorge. Along the stream, there are also 60 karst caves of all sizes, where traces of ancient wars can be found.

Shennong Stream is located at the subtropical monsoon climatic zone, and the lowest temperature is -21°C (-5.8°F), whilst the highest temperature reaches 38.5°C (101.3°F).

Shennong Stream Tour 
The visit to the stream is a sidetrip during a Yangtze River cruise tour. Visitors disembark at Badong County and take a smaller ship to the entrance of Shennong Stream. Special local wooden boats (peapod boats) controlled by trackers are provided for a round trip in the stream, and visitors will rejoin the ship back to Badong County to embark the Yangtze cruise ship.

As the small boat drifting along the zigzagging watercourse, with birds' singing and the folk songs sang by the trackers hovering around ears, you can enjoy the steep and strange-looking cliffs and rocks, the limpid water, and the green plants. Before the Three Gorges Dam was built, the shallow runs of Shennong Stream is only 1 - 2 meters (3.3 - 6.6 feet), so the boats are entirely pulled or held back by trackers on the ropes, and you can even hear the crash between the boat and the rocks under water. However, after the dam is completed and the water level of the stream has risen to about 40 meters (131.2 feet), the trackers just row the boat and pull on the ropes at some curves of the stream.

 Mianzhu Gorge 
Mianzhu Gorge is known as the most dangerous of the three gorges in Shennong Stream. Along the 4 km (2.5 miles) watercourse, numerous karst caves with hanging stalactites are located on the steep cliffs. You will encounter over 30 treacherous shallows when negotiating the narrow but rapid stream. 

 Parrot Gorge (Ying Wu Xia)
Parrot Gorge has the best scenery of the three gorges in Shennong Stream. The evergreen plants along the banks are like green tassels hanging on cliffs, with waterfalls and springs flowing out from the green "curtains". At one section of Parrot Gorge, you can find flowers on the cliffs whenever you come, so it is called Nian Hua Tan, a shoal with blooming flowers all the year round.

 Longchangdong Gorge 
Longchangdong Gorge is 5 km (3 miles) long, with an average width less than 20 meters (22 yards). Cruising along the gorge, you find sites of ancient plank road and hanging coffins on the cliffs.

Shennong Stream Highlights 
At the headstream of Shennong Stream, Shennongjia Primitive Forest, there are many rare flora and fauna, such as flying squirrels, snub-nosed moneys, and serows, a kind of goat-antelope. The most famous specimens are the Chinese dove trees, which were thought to be extinct about two or three million years ago, but the trees in Shennongjia survived due to the unique environment there. The white flowers on the tree look like flying doves, thus the name dove tree.

The peapod boats and the trackers are also highlights of Shennong Stream. The boat is small and narrow, like half of a peapod. Made of the local oak trees, the boat is very light, so that it can float on the shallow. There are no engines on the boat, so it is pulled by trackers at shallow parts. A boat is usually pulled by 6 trackers, who sing workers chants together.

 Recommended Yangtze Cruise Itineraries: 
China Tour with Yangtze Cruise: 11-Day Small Group of Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai 
China Cities with Yangtze: 15 Days of Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangshuo, Guilin, Hongkong
Yangtze Package Tour: 4-Day of Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise, Yichang

Questions & Answers on Shennong Stream
  • My days are limited in China but I wish to do this Shennong Stream Tour as well as the Little 3 Gorges. Is it possible to do these 2 in the same day ? I will arrive by hydrofoil from the western side and head for Yichang after that by hydrofoil too. I guess this is the fastest method.

    Thank you.

    Asked By Stanley (Malaysia) | Oct. 02, 2014 00:12
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