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Three Little Gorges

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  • Three Little Gorges
    Three Little Gorges
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    The Boatmen
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    Three Little Gorges Tour
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    Three Little Gorges
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    Clear Water of Three Little Gorges
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Three Little Gorges, consisting of Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge, and Dicui Gorge, is located at the Daning River, a distributary of the Yangtze River, so it is also called Daning River Three Little Gorges. Daning River was named Changhe River and Wuxishui in ancient times. It originates from the south side of Daba Mountain and merges into the Yangtze River at the west end of Wu Gorge. Running for over 250 km (155 miles), Daning River is one of the major distributaries of the Yangtze River. Three Little Gorges stretches for 60 km (37.3 miles) from the southern end of Longmen Gorge to Tujiaba. It is, though smaller in size than the magnificent Three Gorges, much more charming and coquettish than the Three Gorges.

Three Little Gorges area is located in the humid Subtropical Climatic Zone. The average annual temperature is 18.4°C (65.1°F); in the coldest month, January, the temperature averages 7.1°C (44.8°F), whilst the mean temperature is 29.3°C (84.7°F) in the hottest month, July. The yearly precipitation averages 1,000 – 1,400 mm, which mainly falls in July and August. In general, the area has a mild winter, a hot summer, and plenty of rainfall all the year round. However, in the deep and long valleys of Three Little Gorges, there is usually a strong east or west wind. At the bottom of the gorges, the sunshine duration is only two to three hours in winter and five to six hours in summer, so mist and clouds usually hover around the mountains. In hot summers, there are always heavy downpours with lightening and thunder, and the area is drizzly in winter.

Three Little Gorges Tour
Three Little Gorges is usually a short excursion of the Yangtze River Cruise. Visitors take a small ship (usually holding 20 visitors at a time) at the mouth of Daning River near Wushan County, and cruise upstream through Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge, and Dicui Gorge, and then reverse the trip back to their Yangtze cruise ship.

 Longmen Gorge
With a length of 3 km (1.9 miles), Longmen Gorge is also known as Mini Kui Gate for the two mountains facing each other look like the Kui Gate in Qutang Gorge. Cruising in the gorge, you will find a crystal spring running out from the cliff on the eastern bank of the river, which is named Longmen Spring; whilst the famous Sites of Daning River Ancient Plank Road can be found on the western bank. There are rows of square holes on the cliff about 15 meters (49 feet) above the river surface. The ancient people piled the holes as support and put wooden boards on to make up a plank road which was available for both people and livestock. The Sites of Ancient Daning River Plank Road totals 400 km (248 miles) in length.

 Bawu Gorge
Bawu Gorge is 10 km (6 miles) long, with grotesque peaks and strange-looking rocks along the riversides. One piece of rock looks like a flying dragon, and one is like a vicious tiger; some rocks resemble running horses, and some are like several monkeys hanging upside-down to fish something out of the river. In a cave on the eastern bank of Bawu Gorge, a black hanging coffin of the ancient Ba People (about 2,000 years ago) was found. As the coffin appears to be an iron coffin, the locals also named the gorge Iron Coffin Gorge.

 Dicui Gorge
As the name suggests, Dicui Gorge is covered with green plants along the 20 km (12 miles) valley ("dicui" is from a Chinese proverb "cui se yu di" which means glamorous emerald green). In the deep and tranquil Dicui Gorge, crystal spring flows out from emerald peaks. Dicui Gorge is not only famous for its natural scenery, but also the long history. About 10 km (6 miles) north of the mouth of Dicui Gorge, there is an ancient town named Dachang. First founded in the Jin Dynasty (265 - 420), it has a history of more than 1,700 years. Dachang Town is one of the largest towns along the Daning River, and it was an important port of Daning River as well as a distribution center for Chinese herb medicines and mountain products. In the town, buildings of the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties are still well-preserved now.

 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

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