Lesser Three Gorges
Situated on a tributary of the Yangtze River , Lesser Three Gorges are three sections of wushan valleys in mid-stream of Da Ning River. They are "Dragon-Gate Gorge", "Misty Gorge" and "Emerald Gorge", 60 Km in length. The Gorges are famous for crystal clear rapids and sky scraping cliffs. Taking a small boat drifting on the stream in the Lesser Three Gorges you could find out that you are just in the most beautiful picture. It was selected as one of the forty top tourist attractions in China in 1991, jointly by the tourists and the China Tourism Commissioner's votes and evaluation.
The Lesser Three Gorges excursion is undertaken in air-conditioned boats, whose strong experienced boatmen pole with all their might when the river is too shallow for the engine to be used, heaving their bodies forward as they thrust long iron-tipped bamboo poles into the riverbed, and following through until they are almost lying on their backs in their struggle against the current. Some of the local boats encountered are not motorized and the boatmen must tow the boats-- laden with local merchandise and coal-upriver, using a long bamboo rope and tracking in harness, along the water's edge or along cut pathways in the rock face. Negotiating a rapid may take several exhausting attempts before the boat is finally hauled over. Unfortunately, while the splendour of the scenery will remain, by 2003, the waters having risen about 50 metres (164 feet), the boatmen's poles will no longer touch bottom, the trackers’ paths will have disappeared, and this description will be a souvenir of times gone by.
The Lesser Three Gorges refers to the three separate valleys of the Daning River, namely "Dragon-Gate Gorge", "Misty Gorge" and "Emerald Gorge". These three gorges, with an area of 160 hectares of forest, lie on the lower reaches of Daning, extending from the entrance of the Dragon-Gate Gorge in the South to Tujiaba in the North for 50 km. Here sheer cliffs and steep mountains rise on either side, creating one of natural fine arts gallery as natural scenic wonders unfold on both banks of the river. Its "subtle mountains, clear waters, pretty rocks, dangerous rapids, sharp turns, fantastic caves, and stalactites in various shapes" characterize the natural landscape in the Lesser Three Gorges. Monkeys, mandarin ducks, water birds and fish can be seen in this area. In addition to the continuous natural scenery there are a number of historical places of interest along the way, such as suspending coffin, boat coffin, remains of ancient plank walkway. The area has been made one of the key nature reserves in China and is becoming known as a tourist attraction continuing to offer its charms along the golden Yangtze Gorges Travel Line. Dragon-Gate Gorge, 3 km long, is the shortest of the three, stretching from the Dragon-Gate Bridge to the Rapids of Silver Nest. It is spectacular due to the mountains on both sides that are so high that they seem to touch the sky. In the gorge, there are the remains of the longest ancient plank walkway in China and a number of scenic sights, such as the Dragon-Gate Spring, Gate Guarded by Lion, Nine Dragons Pillar, etc. Shooting the Rapids of Silver Nest, the boats fly like arrows. The Daning then meanders through terraced hillside before entering the Misty Gorge. The boat has to pass the Panda Cave, Nameless Gorge and Pipazhou.