good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to china! welcome to hubei province!
today i am very pleased to show you three gorges of yangtze river.
atfirst i’ll have a brief introduction of yangtze river, the yangtzeriver, the biggest river in china, the third longest in the world,starts with the tuotuo river at the roof of the world -qinghai-tibetplateau, takes in countless rivers, and flows eastward across theinterior of china. with an overall length of more than 6,300kilometers, the yangtze river, next only to the amazon and the nile, isthe third biggest river in the world and is a cradle that breeds theancient civilization of the chinese nation.
when theyangtze river reaches the eastern sichuan basin in southwest china, itcuts through the wushan mountain. here the river course suddenlynarrows and the waters become turbulent. sheer cliffs and steepmountains rise on either side, creating one of nature's most fantasticsights. the three gorges---qutang, wuxia and xiling----start just afterfengjie and end near yichang, stretch about 200 kilometers. the gorgesvary from 300metres at their widest to less than 100 meters at theirnarrowest.
qutang gorge is the smallest and shortestgorge, but grandest of the three. the yangtze river, mighty and rapidhere is suddenly contained like "a thousand seas poured into one cup",as the song dynasty poet su tungpo described the spectacle. high on theboth bank, at a place called bellows gorge, are a series of crevices.this area is said to have been the home of an ancient tribe whosecustom was to place the coffins of their crevices, some containingbronze swords, armour and other artifacts, but the coffins are believedto date back as far as the warring states period
wugorge extends 40 kilometers along which the river snakes between basedstrange-shaped mountain peaks, each of which has a reputation based ona beautiful legend. the story of the "12 peaks of wushan goes likethis: 12 nymphs once descended to enjoy themselves in the secularworld. finding how perilous wushan gorge was, they decided to staythere to protect ships. as time went by, they transformed themselvesinto 12 peaks. the goddess peak, the most graceful of the 12, is saidto have been yaoji, the youngest daughter of the queen mother of thewestern heaven .goddess peak stands out from the other peaks on thenorthern bank to be the first to greet the morning sun and the last tobid it farewell, hence its another name, viewing the glow peak. seen ata distance, it resembles the silhouette of a beautiful young lady.
downstream from the zigzagging wuxia gorge is xiling gorge which stretches78 kilometers eastward and the cliffs on either side rise to just over900 meters. xiling gorge is awesome with its dangerous rapids, shoals,reefs, sharp turns, billowy whirlpools. the water at one point is soturbulent that it seems to be boiling during the flood season. xilinggorge in the east consists of several small gorges. on the top ofanother is a rock that looks like a sword. on the crag of the northbank are two pieces of brown rock, which are named bull's liver andhorse' lung, whose shape they take. next does the lantern shadow gorge,which has four rocks, resemble monk xuan zang and his threedisciples---monkey, piggy and sandy in the classic chinese adventuresof the four on their way to india to obtain buddhist scriptures.
aroundthe last bend of xiling gorge stretches a vast plain. the riversuddenly becomes wide here. travelers on the yangtze cruise may alsovisit many sites of historical and scenic interest along the riverbanks including the ruined of baidi town and precious stone village.
everyoneknows that the yangtze gorges are changing since the well-known threegorges dam project is being built at sabdouping, yichang, hubeiprovince. the dam is 181 meters in height. its construction investmentcomes up to 203.9 billion rmb, equals to 24.65 billion u.s. dollars.the installed power generation capacity is expected to be 18.2 millionkilo watts. with the dam built, the flood in the yangtze river valleywill be controlled, navigation improved besides the economic benefits.tourism will be little affected. many cultural and historical relicsare now being removed to a higher ground before the rise of the waterlevel approaches.