Robin's Adventures

An Asian Adventure

The Second Gorge

Wu Gorge is about 25 miles long and, as a result of the deep canyons, tends to trap clouds and fog in the gorge creating a rather ethereal appearance. The area is also covered in lush vegetation. Surrounding the gorge are twelve peaks that are not only steeped in local legend, but also are incredibly scenic.

More Second Gorge

The peaks and walls of the mountains in Wu Gorge were very distinctive and unique. We were not sure we could identify the twelve peaks that this area is noted for, but we did greatly appreciate the spectacular rock outcrops that sprang up on both sides of the gorge.

Badong Ferry

We boarded a small ferry boat for a ride along the Shennong Stream between the second and third gorges. We saw some beautiful scenery, including several small gorges. The ferry took us to a place where we could take a ride on a sampan.

More Badong Ferry

As we moved along the Shennong Stream, one noteworthy sight was a suspended coffin. Holes are chiseled into the rock on each side of a natural fracture in the bluff. Then wooden stakes are inserted into the holes and the coffin is placed on top of the stakes.

The custom of using suspended coffins was regularly practiced by the Pu People. The greater the respect for the deceased, the higher up the cliff the coffin was hung.

We also had an opportunity to see a sandal making demonstration by one of the locals.


Much to the delight of the ten passengers in the boat, five Tujia boatmen piloted a long narrow sampan, 42 feet long and 6 feet wide, along the Shennong Stream.

In areas too shallow to paddle, the boatmen climb onto shore and pull the boat with a rope. The Tujia people are an ethnic minority in China and they have been boating this way for many generations.

On the Yangzi Explorer

At the beginning of the cruise we enjoyed meeting the captain at the captain's cocktail party. At the end of the cruise there was a 15 course farewell banquet. In between, we went through the locks at the Three Gorges Dam.

There are two sets of locks that each are comprised of five stages. It took us about four hours to get through the locks.

Third Gorge

Xiling Gorge, at about 41 miles long, is the longest of the three gorges. In reality, four smaller gorges make up Xiling Gorge.

Before the construction of the dam in the middle of Xiling Gorge, the strong rapids and whirlpools in this gorge made travel through the area very treacherous. Now the water is much calmer and the scenery is magnificent.

Three Gorges Dam Project

The Three Gorges Dam Project not only produces hydroelectric power, but also has led to a major increase in the shipping capacity on the Yangtze River. There are 32 major turbines at the dam which each have a capacity of 700 megawatts.

The construction of the dam took 18 years and forced the relocation of 1.4 million people.


Our journey along the Yangtze River ended in the city of Yichang. We had a few hours before we boarded our flight to Shanghai, so we saw some of the local sights.

The Tianran Pagoda is 138 feet tall and has seven levels. There are stone Buddhist warriors at the base of the pagoda in order to hold it up.

As we walked along the path at the waterfront, we could see the railway bridge spanning the river and several clusters of small gazebos that were designed for people who want a peaceful place to enjoy their tea.

We also noticed the outdoor fitness equipment in the park. This type of equipment has been prevalent throughout China as part of their program to promote exercise and physical activities.


After a two hour flight, we arrived in Shanghai. We stayed in the Peninsula Hotel and had a beautiful view of the Bund and Huangpu River.