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Lesser Three Gorges

Lesser Three Gorges is one of the exciting and famous stops in the Yangtze Three Gorges. It is often called the "highlight" of the Yangtze cruise, even the whole China trip.

Lesser Three Gorges refers to the three sections of Wushan valleys in mid-stream of Danning River, namely "Dragon Gate Gorge (Longmen Xia) ", "Misty Gorge (Bawu Xia) " and "Emerald Gorge (Dicui Xia) ". These three gorges, with an area of 160 hectares of forest, lie on the lower reaches of Daning. The Gorges are famous for crystal clear rapids and sky scraping cliffs. Clear water flows between precarious precipices and peaks covered with green trees and bushes. There are many historical places of interest along the way, such as suspending coffin, boat coffin and remains of ancient plank walkway.

Dragon Gate Gorge is the shortest of the three. It is 3 km long, stretching from the Dragon Gate Bridge to the Rapids of Silver Nest. The mouth of the gorge is like a massive gateway through which the river rushes like a green dragon. The mountains on both sides 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.

Misty Gorge, also known as Iron Coffin Gorge, starts at the Tortoise Shoal and ends at the Double-Dragon Town. The gorge is 10 km long and stalactites in numerous shapes and various sculptured groups have formed on both banks of the river. A long, layered formation, like a scaly dragon with its head stretching into a cave, can be seen on the eastern cliff. On the western cliff, there are stalactites shaped like a pair of horses.
Suspended upon the western precipice is an iron coffin, a relic of the ancient inhabitants of eastern Sichuan 2,000 years ago.

Emerald Green Gorge is 20 kilometers long and inhabited by wild ducks. The banks are covered with luxuriant bamboo groves from which raises a deafening cacophony of bird-song. Mandarin ducks swim in pairs in the river and monkeys leap from branch to branch. There are many scenic spots including the Water Curtain Cave, Stalactite Buddhism Cliff, the Dancing Rain from Heavenly Spring, Sheep Cliff, Imitation Plank Paths, Steel Rope Bridge, Sky-Scraping Red Wall, Boat Coffin, etc.

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