Backing up the Yangtze

Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
Trip End Mar 25, 2007

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Monday, October 16, 2006

This entry focuses on a 3 day trip we took though the 3 gorges from Chongqing to Wuhan... the boat portion concluding at the 3 gorges dam. Remember, a few weeks prior, we were scaling the cliffs at Tiger Leaping Gorge amazed by the beauty of the place... We were equally amazed that the dam construction would start soon and the Chinese would fill up yet another natural beauty in their country.

While in Tiger Leaping gorge, we thought "they won't dam up such a monumental and gorgeous land mark, right?" Well...... now we get to see first hand how wrong we were.... we floated down the river to see first hand how they flooded 3 of the former world's largest gorges all with one fail swoop. The 3 Gorges Dam was controversial around the world... but not in China. This sign of China's power over nature is built and operating... its done. The people have been bombarded over the last 20 years with 3 main propaganda slogans: More electricity, easier navigation, and flood control. Now that the dam is built it is apparent that the propaganda worked. The people are indifferent to the destruction caused by backing the river up 500 km, raising the level 175m... and actually are in most cases supportive of the project.

We floated down the Three Gorges portion of the river (between Chongqing and Yichang) as they filled up the reservoir. So, when asked if we think China will flood Tiger Leaping Gorge..... our guess is 'yes.'

Should you do this trip? Well, the 3 gorges is interesting but in our opinion, only if you are able to see this part of the river before the reservoir is completely full. The beauty on a 1-10 scale is about a 3... the Yangtze is lined with factories, the gorges have lost their might (as the water level is 550 feet higher) and the corny tourist sites are comical (to be put lightly). However, to see entire cities being submerged is interesting. Sad, but interesting. So take a look at the pics :)
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