The reason that this is the most expensive project in the history of mankind, another Chinese claim, is the amount of new bridges, roads, cities and infrastructure that has been built to relocate the residents of the Yangtze River.
As the water inches it way to the 175 meter target, all of the roads and cities will be underwater. For this reason alone you can marvel at the number of new bridges of all shapes and sizes that are being built along the entire stretch of water from Yichang to Chongqing
The Biggest Dam in the world….NOT!
Yes, the Three Gorges Dam is Impressive.
Yes, the Three Gorges Dam is an engineering miracle.
Yes, the Three Gorges Dam is the most expensive engineering project in the world to date.
The Chinese are a constantly advising you that they have the biggest this and the biggest that, even if they have to stretch the truth a little! We were constantly told that Three Gorges dam is the largest Dam in the world.
Well, it is not the largest dam in the world at all. The Chinese believe that they can claim this status because they used the most amount of cement in the world to build a dam. (That therefore makes it the biggest dam in the world does it not?)
The 5 ship locks that make up the Three Gorges Dam are very impressive indeed. Each of the locks will either raise or lower ships by approx 23 meters each so that they can descend or ascend the dam face and continue with their journey.
From the minute you enter the first lock until the minute you depart the fifth takes approx 3.5 hours.
From Yichang you travel for approx 30 minutes before arriving at the Three Gorges Dam visitor center. The security at this site is just as intense as though you were checking in for an international flight.
Once you are through the security process you board a small bus that takes you to the dam wall. The day we were there it was very smoggy and the view was not very spectacular. (The photograph attached here was taken from a photo board at the dam site.) Although it was very smoggy you could still see the armed guards standing at numerous checkpoints! Understandably, we were not allowed to photograph them!
A lot of mountains are here around Yichang. The senery there is gorgeous. About 2 hours mountain road from Yichang city, you can appreciate it on the bus. You can even see the great waterpower project of "Sanxia" along the road. So you will not feel boring on the way.
The destination is called "Jiuwan Xi". We will begin our drifting on the top of a mountain. It is embeded in a group of mountains. So in the nearly four hours drifting, you always feel like live in a magical place. But you may probably not have enough tnergy to enjoy it, because the current sometime is so strong and quick that you must try your best to keep balance of your small boat. It is very exciting and of course challenging.
Not sure if this should go under Off-the-beaten path, but being so easy to get there by bus, I have to say that you simply don't have an excuse to miss it! This is the largest dam on Earth! Some say it's even visible from outerspace. Remember the other man-made object visible from outerspeace? You're right, both the Great Wall of China and the Three Gorge Dam are visible from outer space.
This construction project is amazing! You trully feel like a little person in here... look at the big construction trucks and cranes. Take your time going up hill to the construction museum. Once there, don't forget to look around you to see the area from atop the hill... really puts things into perspective no?
The life standard of Chinese people have been improved, but still many peoples' life is not as easy as others. For a 3-people family like this, they sure would not mind getting some help moving up in life.
I was so ignorant that I did not know the internal part of an aligator's mouth was yellowish (thought was pinkish/reddish). I walked by this giant, which lying still on the grass with his mouth widely open (waiting for small animals to jump in?), I thought it was a sculpture!
If you are thirsty, it is safe to buy bottled water from street vendors like shown on the street. The bottled water is very cheap.
We were told some people put sub-standard quality water into bottles and make profit. Your life is in their hands, so do check the seal, and do buy name brand.
The Ge Zhou Dam is only about 0.5 km east of the cruise dock, and it is also a top tourist place.
The lock opens and closes many times everyday letting boats passing through (including those cruise boats leaving from or going to Wuhan).
This is the main square in Yichang and is quite pleasant with some nice flower beds and grass. It is surrounded by shops, offices and restaurants.
This is a fairly pleasant enough park, in Yichang, that runs along the side of the river and features some nice modern pavilions and garden areas.
We saw one of the many small villages on the banks of the 3 Gorges which will be submerged forever when the Dam is completed in just 3 or 4 years.
So as the younger ones, plus they have a bottle of beer for themselves.
A snack store in the mansion sells various type of snack, hot tea, cold drink (or lukewarm) and beer for visitors.
A homeless sitting at the bank of the river, waving to the wave of the mighty Yangtze River. I wished that I could have figured out what in his mind was.