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Yangtze River (Chang jiang)
Yangtze River is the longest river of Asia, about 6300 km (about 3937 mile) in length. It rises in the Kunlun Mountains in the southwestern section of Qinghai Province in China, and flows generally south through Sichuan Province into Yunnan Province, where, in the vicinity of Huize, it bends sharply to the northeast. Then, it flows generally northeast and east across central China through Sichuan, Hubei, Anhui, and Jiangsu Provinces to its mouth in the East China Sea, about 23 km north of Shanghai.
Situation of China
The headwaters of the Yangtze are situated at an elevation of about 16,000 ft. In its descent to sea level, the river falls to an altitude of 1000 ft. at Yibin, Sichuan Province, the head of navigation for riverboats, and to 630 ft. at Chongqing. Between Chongqing and Yichang , at an altitude of 130 ft. and a distance of about 320 km (about 200 meters), it passes through the spectacular Yangtze Gorges, which are noted for their natural beauty but are dangerous
Yangtze River situated in Chinamap


to shipping. Yichang, 1600 km from the sea, is the head of navigation for river steamers; oceangoing vessels may navigatethe river to Hankou , a distance of almost 1000 km from the sea. For about 320 km inland from its mouth, the river is virtually at sea level.

Principal Tributaries of Yangtze River
More than 1,683,500 sq km of territory is drained by the Yangtze and its branches. The principal tributaries are the Han, Yalong, Jialing, Min, and Tuo He , on the N and on the south, the Wu; at Zhenjiang, the Grand Canal links the Yangtze to the Huang He (yellow River). During periods of heavy rains, Lakes Dongting and Poyang receive some of the overflow of the Yangtze. Despite these outlets, floods caused by the river occasionally have caused great destruction of life and property. In the 20th century, devastating floods have occurred in 1905, 1980, and 1981.

Yangtze River Cruise

Transportation Network
With its numerous tributaries and feeders, the Yangtze provides a great transportation network through the heart of some of the most densely populated and economically important areas in China. Among the principal cities on the Yangtze, in addition to those cited in the foregoing, are Wuchang, Nanjing, Hanyang, and Anqing.Jiangsu Province,largely a deltaic plain consisting of silt deposited by the Yangtze, is one of the chief rice-growing areas of China.


Yangtze River Cruise
Although the entire river is known as the Yangtze River to foreigners, the Chinese apply that designation only to the last 480 or 645 km of its course, the portion traversing the region identified with the Yang kingdom (flourished about 10th century BC). From Its upper reaches to Yibin, the river is called the Jinsha River (Golden Sand) and various other names are applied in the provinces it traverses. The official name for the entire river is Chang Jiang ("Long River) or Yangtze River.

The Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam
Yangtze boasts of its great powerful hydro-energy that is inferior only to the rivers of Brazil. The famous water conservancy project Gezhouba and the Three Gorges Dam Project are to be found here. The Three Gorges Dam, which is still under construction, will eventually be the site of the world's largest hydroelectric power station.
Famous Stretches - Three Gorges
The river is typically divided into three sections, namely the upper, middle and lower reaches. The upper reach refers to the areas west of Yichang City. Here, the river current is rapid and powerful and with the surrounding mountains, forms a long picturesque natural corridor of mountains and rivers. The most famous stretches of the Yangtze are the Three Gorges known individually as the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges.
Qutang Gorge

Qutang Gorge - is the shortest but grandest of the three and is famous for its narrow water surface and precipitous cliffs.
Wu Gorge - is the most beautiful and orderly section with strange projecting mountains and rocks along the flexuous river. The mountains are named according to their particular shape and each has a beautiful legend.
Xiling Gorge - the longest one of the three, is well-known for its dangerous shoals, twisting water and steep reefs. The Three Gorges Dam is situated in the middle section of the Xiling Gorge.

More Attractions
In addition, there are many cultural features along the river, such as Fengdu -the Ghost City, the Precious Stone stronghold in Zhongxian, the Zhang Fei Temple in Yunyang county, the White Emperor City in Fengjie and the Huangling Temple.
The river currents in the middle and lower reaches are relatively slow and tame. The surface is quite broad forming many freshwater lakes. A wide variety of creatures including birds and fishes live there, among these the most famous and precious are the white cranes, the cowfish and the white-flag dolphins. Many important cities popular with tourists are scattered along the river, such as Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai.

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