Daning River and Less Three Gorges
Daning River is a tributary of Yangtze River at Three Gorges area. The river winds its way 33 kilometers (20 miles) through the beautiful Lesser Gorges; birds singing and monkeys chattering can sometimes be seen from both banks. The water is strikingly clear in contrast to the muddy, turgid waters of the Yangtze.
The first is Dragon Gate Gorge. In this gorge, the river ranges from only ten to thirty meters wide while the cliffs on either bank soar to an average of 800 to 1000 meters. Mysterious plants and fungus of longevity (lingzhi) are said to grow high up on the cliff face.
Two rows of square holes extending the entire length of the gorges are all that remain of ancient plank walkway. The walkway allowed easier access to salt mines far up the river. The existence of the walk way was recorded in 246 BC and was finally destroyed by the Imperial Ming army during the 17th century after a peasants uprising.
Each gorge is separated by lush terraced fields where a variety of crops grow during all four seasons of the year.
In the Misty Gorge, a 2,000-year-old "hanging" coffin can be seen suspended on a precipice high up on the cliff-face. The coffin is a relic left over from the Ba people who inhabited the gorges region 3,500 to 1,800 years ago. At one time hundreds of these coffins could be seen throughout the Three Gorges and the Daning River , suspended from seemingly inaccessible areas on the cliff-side. The Emerald Green Gorge, the farthest from Wushan, is covered with lush bamboo grooves and foliage. The return trip downstream to Wushan is usually made in less than half the time required for the upstream boat ride.
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