The 60-kilometer tributary of the Yangtze River rises in the southern part of Shennongjia Natural Reserve and joins the Yangtze at Xirangkou in Hubei’s Badong County. It runs out of the deep valley through the forest at a height of 3000m above sea level, and rushes southward between rocky cliffs. It covers 60 km and totally 17 rivers and streams flow into it.
The crystal clear steam flows from north to south through deep gorges and finally it merges with the Yangtze at the east of the mouth of Wu Gorge. One relaxing ride of ferryboat passes along the Mianzhu, Yingwu and Longchang Gorges.
Precipitousness is the most noticeable characteristic of Mianzhu Gorge. Rocky cliffs rise steeply on both sides of the narrow river. Stalactites of all shapes sizes hang from the cliffs. The narrowest point of the gorge is only a bit over four meters wide. Here, the rocky walls stand so close across the river that they almost join together in the sky. This spot is called Yixiantian (A Rift in the Sky) where you can enjoy the life like Savage Palm and the Snake out of the cave.
Yingwu Gorge is famous for its natural beauty. Here, you can find flowers in full blossoms on all sides against the background of green hills; you can hear birds singing in the bushes and woods; you can walk through the dinging streams and take a drink in the clear springs; here, you can watch the "three color spring" shooting out of the cliff to forma 100" odd meter colored belt in the mid-air. The Swallow Cave is even more curious and marveling. This cave, home of thousands of short beaked golden swallows, is about 80 m in height and 30 m in breadth. About 50 m further into the cave, you can see tier upon tier of lava like terraced fields extending before your eyes. This spot is called the Thousand Fallow-Fields.
Longchang Gorge is noted for its magnificence. Here, the river cuts through the sheering up rocky cliffs and winds its way down the deep gully. Peak Baota (Tower) thrusts abruptly into the sky, and traces of ancient battles can still be found.
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