Three Gorges Dam




Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges DamThe best way to see the Three Gorges Dam is by riverboat. There are tours departing from both Wuhan and Chongqing going up and downstream. You can also take luxury cruises leaving from Shanghai. The dam is a part of any Three Gorges tour. It is the largest hydropower station and dam in the world. A mile and a half long, it’s designed to take ocean-going ships 1,500 miles inland to Chongqing. It was also originally slated to provide 10% of China’s electricity. China has grown and, as our guide told us, it may only provide 3% or 4% of China’s current power demand. Due to the rising of the Changjiang river many towns and villages were forced to move to higher ground. This summer we were still able to see the ruins of abandoned cities, but the guide said they would be under water by September.

Three Gorges Dam parkA tour of the dam includes a stop at the memorial park. There is a large outdoor amphitheater that is designed to look like the under-construction dam, with large cranes supporting the lights. The size of everything is huge, including a massive bulldozer used to push large cement boulders into the channel when diverting the water. It took about three hours for our ship to pass through the system of locks which was just enough to see all the sites, drive around, and have dinner. The boat ride was pleasant, but after four days it got a little stale. Fortunately the tour boats stop often to see sites, although some sites were of marginal interest.

November 28th, 2006