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Yichang -- An Entrepot on the Yangtze
Yicahng, located at the Xiling Pass on the Jiaozuo-Zhicheng Railway in western Hubei Province, is a transit hub on the Yangtze River. An important river port on the border of Sichuan and Hubei, it has always been a strategic point in history. In recent years, Yichang has emerged as a new industrial city.

Three Visitors Cave (Sanyoudong)

This cave lies halfway up the steep face of Xiling Mountain about ten kilometers northwest of Yichang. Legend says that three great poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Bai Juyi (772-846), Yuan Zhen (779-831), and Bai Xingjian (776-826), once came to visit the cave together. Each of them wrote a poem in praise of the scenery there, and then Bai Juyi (Bai Xingjian's brother) wrote a "Preface to Poems Written when Three Friends Visiting a Cave" and that is how the cave got its name. The interior of the cave is an irregular rectangle, about 30 meters long, 23 meters wide, and 9 meters high, with jagged rocks that give the cave an element of mystery and wonder. Huge stalactites hanging in a row like pillars separate the cave into two parts. The front part is bright and spacious, it stone walls covered with poems and inscriptions by visitors. The rear part is dark and serene, with a narrow side passage leading to the outside. The smooth, round ceiling of the rear cave resembles the face of a clock; and when struck with a stone, it sounds like a chime. When the stone falls to the ground, the sound is more like that of a drum. This phenomenon has been called the "heavenly clock and earthly drum."

Tianran Pagoda

Some seven kilometers to the east of the city, Tianran Pagoda is said to have been built by Guo Pu (276-324), a noted scholar of the Jin Dynasty. The existing brick and stone structure was rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The octagonal seven-level pagoda is 42 meter high and is supported by eight stone Buddhist warriors at its base. The top of the pagoda provides a fine view of the port of Yichang, the boats on the river, and the wooded Wulong (Five Dragon) hill (Wulongshan) on the opposite bank. At sunrise, the reflection of the pagoda in the river meets the reflection of Five Dragon Hill, and the scene has been described as "the whip beating the dragons."

Gezhouba Dam

About five kilometers west of the city, the gigantic Gezhouba Dam is a newly constructed water control project on the Yangtze River. The hydraulic power station is two hundred meters in length and seventy meter in height. The mist-covered waters of the reservoir, with the rolling mountains on it banks, form an unforgettable sight- a landscape painting comes to life.


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