This gorge extends from the western tip of Wushan County at the mouth of Daning River to Badong County, a distance of 24.8 miles to the east. The western section is called the Gold Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge while the eastern section is called the Iron Coffin Gorge. On either side there are peaks and green vegetation. The gorge zigzags and the waterway is no more than 328 feet in width. There are three platforms - Chopping Off Dragon Platform, Chuyang Platform and Book Presenting Platform.
Chopping Off Dragon Platform
It is a raised semi-spherical stone plate shaped like a drum on the west shore of Cuokai Gorge. Legend says that Da Yu chopped off the head of the Jade Dragon, which had wrought havoc to people by causing constant floods.
It is on Gaodu Mountain, Wushan County. Prince Chu was said to have had a rendezvous with the Fairy of Wushan there. There is also an ancient temple, Gaotang Temple, which was built 1,000 years ago and still stands today.
Book Presenting Platform
It is half way across the mountain at Feifeng Peak on the southern shore of the Wu Gorge. Yao Ji, the fairy, was said to have handed a book to Da Yu to help him conquer floods. The temple, built in the Tang Dynasty, is dedicated to the memory of the fairy.
The 12 Peaks of the Wushan Mountains
This is the most splendid scenery in the Wu Gorge. The 12 Peaks are spread on both shores of the Yangtze, forming a vista of mountains and rivers.
Fairy Peak is on the northern shore of Wu Gorge and is the most famous of the 12 Peaks of Wushan. A huge limestone column stands 20 feet high atop the mountain. It resembles a standing girl with exquisite figure. Legend says that the column is the embodiment of a celestial girl, named Yao Ji, daughter of the Queen of the West. She descended from heaven to help Da Yu to conquer floods. She decided to stay among men to ensure the safety of boats that pass through the Three Gorges. Standing out from clouds and fog, she appears beautiful and mysterious.
The county is situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and Daning Rivers, at the northern end of Wu Gorge. It is a picturesque place with a long history dating back to the Spring and Autumn Period. It was named Wushan in the Sui Dynasty. The famous poet Lu You said that as the county is located in the gorge, it is provided with a magnificent view. Visitors to the county can view the clouds and rain of the Wushan Mountains, the Lu You Cave and the features of Fairy Peak. It is a popular place for tourists visiting the Three Gorges.
Stone Tablet Inscription
Written by Zhuge Liang
(also known as the Kong Ming Tablet)
This is on Jixianfeng Peak on the northern shore of the Yangtze River. There is a huge grotto on a precipice. Words in six Chinese characters describe Wu Gorge as having rock after rock and peak after peak. Some of the words are hard to read as a result of erosion. They were written in the Three Kingdoms Period by Zhuge Liang.
Lianxiahe Scenic Spot
This is 16.5 miles south of Badong County in Hubei Province. It is around 3,280 feet above sea level and 494 acres in area. The clear water, natural beauty and elegant scenery attract many visitors. The shores are dotted with precipices, and the area includes a zone of strange and rare flora, in which monkeys play. Visitors interested in the customs of minority groups will enjoy a warm welcome at the Tujia ethnic village.
The Temple of Qu Yuan,
Former Home of Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan (340 B.C.-278 B.C.) lived in the State of Chu during the Warring States Period. A temple was built in Zigui, birthplace of the poet, where a bronze statue now stands. The Qu Yuan Memorial Hall is in the main architectural structure and the tomb of Qu Yuan is located in the back.
Lepingli or Luojiaoping is the birthplace of Qu Yuan. It is 18 miles east of Zigui County. There are many historic sites, such as the Reading Cave and Poetry Reciting Platform. A well, which served as a mirror for Qa Yuan is still remain.
Plank Road in Wu Gorge
Extending over 18.6 miles is a plank road built on the cliff from Wushan County to Qinglianxi (Green Lotus Stream) at the border of Hubei Province. At a distance the plank road looks like a flying dragon, long and majestic.
Lesser Shennongjia Scenic Spot
This is a natural area in the north of Badong County, Hubei Province south of Greater Shennongjia; it is 9,858 feet above sea level. A drive by car from the county will take visitors to the head of the scenic spot, the Badong Scenic Extension area, known as a green treasury Shennongjia, which is mysterious and breath taking virgin area. The Lesser Shennongjia scenic route embraces river and highway and takes two to three days. It gives visitors good views of the high mountains and steep cliffs. Visitors may also raft along the river to Shennong Stream.
Badong is in Hubei Province on the southern shores of Xiangxiliang Valley between Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge. It links Sichuan and Hubei, is an important distribution center for goods in Hubei and Sichuan provinces. Badong has a long history. Kou Zhun, the famous prime minister of Northern Song Dynasty, served here as a county magistrate for three years. Qiufeng Pavilion is a place well worth visiting. It is a wooden structure, over 65 feet high and commands a good view of surroundings. Literary men of all dynasties came here to drink wine and compose essays and poems.
Situated in the broad Xiangxi River valley, east of Wu Gorge, Zigui is a famous historic city. It was called Guizhou in the old days when Liu Bei used it as a transit point to ship food and fodder to the army. It was the birthplace of Qu Yuan, the poet and patriot. Many sites associated with the poet can be seen during the tour. The former town of Zigui is now referred to as Guizhou.
Xiangxi Stream, Former Home of Wang Zhaojun
Xiangxi Stream is between Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge, and is a tributary of the Yangtze. By proceeding from the upper reaches of Xiangxi Stream visitors can arrive at Zhaojun Village. Zhaojun was an imperial concubine in the Han Dynasty. She volunteered in 33 B.C. to enter into a marriage with an ethnic tribal leader beyond the Great Wall. She played a considerable role in preventing a military invasion, by becoming the wife of Chan Yu, chief Huhanye. Places and objects in the village associated with her can be found such as her dressing table, Niangniang Platform, the residence of Zhaojun, Purple Bamboo Garden and the Pavilion.
The Holy Farmer (a legendary figure who invented the plough) Stream is in west Hubei Province. It is over 37.2 miles long and runs from north to south, to empty into the Wu Gorge in the east. Floating on the stream has become a visitor activity. Visitors float in a broad beamed boat, which takes them to Mianzhu Gorge, Yingwu or Parrot Gorge and Longchang Gorge. The waterway is narrow and luxurious vegetation covers both shores. Monkeys and wild goats can be seen and the atmosphere is rustic. Plank roads on the cliffs and hanging coffins are also visible.