Imperial China, The Yangtze River & Tibet
May, 2007 an OAT Tour

The Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam Has Changed the Face of China

Scale model of the project
This scale model of the dam project shows the three major components:
  • 1. Dam to harness the river and produce electricity
  • 2. A unique and innovative elevator for small boats
  • 3. Two sets of five level locks for moving large
    ships from the river to the reservoir.

It is the largest dam in the world and not built without a great deal of controversy. It is over 600 feet high and more than a mile across. The Yangtze was a wild and unpredictable river capable of causing great human tragedy during the spring floods. The dam is intended to control the river's flow as well as provide a significant amount of electrical energy and irrigation to the heartland. Construction of the dam has created a 400 mile long reservoir through the scenic Three Gorges raising the water 175 meters (over 600 feet) dislocating a million people and obliterating many cultural sites. Many cities along have used the river to dump untreated waste and chemicals into the river which will no longer be flushed away. The reduced flow of the river may increase the silting up of the waterway and its tributaries. The engineers claim the silting can be prevented by flushing the dam on a regular, but controlled, bases. Naturally a project of this immensity creates new, and perhaps unforeseen, problems which remain to be solved. Only the future will tell whether the government is up to the task.

Boats moored side by side      >Life Saver

stairway in the cruise boat      We wait for our tour to be called

We depart the boat to tour the dam      The customs house

Boats are docked several thick along the warf      Market awaits us as we head for our bus

      Mothers are always proud to show off their children

We see the inovative small boat elevator which will be faster using the five level locks      The dam is over a mile long

We can buy a goard whistle      From the Jar Hill Observation platform we get a bird's eye view of the large boat locks

Lots of cement poured to make this dam      Markets are still open when we return

Time to stock up our liquor cabinet for the 4 day cruise      Only two brands of wine: Dynesty and Great Wall

We have to walk through another boat to get to ours moored on the outside      These are the largest locks in the world.  See how small the ships are coming out of the bottom lock on the right

We are headed into the lock.  See how deep they are.      An empty coal barge pulls along side.  It takes three hours to go through the locks

There were eight boats in our one lock - the size of the locks are mammouth      As we cruise up the Yangtze we observe an American custom: Cocktail hour

Index to all China 2007 Adventures:

The following pages are still under construction
so be patient and come back to watch its growth.

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This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

Bob at Grand Tetons, 2015
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015

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