Wu Gorge in Yangtze River – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Transportation, and Highlights

wu gorge in yangtze river

Wu Gorge, also known as Wuxia Gorge (巫峡), is a remarkable natural wonder located along the Yangtze River in China. Stretching for a total of 46 kilometers, it extends from the eastern town of Danninghe in Wushan County to Guandu Kou in Badong County, earning its reputation as one of the most magnificent gorges in the famed Three Gorges region.

Wu Gorge distinguishes itself as the most contiguous and orderly of the three gorges. It is divided into two distinct segments: the western section comprises Jin Kui Yin Jia Gorge and Jian Chuan Gorge, while the eastern section includes Tie Guan Gorge and Men Shan Gorge. This gorge is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, marked by its elegance and depth, soaring peaks, and winding, mist-shrouded river.

The natural splendor of Wu Gorge comes to life through its long and deep valley, jagged peaks that seem to defy gravity, layered ranges and ridges, ever-changing clouds and mists, meandering river bends that twist and turn, creating a mesmerizing journey for those who traverse its waters. It’s as if you are sailing through a magnificent art gallery, brimming with poetic and picturesque scenery.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourA day
Ticket PriceFree, but you need to pay for the boat cruise and attractions on the banks
Opening HoursTypically, there are two shifts of cruises every day, one departs at 10.00 am throughout the year, and the other departs at 13.00 from 1st October to 30th April and 14.00 from 1st May to 30th September.

Location and Transportation

Wu Gorge is located in the region between Wushan County in Chongqing and Badong County in Hubei, China. It spans from the western Danninghe River mouth in Wushan to the eastern Guandu Kou in Badong.

To get to Wu Gorge in the Three Gorges region, there are a couple of transportation options available. Here are two common routes to reach this stunning location:

  1. By Land Route:
    • Start your journey in Chongqing city. You can reach Chongqing’s comprehensive interchange hub or Longtousi Bus Station, which are located approximately four kilometers from the city center.
    • From either of these locations, you can take a county-level bus to Wushan. The cost for the bus ticket is around 179 RMB per person. The bus ride will take approximately 5 hours to reach Wushan.
    • Alternatively, you can take a high-speed train to Wushan at Chongqing North Railway Station. This option costs about 200 RMB but only takes 2.5 hours.
    • Once you arrive at Wushan, head to Wushan Bus Terminal.
    • From the bus terminal in Wushan, you can choose between two options:
      • Take Bus No. 101 or 105 for about 1.5 RMB per person. The bus ride takes roughly 20 minutes to reach your destination.
      • Alternatively, you can opt for a taxi, with fares typically starting at 5 RMB. The taxi ride will take approximately 10 minutes to reach the Small Three Gorges Visitor Reception Center, which is your gateway to Wu Gorge.
  2. By Water Route:
    • Begin your journey by taking a high-speed hydrofoil boat from Chaotianmen Dock in Chongqing. This boat ride will take about 8 hours to reach Wushan directly.
    • Upon arrival in Wushan, you can transfer to a public bus that will take you to Longmen Ferry Dock, which serves as a gateway to the Small Three Gorges area.

Highlights of Wu Gorge

Wushan Twelve Peaks

Wu Gorge is home to the famous Wu Shan Twelve Peaks, situated on both the northern and southern banks. These peaks reach high into the sky, standing vertically, and plunge deep into the river. Within the gorge, the ethereal interplay of clouds and mists dances, creating an ever-changing and enigmatic ambiance that adds to their grace. Among these peaks, the Goddess Peak (Shennv Feng) stands out as the most renowned. At its pinnacle stands a slender stone pillar resembling a graceful young woman. This peak is the first to welcome the dawn’s rosy hues and the last to bid farewell to the evening’s glow, hence its moniker, the “Sunrise Watching Peak.”

Kongming Stele

kongming stele in wu gorge

The Kongming Stele, a stone tablet, is another remarkable feature of Wu Gorge. It is nestled under the Celestial Peak (Xian Feng) near the river’s edge, its surface smoothed and polished as though by meticulous carving and sculpting. In one of its concave surfaces, a monumental inscription said to be that of the legendary Zhuge Liang, known as Kongming, can be found. The inscription was believed to contain his significant strategic treatise, “The Debate at Longzhong,” signifying his intent to ally with Wu against the Wei state. However, it is important to note that the Kongming Stele was not actually inscribed by Zhuge Liang, and the inscription itself does not correspond to “The Debate at Longzhong.” Over the years, erosion and weathering have made many of the inscriptions nearly illegible, and only a few remain clearly discernible.

Goddess Temple

goddess temple in wu gorge

Wu Gorge’s enchanting landscape is also enriched by the presence of the Goddess Temple (Shennu Miao), which was first constructed during the flourishing Tang Dynasty around 676 AD. Located at the base of the Fei Feng Peak in Wushan County, this temple was established in honor of the Goddess Peak. Positioned beneath the exquisitely rugged peak, it serves as a place of worship, pilgrimage, and scenic enjoyment. Legend has it that the “Goddess” refers to the youngest daughter of the Heavenly Emperor, named Yao Ji. Yao Ji, who passed away prematurely before marriage, was laid to rest on the slopes of Wu Mountain, becoming the revered Wu Gorge Goddess.

Vlog about Wu Gorge

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Extended Stay Options: If time permits, consider staying an extra night to explore attractions such as Wenfeng Scenic Area, Shennu Stream, and Shennu Temple.

Alternative Boat Tour: For those interested in seeing the Three Gorges without taking a Three Gorges cruise, consider taking a boat tour from Fengjie Baotaping Tourist Pier. The “Two Gorges and One Peak” boat tour lasts over four hours, cruising through the Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge before turning back at the foot of Shennu Peak and returning to the Wushan Tourist Center Pier. These boats operate on alternate days, departing at 11:00 AM and arriving around 3:30 PM.

Culinary Delights: Wushan Paper-Wrapped Fish (巫山纸包鱼); Shuai Yibei (Swinging Cup) (甩一杯); Wuzhong Juanjuan (巫中卷卷); Fengjie Baomian (Wrapped Noodles) (奉节包面)

Other Attractions in Wushan County

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