Wushan Three Little Gorges – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

wushan three little gorges

Wushan Three Little Gorges, often referred to as the Lesser Three Gorges (巫山小三峡), is a captivating natural wonder nestled adjacent to the renowned Big Three Gorges along the Yangtze River in China. Comprising Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge, and Dicui Gorge, this scenic gem stretches over 65 kilometers, offering a breathtaking tapestry of natural beauty and cultural significance.

As you navigate the winding waterways of the Lesser Three Gorges, you’ll be entranced by the sheer limestone cliffs rising dramatically from the water, adorned with lush vegetation and ancient relics. Towering peaks and mysterious caves further enhance the allure of this picturesque region, making it a haven for explorers and nature enthusiasts.

The area is also home to a diverse array of wildlife and plant species, adding to its ecological significance. Whether you’re marveling at the tranquil waters, exploring hidden alcoves, or admiring the rich biodiversity, Wushan Three Little Gorges promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of China’s natural wonders.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price120 RMB including the admission and the boat trip
Opening Hours8.00 – 18.00; Last admission: 14.00
Telephone Number0086-023-57756666

Location and Transportation

Wushan Three Little Gorges are situated in the Wushan County of Chongqing Municipality in southwestern China. These captivating gorges are nestled along the winding course of the Yangtze River, one of the country’s most iconic waterways. More specifically, they are found upstream of the famous Three Gorges Dam, making them a prominent attraction in the broader Three Gorges region.

Tourists from Chongqing can first take a high-speed train to Wushan County (there are 22 shifts a day) and then transfer to a local coach to the Three Little Gorges. The train journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes and costs around 200 RMB, while the coach takes about 1 hour.


Highlights of Three Little Gorges

Breathtaking Scenery

breathtaking scenery in three little gorges

The Three Little Gorges, nestled along the Yangtze River, offer a mesmerizing tapestry of natural beauty. Longmen Gorge enchants with its towering cliffs, sculpted by centuries of erosion, while Bawu Gorge beckons with its dramatic rock formations and serene waters. Dicui Gorge, aptly named the “Emerald Gorge,” unveils its lush greenery and crystal-clear streams. As you navigate these enchanting waterways, you’ll encounter hidden caves, ancient relics, and a vibrant ecosystem teeming with wildlife. The Three Little Gorges’ 65-kilometer stretch presents a captivating blend of majestic peaks, winding watercourses, and abundant flora and fauna, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.


Suspended Coffins

suspended coffins in three little gorges

The Three Little Gorges, aside from their natural beauty, also harbor a fascinating historical enigma – the suspended coffins. Perched high in the cliffs, approximately 4-500 meters above the tranquil waters, these coffins have defied gravity for over two millennia. Archaeologists have pieced together the puzzle of these eerie relics, deducing them to be the final resting places of the Pu people, who once inhabited this region. The coffins’ precarious placement and enduring mystery not only serve as a testament to the Pu people’s ingenuity but also offer a haunting glimpse into the rich history and cultural tapestry of the Three Little Gorges.


Ancient Plank Relics

ancient plank relics in three little gorges

High on the western cliff of Longmen Gorge within the Three Little Gorges, an awe-inspiring testament to ancient engineering and transportation emerges – the plank relics. Stretching an astonishing 400 kilometers and precariously perched 15 meters above the glistening waters, this remarkable wooden pathway stands as China’s longest and best-preserved plank road. Dating back to ancient times, it served as a vital route for both transportation and military purposes, facilitating the movement of goods and troops through the rugged terrain. These relics offer a fascinating glimpse into the historical significance of the Three Little Gorges and the ingenious infrastructure that once shaped the region’s cultural and strategic landscape.


Dachang Ancient Town

dachang ancient town in three little gorges

Nestled within the captivating Three Little Gorges region, Dacheng Ancient Town stands as a living testament to China’s rich history, with roots tracing back some 1,700 years to the Jin Dynasty. Adorned primarily in the architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this timeless town exudes an aura of antiquity and cultural heritage. Remarkably, three ancient gates have defied the passage of time, preserving their historical significance and charm. Dacheng Ancient Town beckons visitors with its well-preserved heritage, inviting exploration of its ancient streets, traditional courtyards, and the enduring echoes of a bygone era that continue to grace the enchanting Three Little Gorges landscape.


Red Foliage

red foliage in three little gorges

The Three Little Gorges are renowned not only for their dramatic landscapes but also for their vibrant display of red foliage. Nestled in the heart of the Wushan mountains, the climate here is ideal for the flourishing of these fiery hues. Covering approximately 6,700 hectares of the region, this breathtaking spectacle is particularly concentrated in the enchanting Bawu Gorge. Visitors are treated to a kaleidoscope of colors as they journey through the gorges, whether by boat or by climbing the mountainsides to overlook the panoramic scenery. This natural symphony of red foliage adds yet another layer of enchantment to the already mesmerizing Three Little Gorges experience.


Majestic Waterfalls

majestic waterfall in three little gorges

The Three Little Gorges offer an array of captivating waterfalls, each with its unique allure. Among them, the Yangfan Waterfall steals the spotlight, plunging nearly 1,000 meters from a dizzying height and spanning an impressive 50 meters in width. Its sheer force and majestic scale leave visitors awestruck, making it a must-see natural wonder.

Equally enchanting is the Middle Waterfall, which presents an extraordinary experience. Here, a pedestrian path winds behind the cascading water curtain, allowing adventurous tourists to step inside this aqueous sanctuary. Encircled by the soothing rush of water, visitors are treated to a rare and exhilarating perspective of the falls, immersing themselves in the sheer beauty of the Three Little Gorges’ dynamic landscapes.


Groups of Macaques

groups of macaques in three little gorges

In the mesmerizing Three Little Gorges, thriving groups of macaques add an enchanting layer to the region’s natural beauty. With the rising waters of the Yangtze River, their population has seen a steady increase. To safeguard these charming creatures, conservation efforts have been implemented, including the planting of their beloved fruit trees. These measures aim to maintain a harmonious coexistence between the macaques and the pristine environment.

The administration’s goal is to recreate the poetic scene described by Li Bai, where monkeys continue to call out from both banks as travelers navigate these remote landscapes. Preserving this wildlife spectacle ensures that the Three Little Gorges continue to evoke the timeless beauty and wonder celebrated in classical Chinese literature.


Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Boat Schedule and Duration: Boat tours to the Wushan Three Little Gorges operate on a fixed schedule, with departures at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The duration of the tour is approximately 4 hours.

Seating and Viewing Options: Upon boarding the boat, the lower deck (1st floor) tends to be warmer but offers limited views from inside the cabin. The 2nd and 3rd floors have outdoor tea areas where you can better appreciate the scenery. The cost is around 30 yuan per person. However, be prepared for cooler temperatures and potential wind exposure, especially on cloudy days.

Scenic Highlights: As you proceed through the Three Little Gorges, the river narrows, and smaller boats known as punt boats are used. This adds a different charm to the experience, providing an opportunity to appreciate the scenery from a more intimate perspective. However, be aware that onboard staff might be persistent in selling various items, which can be bothersome to some passengers.


Other Attractions in Wushan County

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