Thursday, August 7, 2008


Yichang covers 21,084 km² in Western Hubei Province at the Eastern end of the Xiling Gorge , one of the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River.It is an ancient city and its history can be traced back for 4,000 years. During what is known as its Spring and Autumn Periods , Yichang was regarded as a city of great strategic importance. Many famous battles took place here, such as the Changbanpo Battle and the Yiling Battle during the Three Kingdoms Period .

Yichang's annual average temperature is high, up to 13.1℃ to 18℃ and its frost-free period is long.The annual precipitation is 1213.6 mm,but is reduced with the rising of the height of elevation.The average temperature in July is 24.1℃ to 28.8℃, in January 1.7℃ to 6.5℃. The extreme highest temperature on the record is 41.4℃,and the lowest is -15.6℃. The annual sunshine time is between 1542 hours and 1904 hours ,while the shortest is 1289 hours.Because there are high mountains on both sides of the river and much water at the feet of the mountains, winter is warm in the river valley area of the Xiling Gorge and the Qingjiang River.So Yichang is famous for its mild winter.

Population & Ethnic

Yichang has a population of 4.136 million, 1,047 thousand of which are inhabitants of cities and towns. Most of the people belong to the Han nationality, while 9.5% belong to Tujia minority, and 0.13% belong to other minority nationalities.Altogether, there are 31 ethnic groups in Yichang.

Three Travelers'Cave

Located just ten kilometers northwest of the city, the Three Travelers' Cave is one of the most famous sites in Yichang for its historic significance and natural beauty. In 819 AD three Tang Dynasty poets met in Yichang and visited the cave. Being inspired by the amazing scenery the three poets immediately created some poems which they inscribed on the cave walls. During the Song Dynasty the famous literary famous of Su on their way to take the imperial examinations in the capitol visited the cave and added their own poems. Throughout the following centuries many other scholars have added their own inscriptions to the cave. Near the entrance to the cave is a small natural spring. Local superstition holds that if a woman washes her hands in its water, her culinary skills will be greatly improved. On the hill above the cave is the Zixi Pavilion. It holds a memorial stele to the 11th century philosopher Ouyang Xiu, who lived in Yichang. It offers a spectacular view of the surrounding area.

Dragon Spring Cave

Dragon Spring Cave lies in the northern peak of Xiling Mountain and faces the Xialao Brook. It is close to the Three Visitors' Cave. The cave is 3.3 meters wide, more than 30 meters high and over 513 meters long. A visitor to Dragon Spring Cave must first cross the Dragon's Tongue Bridge before entering the cave. Once inside the cave a visitor can see many strangely shaped rocks resembling a dragon's internal organs. There is a spring of pure clean water that runs throughout the cave.

May Day Square

The May Day Square was built in April 1987. It covers an area of over 20 thousand square meters. An aluminum tablet"A Gate of the Three Gorges"has become a symbol of the city. At the entrance to the square is a statue called"A Pearl in the Gorge's Mouth". It represents a pearl mounted on a pole with three ribbons hanging down. The pearl symbolizes Yichang's development, and the three ribbons represent the Three Gorges. Below the pearl is a fountain emptying into a pool. The square is surrounded by orange trees, and is a wonderful place for locals and visitors alike to relax, and visit with friends.

Chinese Sturgeon Museum

The Chinese Sturgeon Museum is located in Xiaoxita town in Yichang. The museum was established in 1993 by the Chinese Sturgeon Research Institute to attempt to preserve this rare species. The Chinese Sturgeon, also known as the Green Sturgeon, is a migration fish. Fossil remains have shown that the sturgeon has been as earth for over 140 million years. A sturgeon can grow to over 4 meters in length and weigh over 500 kilograms, and a female sturgeon can lay over a million eggs at one time. Every year from summer to autumn Chinese sturgeon migrate to the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Since building the famous Gezhouba Dam in the 1980's, the Chinese sturgeon cannot reach their spawning grounds putting their survival at risk. Since 1984 over 4 million young Chinese sturgeons have been reintroduced to the Yangtze River.

Dragon Boat Racing

Yichang's Dragon Boat Races are world famous. Every year the city of Yichang hosts the International Dragon Boat Rally which invites teams from all over the world to compete in traditional Dragon Boat races. According to legend the race started in the Warring States Period . When the patriot QuYuan threw himself into the river to drown himself local people raced out onto the water with their boats to attempt to rescue him. In modern competitions the dragon boats are usually around 20 meters long and 1 meter wide. Each team will have a drummer, a gong beater, a coxswain, and oarsmen. The oarsmen will row and keep stroke following the rhythm of the drum and gong. Dragon Boat Races are one of the most exciting sports you'll ever see in China. With their crews straining at their paddles, these 20 meter craft can slice through the water at incredible speeds.

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