2 Wuhan - Hubei Provincial Museum - Main Exhibition Hall - let's go inside to check out the exhibition of the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng state (the tomb belonged to Yi, marquis of the State of Zeng 曾侯乙, dated to about 433 BC of the early Warring States Period)
3 Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zeng 曾侯乙編鐘 - the most famous treasure and the largest bronze musical instrument ever discovered, found together with other bronze ritual vessels and the set of 32 chime-stones, in the tomb's Center chamber said to have corresponded to the ceremonial hall of Yi's palace...
4 me and the 400 million people...
5 Hubei Provincial Museum, located in the Wuchang district of Wuhan not far from the westshore of East Lake
6 one more picture in front of the Hubei Provincial Museum 湖北省博物館 before proceeding to the next stop after landing in Wuhan around noon time - day 1 of our 7-nights Wuhan-Chongqing Yangtze River Three Gorges cruise-tour
8 Millennium Bell, the enormous bronze bell sitting on a platform located behind the Yellow Crane Tower along the east slope of Snake Hill... the undamaged bronze gourd-shaped dome top of the former burned down pavilion-tower (11ft high bronze dome made in 1868, the 7th year of Tongzhi of Qing Dynasty, weighing about 2 tons), a surmounted spire on top of a string of spheres sitting on a lotus leaf-shaped bronze pedestal
24 lobby of Wuhan Shangri-La Hotel - Day 2 after breakfast, getting ready to begin our ride to Jingzhou 荆州 in southern Hubei located on the bank of Yangtze River
25 Jingzhou Museum - front hall exhibition displaying representative artifacts from various eras, the history of the development of civilization in Jingzhou from the Paleolithic era to the Qin and Han dynasties
26 Jingzhou Museum - Treasure-Collection hall at the backyard featuring three themed exhibitions of unearthed treasures (the corpse, ancient lacquer-ware and the ancient silk fabrics) of the Western Han dynasty (206 BC - 9 AD)
27 the museum houses over 120,000 pieces of cultural relics, some 300 items considered among the most important in China, including the Corpse of the Western Han Dynasty
28 Jingzhou ancient walled city 荊州古城 also known as Jiangling city 江陵城, it's said that ancient city first outlined as early as 221 BC by 秦始皇 Qin Shi Huang of Qin dynasty (first emperor of the unified imperial China), city walls made of earthen ramparts without any bricks or stone
29 an enormous statue of Qu Yuan 屈原 at the modern 40-acres Nine Dragon Deep Pool Park 九龍淵公園 by the water edge southeast corner extension of the ancient city moat near the 'small' East GongAn Gate
30 ... park also serves as the location for dragon boat races during the annual Dragon Boat Festival
31 statue of the general Guan Yu's "Red Hare" horse 赤兔寶馬 standing proudly by the "Horse Cleaning Pool" near the North Gate of Jingzhou old walled city
32 Horse Cleaning Pool, water pond near the North Gate in which General Guan Yu bathed his horse... legend of Guan Yu gained a great triumph over the Cao army at the Han River when he guarded Jingzhou, people cheered and welcomed all along their way back (street being named 得勝街 Triumphal Street); Guan Yu noticing his warhouse was so dirty and he felt bad he bathed the horse in the nearby pond...
33 Jingzhou City Wall has a history of over 2000 years; the surrounding walls built during Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC-220 AD), the wall itself built during the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period (907-960); damaged and repaired multiple times during the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the one in existence now was built in the Qing Dynasty... wall comprising three parts: inner earth city, middle brick city and outer water city.
34 Jingzhou city, located beside the Jing Jiang section 荆江 of the middle reach Yangtze River, Wuhan approx 140 miles to the east (downstream of Yangtze) and Yichang 宜昌 approx 67 miles to the northwest (upstream)
35 Yichang cruise port, Taohuacun Pier (Peach Flower Village Port) 桃花村碼頭 - onboard Yangzi Explorer - let's begin the 5-day upstream Yangtze River Three Gorges cruise
36 Three Gorges on Yangtze River 長江三峽 - Qutang Gorge 瞿塘峽, Wu Gorge 巫峽 and Xiling Gorge 西陵峽, the most scenic section of the navigable reaches of Yangtze forming a series of natural and cultural attractions on a Yangtze cruise between Yichang and Chongqing on the middle reaches of the "Long River"
37 Three Gorges Project tourist area, Tanzi-Ling Scenic Spot 壇子嶺...
38 Tanzi-Ling Park, officially opened in 1997 as the earliest developed tourist area of the Dam Project, located in the surveying point of the Three Gorges Project...
39 the silver Tianshu 銀版天書 (silver version sealed book), a huge book sculpture made by stainless steel and titanium board, carved with a brief introduction of the Three Gorges Dam Project, Tanziling Ridge
40 shaped like a crock hence called Tanzi-Ling (Tanzi Ridge) 壇子嶺, 861 feet above sea level, let's go up to the 'bird's eye view' platform at the top of Tanzi Ridge, perfect place to appreciate the panoramic view of the Three Gorges Dam Project
41 Yangtze Three Gorges Project (TGP), situated at Sandouping of Yichang city, a multi-purpose development project producing comprehensive benefits in the areas of flood control, power generation, irrigation and river navigation improvement as well as promoting other local economy such as for city redevelopment, fishery or tourism purposes
42 Three Gorges Dam and reservoir as background
43 Three Gorges Dam completed in 2006
44 tetrahedron shape damming close-off rock
45 structure of the shiplift behind me - TGP shiplift, under construction since 2008 to be used mostly for passenger ships, with a one-step vertical hoisting mechanism designed to be capable of lifting ships of up to 3000 tons, shiplift said to be operational in July 2015, and will take around 30 minutes to transit as opposed to the 3-4 hours stepping through the 5-level locks
46 Three Gorges Project construction officially started in December 1994; Three Gorges hydroelectric dam, the largest hydro-power station in the world, the first generator unit began generating and connected to the power grid on 10-July-2003...
47 ... except for the shiplift, the dam project completed and running at full capacity as of July 2012 when the last two main water turbine generators in the underground plant went into operation
48 長江三峽大壩 Three Gorges dam, designed as a reinforced concrete gravity structure with length of 1.4 miles (2.3 km), height of 607 feet (185 m), base width 337 ft (115 m) and crest width of 131 ft (40 m)
49 I don't want to leave this gorgeous place, why not take another picture of me and the grand project dam
50 a picture of me and Yangzi Explorer - concluding our first shore excursion, day 1 crusing along Yangtze River Xiling Gorge
51 Day 2 of the 5-day cruise (day 4 of our cruise-tour), at Badong city harbor, we're transferred from Yangzi Explorer to a feeder ferry for the Shennong Stream excursion
52 Shennong Stream 神農溪, a 37-miles tributary of Yangtze joining the river at Xirangkou 西瀼口 in Badong County 巴東縣 of Hubei Province, located on the border between Xiling Gorge and Wu Gorge
53 originating at ShennongJia Mountain 神農架 in Hubei (the #1 peak in Central Plains 中原第一峰), Shennong Stream enters Yangtze River at the eastern mouth of Wu Gorge
54 ... along the zigzagging watercourse, Shennong Stream running like a dragon meandering through forests among deep valleys with fascinating waterfall, stalagmite karst caves
55 Shennong Stream Bridge, an extention of the Badong Yangtze Bridge, crossing over the mountains and Shennong Stream
56 continue cruising along Wu Gorge, the downstream section of Yangtze River to Qutang Gorge on a rainy afternoon
57 enjoying the scenery crusing Yangtze upstream Wu Gorge to Qutang Gorge... Wu (witch) Gorge 巫峡, the second gorge of Yangtze Three Gorges, stretching over 28 miles from the estuary of Daning River 大寧河 (Wushan county, Chongqing) in the west, ending downstream at Guandukou 官渡口 (Badong, Hubei Province)
58 Qutang Gorge, winding approx 5 miles from Daxi village town in Chongqing Wushan County 重慶巫山縣大溪鎮 upstream to Baidi City (White Emperor City) in Fengjie County 奉節縣白帝城, the shortest but most majestic, broadly hailed as the most breathtaking vistas of the Yangtze Three Gorges
59 our late afternoon shore excursion to White Emperor (Baidi) City, at ancient Kui town 夔州古城, known present day as Fengjie
60 ancient Baidicheng, standing among magnificent steep mountains and waters, Caoting River 草亭河 winding down from Baidi Hill into the Yangtze River
61 Baidi City Wind and Rain Lounge Bridge 白帝城風雨廊橋
62 at Loyalty Square with solemn commemorative statue of Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 after crossing the Wind and Rain Lounge Bridge, from here begins the hilly pathway climbing of some 600 stone-steps leading up to Baidi Temple
63 White Emperor City (BaidiCheng), also known as Baidi Temple, built during the Western Han Dynasty
65 Baidi (White Emperor) Temple - in the footsteps of Liu Bei & Zhuge Liang - ancient village site scattered with temples, pavilion and gate-walls now boasting dedicated memories of Liu Bei (founding emperor of Shu-Han, Three Kingdoms period) and his wise talented strategist Zhuge Liang
66 Baidicheng also known as the City of Poems, in ancient times many scholars and poets attracted by its fame visited here and left behind many signs of the high literary importance of that time
68 Kuimen (Kui Gate) 夔門 - the iconic "Symbol of the Three Gorges" aka "Gateway to the Three Gorges", also called Qutang Pass 瞿塘關, the narrow section where the river passing between the two bluffs Mount Baiyan and Mount Chijia resembling a slightly open gate, near the western entrance of Qutang Gorge at Fengjie
71 a picture of me and the white marble monument engraved with 'Northern Expedition Memoria' 出師表 written by Zhuge Liang... we learned of this manuscript in high school
72 must have a picture with Mr. Zhuge albeit only his sculpture
73 one more photo to end the day - White Emperor City shore excursion
74 the fourth day on Yangzi Explorer crusing along Yangtze River upstream to Chongqing - our final shore excursion - morning tour to Fengdu Ghost City
75 Hengha Temple 哼哈祠 - Fengdu Ghost City 豐都鬼城, a witchy village-town of Confucianism-Taoism-Buddhism temples and pavilion structures famous for the netherworld ghost culture, located on Mingshan (Mount Ming) in Fengdu, situated on the north bank of Yangtze River about 110 miles downstream from Chongqing, some 300 miles upstream of Yichang
76 Bridge of Helplessness or Abyss Bridge 奈何橋 是傳説通向地獄的第一道關卡。左邊為金橋，右邊為銀橋，傳説走金橋的人能升官發財，過銀橋的人可健康平安。 不過在通往陰曹地府的時候必須先過中間的奈河橋， 金橋、銀橋只能在還陽時才能走。
77 Bridge of Helplessness, said to be a bridge connecting present and past, as well as the underworld and mortal world; a medium of netherworld testing or judging good and evil, and declaring the sentence of life or death... what would you say?
78 by entrance of Jade Emperor Temple Hall, stele inscribed with the four Chinese characters 唯善呈和 (meaning kindness is only good)... 玉皇殿 大門前旁立石碑面 - 四川著名書法家李半黎的書法藝術 “唯善呈和” 組字，意在勸人多作善事，善有善報。
79 inner courtyard of Baizi (hundred children) Temple - statues of Bodhisattva, Manjushri and Samantabhadra together with some other statues of deities adorning the temple hall of Baizi (hundred children) Temple
80 we already toured Heng Ha Temple, Temple of Gratitude, Temple of Fortune Gods, King of Medicine Hall, Bridge of Helplessness or Abyss Bridge, Liaoyang Temple, Star-stone block Pavilion, Jade Emperor Temple Hall; Hundred Children (Baizi) Temple and Impermanence (Wuchang) Hall as well in the background, what's next now?
81 ... road to underworld with scary ghostly statues on both sides before reaching the important section of the ghost city... let me tickle this naughty one - playful, scary? 鬼門關前的十六大鬼，傳說是閻羅王專門挑選的一批惡鬼來此鎮山把關的。他們對劣跡斑斑、惡性未改的亡魂野鬼盤查得格外苛刻、嚴格，不使一個蒙混過關。
82 two of a kind - talent, knowledgeable, wise, hmm...
83 Gate of Hell, entrance for the soul to enter the underworld after death, walk pass the gate meaning entering the netherworld, place where the dead report to the King of Hell (Yama) 閻羅王 for judgment... passing the gate comes Huangquan (yellow spring) Acheron Road “黃泉路”
84 waiting to be tested by this 'testing stone' in front of Tianzi (Emperor of Hell) Palace, the core area of netherworld 進入了陰曹地府的核心區域 - 天子殿 - 亡魂到此，都要單腳站在考罪石上，挺胸抬頭，看著前面 “神目如電” 四個大字進行考核，在陽世行善積德的順利通過，造孽作惡的被打入十八層地獄受罰。
85 yay, we safely passed through Tianzi Palace and Yao Ling Temple Hall, not in hell anymore... Wuyun (Five Clouds) Tower, opposite to the Tianzi Palace... 走出天子殿，前方開闊地屹立著一座七層高樓，叫五雲樓。
86 we just finished touring this Fengdu Mount Ming or Fengdu Ghost City, superstitious legend has it that "the dead come to Fengdu and devils go to hell"; it's said that since Tang Dynasty, forty-eight temples have been built in this place...
87 a photo of me in front of the Ghost City please, make sure photo with the bronze statue of Bai Wuchang (white impermanence) 白無常 (his hat saying "you have come too"), the head of Jade Emperor and whatever tower it is...
88 oh, mine is a close-up
89 Yangzi Explorer out there behind me, how are we to get back?
90 hey, may I sunbathe on the deck here?
91 looks like it's going to rain again, maybe I'll just relax a bit... this is the last night onboard Yangzi Explorer, we're disembarking tomorrow morning at Chongqing
92 tour Day 6 morning after our Yangtze River Three Gorges cruise disembarkation - raining cats and dogs here in Chongqing
93 Chongqing Great Hall of the People or Chongqing People's Auditorium 重慶市人民大禮堂, located across from the Chongqing Three Gorges Museum 重慶中國三峽博物館
94 Chongqing Three Gorges Museum 重慶中國三峽博物館
95 Jiefangbei Square in Yuzhong District surrounding the People's Liberation Monument
96 Liberation Monument or People’s Liberation Monument (Jie Fang Bei) 人民解放碑, a 90 feet high structure standing in Chongqing's most prosperous city center, Yuzhong Jiefangbei CBD (central business district)
97 'city balcony' on the upper street-level CangBai Road - Hongyadong (Honya Cave) 洪崖洞 along the Jialing River waterfront area - as backdrop are Jiangbei district 江北區 north of Jialing River across from Hongyadong and Chongqing Huanghuayuan Bridge 黃花園大橋橫跨嘉陵江
98 Qiansimen Jialing River Bridge 千廝門嘉陵江大橋, a single-tower cable-stayed double-deck bridge over Jialing River connecting Yuzhong near Hongyadong and Jiangbei districts
99 a picture of me standing on one foot piggybacking the stilt-houses sculpture
100 Hongyadong food street
101 shops selling odd and weird looking local delicacies and snacks, even I as a foodie wouldn't dare to try... better get going to our next tour destination - WuLong
102 What a change - a sunny and nice day 7 of our tour at WuLong Fairy Mountain 武隆仙女山 - let's take a photo of me and Transformers autobot bumblebee
103 photo of me and the autobot too... filming of Michael Bay's 2014 movie Transformers 4: Age of Extinction got drawn to this vicinity for the marvelous majestic natural beauty of Wulong-Three Natural Bridges
104 located south of Yangtze River part of the Wuling Mountain Range in eastern Chongqing, Fairy Mountain Wulong Scenic Spot, a national forest geological park and resort town located on the north bank of Wujiang (Wu River) 烏江 in Wulong county
105 天生三橋 Three Natural Bridges (Tian-long Bridge, Qing-long Bridge, Hei-long Bridge), also known as ‘tian-keng’ (doline) three bridges 天坑三橋, a series of 'nature-born' limestone bridges; a UNESCO World Heritage Site
106 WuLong Natural Three Bridges, Tian-long (sky dragon) bridge with two natural archways
110 Tian-long bridge, with height averaging 771 feet, archway clearance of approx 315 ft...
111 a look at the tian-long (sky dragon) 'tian-keng' (doline pit), the cross-shaped valley-pit surrounded by the enormous precipices of the sky-dragon and cyan-dragon bridges, and cliffs over the Yangshui river
113 Tianfu Post station 天福官驛 - 在天龍橋附近的天坑中，建有仿唐建築 “天福客棧”，就是張藝謀導演的《滿城盡帶黃金甲》中唯一的外景地，這座客棧耗資千萬。 這里還是《變形金剛4》的中國取景地，如今景區內還有電影中機械怪物的造型。
114 Tian-fu (heavenly blessing) Post Station, it's said that some ten million dollars spent in building this Tang dynasty complex built for filming the 2006 movie 'Curse of the Golden Flower' directed by well-known director Zhang Yimou, starring Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li
115 unique Tianlong (sky dragon) bridge pier separating the south and north archway... we walked down from the south arch (to the right of photo) following the steep winding stair-passage inside the cavern, out from the north archway down to the doline
116 tianlong (sky dragon) bridge
118 Sky dragon doline (tian-long tian-keng), with an opening area of approx 47 acres, the diameter of the opening said to be around 1710 feet
119 I'm going to have a photo with the poor dinobot Grimlock from Transformers 4 movie left standing here at the tian-long doline
121 Tianlong Bridge, Tianlong doline
122 Tianlong bridge and its north archway, viewed from Tianlong doline walking towards the second Natural Three Bridges
123 Qing-long (cyan-green dragon) Bridge 天生三橋中的第二座橋 - 青龍橋, with a height over 920 feet and arch clearance of approx 338 feet
124 the precipitous bridge said to look like a flying dragon
125 Qing-long Bridge
126 don't you think this arch of qing-long bridge shaping more like the blade of a slightly curved knife?
127 water spouting out of rock crevices soaking the cyan-green dragon bridge pathway winding alongside the deep gorge
128 Shenying (sacred eagle) tian-keng (doline-pit) 神鷹天坑, the square doline-pit around the cliffs between the qing-long and hei-long natural bridges, the mighty crag looking like a flying eagle looking down to the bottom of the gorge-pit
129 神鷹天坑- 因高空懸崖邊一山岩酷似一展翅欲飛的老鷹俯視坑底，故名為神鷹天坑...
131 Hei-long (black or dark dragon) bridge, the last of the Wulong Natural Three Bridges
132 Black dragon bridge, some 630 feet in width, 732 feet high with average arch rise of 380 feet
135 tranquil spring pool by the Hei-long (black dragon) bridge
136 finishing up our morning trekking tour of the Natural Three Bridges... still a couple thousand feet away to the exit of the trail
137 all re-energized and ready for the afternoon trekking tour to the center of the Earth
138 Longshui (dragon water) Gorge (Longshuixia) Fissure 龍水峽地縫, core area of the World Natural Heritage Wulong karst geopark not far from the Natural Three Bridges located in Fairy Mountain Xian-nu-shan town...
139 Longshuixia Fissure Gorge, a typical karst landscape associated with orogenic movement (the process of mountain formation especially by folding of the Earth's crust), shaping like a split in the earth, some 3 miles in length and 1640 feet in depth making it a magnificent and fantastic valley with steep cliffs, vast forest vegetation, stream waterfalls