LongQing Gorge

This Is One Of The Most Popular Tourist Attractions In China

The LongQing Gorge is listed among the top twenty tourist attractions in and around China`s capital city of Beijing, located 56 miles (90 km) north west of the great city, it is easily reached by car, bus or train. 

Plaque In The Gardens Close To The Entrance Of The Gorge. The Photo Shows Just A Few Of The Many Lanterns To Be Seen

The gorge lies in one of China`s designated Scenic Areas and covers 119 square kilometres of land. But this gorge is in many ways different from other gorges around the world. Although beautiful in its own way, it is not as dramatic as, say the Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, or situated in a wilderness area such as the Katherine Gorge in Australia.

Indeed, LongQing can only be described as a tourist trap. It has numerous attractions, all of which must be paid for individually. There are lake cruises, boat rides, cable cars, bungee jumps, a cave with hundreds of artificial flowers and to top it all, climbing up the side of the gorge is a garish yellow and green dragon which holds the world`s longest elevator. But the Chinese love it and flock there in their thousands. 

The Dragon Elevator Climbing Up The Walls Of The Gorge To The Dam

This dragon elevator is worth a mention. Listed in the Guiness Book Of Records, it carries visitors 258 metres (846 feet) along its eight sections and rises 90 metres up the side of LongQing Gorge to the top of the largest dam in northern China.

This dam is 59 metres high and 283 metres long, officially opened in 1996, it  creates the Dashuiya Reservoir.

Taking a cruise on the waters of the reservoir takes the visitor away from the worst of the tourist attractions and is the best way to admire the beauty of LongQing Gorge whose green forested walls rise dramatically on either side of the lake. 

The Steep Walls Of The Gorge Seen From The Reservoir

LongQing Gorge is actually only open from April 10th to November 15th. However, for about six weeks during the winter, when it gets extremely cold in that part of China, the famous Ice and Snow Festival takes place. The 160 foot waterfall that plummets from the top of the dam in the spring and summer turns to a beautiful curtain of ice.

Huge blocks of ice and piles of snow are carved into spectacular shaped animals, mythical beasts and numerous other features. A mass of lanterns and colored lights adds to the display. The festival is one of the most popular events in China and generally takes place  from about the 10th of January until the end of February. The many visitors can enjoy skating, ice slides, folk dancing and incredible firework displays.