The Three Gorges Dam
has become one of the symbols of China's efforts to join the modern world. Dr. Sun Yat Sen first suggested the dam in 1919, but it was not begun until 1994 and the original plan was not completed until 2008.
The Three Gorges Dam is 7,575 feet long and 594 feet high, making it the world's largest power station. The dam has the potential to generate over 20,000 megawatts. The dam has improved shipping and reduced flooding, but has been controversial since it was first begun because of the historical sites covered by the lake and the displacement of millions of citizens.
Yangtze River cruises usually pass through the dam, using locks to sail downstream towards Shanghai or upstream towards Chongqing. Although many archaeological sites are now underwater, others remain, and a Yangtze River cruise is a marvelous way to see some of the Chinese countryside.
Lock at the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River (c) Linda Garrison