China Guide

Three Gorges Dam China | Travel Guide to Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is the largest electricity producing plant in the world and sits on the famous Yangtze River near Sandouping within the Hubei province in China. The dam stretches 2km across the river and a massive 180m tall making it by far the largest ever built. The dam has been at the centre of controversy right from the get go with a range of advantages and disadvantages surrounding its construction.

On the one hand it has made a positive difference. One of the major reasons for constructing the dam was to reduce the flood danger which has plagued the areas bordering the river. While reducing potential floods, it has increased the capacity of the river allowing six times the amount of barges along the river. This increase has in turn reduced carbon dioxide emissions by replacing road transport with water transport, all while generating electricity.

On the flipside, and a rather large one at that, the construction of the dam has caused much destruction of the neighbouring land while displacing a record amount of people tallying over a million. The project flooded a total of 13 cities and well over 1,000 towns and villages including obliterating special archaeological and cultural areas. The Three Gorges Dam can be in fact viewed as a disaster as it continues to cause devastating ecological changes to the surrounding land including landslide risks, erosion and deforestation.

Even with all the destruction and devastation that has resulted from the dam’s destruction, the model has been replicated throughout China and even internationally.

With all the controversy surrounding the project, some just prefer to see it with their own eyes and make their own judgement. You can easily visit the dam and get great views from the Jar Hill Observation Platform where there is also a museum where you can get filled in on the construction through the stages.