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Situated about 30 kilometres away from yet another popular tourist attraction, Xiling Gorge, Gaolan Scenic Spot offers a different dimension to the tourism scene of the Xingshan County of Yichang City, very well known for the sheer beauty of its natural environment.
This 20-square-kilometre, hilly area is lined with plush trees that draw their livelihood from the crystal clear stream which runs right through the valley, of which the nearly 8 kilometres in length offer some views that will force anyone to look twice, since it can almost be guaranteed that what you will see is nothing like what you might have come across before, even for the seasoned traveller who has seen more than their fair share of what this world has to offer in beauty.
There are essentially two ways to enjoy the relatively straight, smooth ravine which encompasses the Gaolan Scenic Spot, either on foot, walking along the road that runs parallel to the brook, or by tourist bus -- boat travel would have essentially been the best, but Goalan Scenic Spot is the area which sacrifices practicality for beauty, so the limited depth of the water flow accounts for some unique views which do not allow boat travel to be possible.
Still, walking along the bridge or cruising along slowly in the tourist bus will give enough of an up-close view to allow tourists the pleasure of knowing what all the fuss is about.
The actual trip down the Goalan Scenic Spot is enough to put the heart at peace, probably for one's entire Chinese tour or holiday, but if the intriguingly shaped hills and mountains, punctuated by spurts of little waterfalls and capped with trees that are growing in strange places isn't enough for you, a trip to the Quyuan Memorial Hall should be on the itinerary, which is one of the many options to explore along the Yangtze River.
How to Get There
Take a Xingshan-bound coach from Yichang, and you'll have to terminate at the Lianghekou stop.
Since the scenic boat cruises are operated by a number of different service providers, the general operational structure is on a service-on-demand basis, so there isn't really a set time during which it all operates, but generally it runs from about 08:00 to very early in the evening, while the sun is still up and boat fill up quickly so there won't be a long wait.
Entrance Fees: 20 Yuan per person