is called Chongqing (you remember Chung King frozen foods?). The population of ChongQing is 34 million, but it does cover a provincial sized area. The urban center, pictured here at night, is “only” about 15 million — is that 3 or 4 or 5 Chicagos? It’s an industrial capitol, especially for autos, with one of the most polluted atmospheres to be found, but they’re working on it. Chongqing is located in central China, and is on the Yangze River (the Chinese don’t call it that — they know it simply as the ChangJiang, or Long River, since it runs 3900 miles from the steppes of Tibet to Shanghai and the Yellow Sea. One third of the 1.2 billion Chinese live in the Yangze River Basin. The river divides the north and south of China, both geographically and culturally. The Three Gorges Dam reservoir, runs from ChongQing to Wuhan, the three-plus day scenic route we followed on the cruise ship the Yangze Explorer, in late October. The recently completed Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric facility, the equivalent of 24 nuclear reactors. We went down 536 feet in the 5-stage locks of the dam, an awesome experience.

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