The Yellow River Xiaolangdi Scenic Area in Henan Province is home to the Xiaolangdi Water Conservancy Project, as well as a place for eco-tourism. Spanning across Luoyang, Sanmenxia and Jiyuan cities, the scenic area covers an area of 1,262 square kilometers (including a water area of 296 square kilometers). Xiaolangdi Scenic Area is constituted of four parts, namely Xiaolangdi Dam, Jingzi Mountain, Bali Gorge and Sanmenxia Dam. Altogther there are 13 scenic zones, made up of 113 scenic spots.
Xiaolangdi Water Conservancy Project
Xiaolangdi Water Conservancy Project, one of the unique scenic spots in the Xiaolangdi Scenic Area, is located 40 km north of the ancient city of Luoyang in Henan Province. The aim of the project is first to control floods, reduce the danger of ice runs and decrease silt. It will also supply water, irrigate farmland and generate power. The project is a remarkable success in China’s effort to control the Yellow River water and also is one of the challenging projects in the world history of water control construction. In addition, it is the second largest water control project completed by the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.
Xiaolangdi Water Conservancy Project is composed of an underwater power plant with a total installed capacity of 1.8 million kilowatts, a dam with clay-stone slant walls, which is 154 meters high and 1,667 meters wide, a tall water intake tower, a magnificent water outlet, and a complex of 108 caves in less than one square kilometer. The annual water and sand regulation activities are as imposing as the tides of the Qiantang River.
Three Gorges of the Yellow River
The Three Gorges of the Yellow River, namely Bali Gorge, Gushan Gorge, and Longfeng Gorge, are located in the Jiyuan City in Henan Province, on the upper reaches 20 kilometers away from the Xiaolangdi Dam. Covering an area of 40 square kilometers, the three gorges are the gems of the scenic area, presenting a beautiful landscape which is rarely seen in northern regions of China. Meanwhile, each gorge has its own characteristics.
The Bali Gorge is at the narrowest section and on the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Cliffs stand erect and tall on either side as if they have been cut through by a giant sword, and the water is surging forward.
Gushan Gorge is well known for its grand landscape surrounded by a strong sense of poetry. Natural beauties are interwoven with manmade architectures within this piece of land. Moreover, there are countless stories and legends about the Gushan Gorge, adding to its appeal as a spot well worth visiting when exploring the historic Yellow River.
Longfeng Gorge (Dragon and Phoenix Gorge) is a destination where you can experience the mist and clouds and it is also a perfect place for lovers. Scenic spots in this gorge have been endowed with many romantic names, like Lover’s Island, Lovesickness Waterfall, Dragon and Phoenix Pond, and so on.
Xixiayuan Project on the Yellow River
Some 16 kilometers away from the Xiaolangdi Water Conservancy Project, the Xixiayuan project has four hydraulic turbine generating units with a combined installed capacity of 140,000 kilowatts. The Xixiayuan Reservoir Dam is 3,122 meters long and is the longest dam on the Yellow River. The Xixiayuan Reservoir is next to the western part of the Yellow River Wetland Waterfowl Natural Reserve. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 162 million cubic meters. After it is completed and filled with water, the return water can reach to the Xiaolangdi Dam and makes a 16-kilometer-long water surface. Together with the wetland reserve, the reservoir plays an important role in the improvement of local ecological environment and it is also a tourist destination and entertainment center on the water.
In recent years, Yellow River Xiaolangdi Waterfall-Watching Festival is becoming a hot tourist event in Luoyang, Henan province. When Xiaolangdi reservoir dam takes off the brake and discharged floodwater, a 70-meter-long waterfall would rush down the Yellow River. The event began in 2005, and is held every year in June and last until July.