About 8 km (5 miles) above Yichang, the ship travels past Nanjin Pass (Nanjin Guan) and you can see to your left the Three Traveler’s Cave (San You Dong) scenic area on the north bank, which must be visited by road from Yichang city. Then you enter Xiling Xia, the first of the Three Gorges.

Xiling Xia is the longest of the Three Gorges, at 66 km (41 miles) in length, but is divided up into two separate sections of gorges by the Miao Nan Gu broad valley in between them. If you include this valley, then the total length is 120 km (74.6 miles).

Xiling Xia Gorge, formerly one 70-km-long (43.5-mile-long) section of water, has now been divided into two quite distinct halves by the now completed Three Gorges Dam. The western half of Xiling Xia Gorge is upriver from the new dam and has now been flooded to the 135 m (442.9 ft) level. However, the eastern half of Xiling Xia Gorge is downriver from the new dam and has been left in its natural state.