Three Travelers' Cave(Sanyou Dong)
Sanyou Cave is located 7 kilometers northwest of Yichang. It is a giant cave on the north peak of the west side of the mausoleum. Its rear lean against the Three Gorges of Yangtze River¡¯s Xiling Gorge Mouth and faces lower firm brook where the caves hold marvelous different sight and the scenery is beautiful.
It is a famous scenic spot and historical resort and one of the key cultural relic preservation units of Hubei Province. It was said that during the Tang Yuan He 14 years (819), Bai Juyi, Bai Xingjian and Yuan Zhen met up at Yu Yiling (the present Yichang, Hubei) and toured the cave together. Each of them composed a poem respectively.
The cavern is a Karst-type cave shaped in the form of an irregular rectangle. The cave has a depth of 30 meters (98 feet) and a width of about 20 meters (66 feet). Three stalactite pillars divide the cave into two parts. The front of the cave is bright and spacious, while in the back it is gloomy and narrow. Rocks in the cave are full of limestone drapes taking on various shapes.
The "Three You Dongxu" was written by Bai Juyi on the cave wall, thus Three You Dongji acquires its fame. This is the spot where people called ¡°first three tours¡±. Renowned writer; Su Xun, Su Shi (Dongpo), Suzhe and his two sons, also toured You Dong and came up with a poem from the cave poem respectively during the Song Dynasty. It was called ¡°latter three tours¡± by the people. The scenery of Three Tours is lovely and was once reputed as ¡°the fairyland¡± by ancient people.
Surrounding the cave there are other historic sites: including some major ones such as the Zhixi Pavilion, Shusai Building, the Drum-beating Platform and the delightful Lu You Spring.
Zhixi Pavilion: This pavilion can be arrived by climbing the board-walk to its end. It is a three-storey structure built in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). It is so named because the river becomes broad for boat to cruise on easily, so long as the boat passes this place: that makes people feels happy when arriving. So, Zhixi Pavilion means: 'Zhi' to arrive and 'Xi' means happy Perfect!
Shusai Building: Located at the peak, the Shusai Building is also a three-storey venerable building. On its first floor, visitors may have a chance to appreciate the music played on chime-bells. If you can climb to the top, there is a superb panorama of the Yangtze River.
Drum-Beating Platform: South to the Shusai Building is the Drum-Beating Platform. On this platform, there is a statue of Zhangfei, general of Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). The platform was once the place for beating drums by Zhang Fei when he commanded soldiers here.
Lu You Spring is so called because Lu You (a man of literary in Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279)) once used the water of this spring to infuse special teas.
Back to Xiling Gorge