Yichang Three Travelers' Cave (Sanyou Cave), China

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Three Travelers' Cave (Sanyou Cave)

Leaving the Xiling Gorge of Three Gorges and go east of the Yangtze River, you will find Three Travelers' Cave (Sanyou Cave) on the north shore of the river.

The cave is 10 kilometers away from City of Yichang. Its great mountains, beautiful rivers, and charming landscapes are like a giant painting.

Three Travelers' Cave is located in a deep valley; it is warm in winter and cool in summer with great and beautiful views. The cave is about 30 meters deep, 23 meters in width and is about 9 meters high. Inside the cave, there are many stalagmites; the three main stalagmites divided the cave into two chambers.

The chamber near the front is wide and bright, along the walls there are more than 40 stone tablets. The tablets caved with poems and prose made from the famous poets when they tour this area. Among them, are the inscriptions of Ou Yangxiu, the greatest writer of Song Dynasty (960 ~ 1279A.D.), and Bai Juyi, one of the great poet of Tang Dynasty (618 ~ 907A.D.).

The other chamber is gloomy and deep with great many strange stalactites. If you throw a rock at those stalactites, you will hear the echo sound of a bell, yet when the rock falls in to the water you will hear the echo sound of a drum. This is one of the reasons this cave became tourist attraction.

The Yu Spring ("Jade Spring") near Three Travelers' Cave is another tourist spots. Yu Spring is famous for its clear springs and elegant scenery. This spring earned its fame and being one of the four finest scenic spots of China. The other three are the Qi Xia Temple of Nanjing, the Lingyan Temple of Mt. Taishan, and the Mt. Tiantai. Today, reader often can find the names of those four spots in the ancient poems.

If you start your tour from Yichang City, Three Travelers' Cave and Ge Zhou Dam are the scenic spots that you should not ignore.


City of Yichang, located on the north of Yangtze River is an important military location. During the years of the Three Kingdoms (221-263A.D.), this location was the major battlefield at that time.

Sanyou Cave's reputation came from commends made by many great poets and literature giants. When those great poets ("Bai Juyi, Yuan Zhen and Bai Zhujian ") become regional officials, they visited this cave. In historic records named their visitation "Initial Three Travelers".

Later, in Song Dynasty (960 ~ 1279A.D.), another three great poets ("Su Xun, Su Shi and Su Zhe") had visited here, people called it "Subsequent Three Travelers". Three Travelers' Cave became famous not only of its landscapes, but is also for its culture, because the visits of all those famous poets.