NABSQNO 48R-770740-3259680

NABSQNO 48R-770740-3259680.
Tian Long, Chongqing Municipality, China
Photos by Raymond Hardy

NABSQNO 48R-770740-3259680. Tian Long is a double waterfall natural bridge eroded through Wulong Karst. It is the largest and westernmost of a cluster of three large waterfall natural bridges that span the Yangshui He Gorge, a tributary of the Wujiang River, which in turn is a tributary of the Yangtze River. The cluster is a popular tourist destination called Tian Keng San Qiao and has been designated a national geopark as well as a world heritage preserve. Tian Keng San Qiao translates into English as Sky Pit Triple Natural Bridge and Tian Long translates to Sky Dragon. The park is about 12 kilometers north of Wulong in Chongqing Municipality, China.

Tian Long is a double natural arch. The more southerly of the two openings is also the larger. In the collage above it is the left photo, which was taken looking south. It has a span of 50 meters, a height of 96 meters, and a width of 147 meters. The smaller, northern opening of the pair is shown in the right photo above, which was taken looking west or upstream in the gorge. It has a span of 30 meters and a height of 65 meters. The two inset photos show the relative orientation of the two openings. The rock slab roof that connects the two openings has an extent of 75 meters.

A walking path connects both of these openings, as well as the other two natural bridges in the gorge. These two smaller bridges, Qing Long and Hei Long, are behind the photographer in the images above, i.e., east or downstream of Tian Long. This walking path ascends through the southern opening to a glass elevator and a car park. Fees are charged to access the gorge and the natural bridges using the elevator. The entire length of the path between Tian Long and the other two bridges is about 1.2 kilometers. Free access to the gorge is possible via stairs at the eastern end of the gorge.

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© 2009 by Jay H. Wilbur and Raymond Hardy, All Rights Reserved.