I was out for my morning run and ended up down by the Yangtze river where the tourist boats moor. Above me on a hill was a sign with the message “175” and a horizontal line. I had seen several of these in recent days, as this is the final water level for the Yangtze once the “3 Gorges Dam” project is complete. Currently, the level is at 156 metres, so there is a further 19 metres to go before finished.
It is hard to visualize 156 metres of flooding, but around me was one sign: the new city of Badong. Some 3 years old, the previous city was somewhere beneath me under water. Where else would you get a city of several hundred thousand built in a few years? Today I would not only get a chance to see the 3 Gorges, or what was left of them, but also to visit one of the engineering marvels of the world: the dam itself.