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Badong


   Badong, the county seat, has developed around one main street, extending from a power station at the eastern end to factories spreading along three or four hill slopes to the west. lt is the westernmost county town of Hubei Province. Labourers, pitch-black from coal dust, with staff in hand, negotiate the steep slopes above the river, humping baskets of coal as they load Yangtze Riverand unload river lighters. Houses with wooden balconies huddle together on pillars embedded in solid concrete foundations above the bank of the river. In ancient times, Badong was situated on the other side of the Yangtze and belonged to the State of Ba; in the Song dynasty (960--l279) the town was moved to the southern bank. The new city will be relocated again on the north bank, five kmupstream from the present city.

   Badong has two pavilions of architectural interest--the Autumn Wind Pavilion(Qiufeng Ting) and the White Cloud Pavilion (Baiyun Ting). Local products include tung oil, lacquer, tea, medicinal herbs and animal skins.

   The Shennong Xi (stream) is a small tributary of the Yangtze boasting gorges that rival those of the Daning River and is visited by many tourist ships. A team of trackers push and haul wooden sampans over the shallow rapids.