Yangtze River Travel Guide
Baidi or Baidicheng (8 km east of the present day Fengjie County seat in Chongqing municipality) is an ancient temple complex on a hill on the northern shore of the Yangtze River in China. The name literally means City of the White Emperor. It is said that the area was once surrounded with a white mist, giving it a rather mysterious yet serene look, much like what an emperor should be like. It has also been said that someone saw a white dragon, the symbol of the Emperor come out there, and the warlord Gongsun Shu thought this was a fortuitous sign, and declared himself Emperor of Chengja. He founded the city and called himself the White Emperor.
The temple is now an island due to the rise in water levels since the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Much of the old structures were submerged and new buildings have been built higher up. The island is linked to the north bank of the Yangtze by a bridge. It continues to be a tourist attraction with many cruise ships stopping at Fengjie to allow tourists to visit.
Baidi is also known as the City of Poems because so many poets, including the famous Li Bai, wrote about it (see: Departing from Baidi in the Morning). Some, like Du Fu, even resided there for a while. Baidicheng's coordinate is 31.045126 north, 109.545877 east.
Baidi was also where Liu Bei, first emperor of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms era, died.
In 2006, the Chinese government established Baidi city as a National Heritage site.