China’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls
Hukou Falls. Photo: tripcdn.com
The image of mountains and water (山水 shānshuǐ) is a favorite motif in classical Chinese painting. Waterfalls serve as a combination of the two landscapes and are also often found in traditional paintings. The number of waterfalls in China, rich in water resources and famous peaks, has not yet been calculated. There are probably thousands of them. The Chinese province of Guizhou is even called the Kingdom of Falls (瀑布王国 Pùbù wángguó) for its abundance of falling streams. ECD introduces China’s most beautiful waterfalls and explains what they are famous for.
10. Heiluntan Falls.
Running into the Black Dragon Pond (黑龙潭瀑布 Hēilóngtán pùbù) waterfall is located in the Ten Thousand Sacred Mountains Landscape Park (万仙山风景区 Wànxiānshān fēngjǐng qū) in Henan Province. The small waterfall is about 40 meters high and attracts tourists with its unusual combination of colors. The name of the lake below the waterfall was invented by locals: they believed that a black dragon sleeps peacefully in a small pond with dark green water. The waterfall itself flows down the brick-red steep cliffs, which create a chamber-like atmosphere at the waterfall.
Black Dragon Pond waterfall. Photo: tripcdn.com
Address: 河南省新乡市辉县市万仙山风景区 Cost to visit: 80 yuan ($12)
9. Diaoshuilou Falls.
A sibling of Canada’s Niagara Falls, the Tower of Hanging Water Falls (吊水楼瀑布 Diàoshuǐlóu pùbù) is located in the Heilongjiang province of Northeast China, bordering Russia. It is also not very high – about 20 meters. However, its peculiarity is the width and power of the stream, which varies from season to season. During floods, the width of Dyaoshuilou Falls increases from 70 to 300 meters. The floods turn Dyaoshuylou into a rumbling water wall surrounded by clouds of fog. Dyahoshuylou falls also set a world record – it is the largest waterfall on the planet on the basalt rocks.
Dyaoshuylou waterfall in winter. Photo: cdn-eztravel.com.tw
Address: 黑龙江省牡丹江市宁安市中国镜泊湖世界地质公园 Cost to visit: 15 yuan ($2)
8. Chishui Falls.
The first representative of the Falls Kingdom on the list is the Redwater Falls (赤水大瀑布 Chìshuǐ dà pùbù). The people of Guizhou province rightly consider their waterfall to be the most beautiful in China. They invented Chengyu to describe its uniqueness:
Having visited Huangshan Mountain, one need not look at other mountains; having seen Chishui Falls, one need not admire the other waterfalls 黄山归来不看山，赤水归来不看水 Huángshān guīlái bu kàn shān, Chìshuǐ guīlái bu kàn shuǐ
The majestic appearance of the waterfall is due to its location – at the bottom of a mountainous river valley. The combination of cascading ledges, massive red boulders, and dense forest allows tourists to capture almost ethereal scenery.
Chishui Falls. Photo: China Daily
Address: 贵州省遵义市赤水市两河口镇 Cost to visit: 80 yuan ($12)
7. Daupotan Waterfall
The famous Steep Dam Waterfall (陡坡塘瀑布 Dǒupōtáng pùbù) is also located in Guizhou Province, near Anshun City. Modest in size – 105 meters wide and 20 meters high – Doupōtan is still extremely popular among tourists. It is famous for its bizarre shape and sound. When the water hits the black rocks, it makes a remarkable rumbling sound. For its roaring sound, Doopotan is called the “roaring waterfall” (吼瀑 Hǒu pù). Due to the influx of travelers, it is almost impossible to take a photo in front of the waterfall: other people are constantly caught in the frame.
Daupotan waterfall. Photo: chinadiscovery.com
Address: 贵州省安顺市关岭布依族苗族自治县陡坡塘景区 Cost to visit: 60 yuan ($9)
6. Shibazzi Falls.
Eighteen-story waterfall (十八级跌水瀑布 Shíbājí diēshuǐ pùbù), also located in Guizhou province. The beauty of the cascade is highly appreciated, although the elevation gradients in the Neixiangshui River channel are not as great. The whimsical transitions from one cascade to another are compared with moving strands of pearls. The crystal clear water in the waterfall is interspersed with moss-covered boulders, and a quiet mountain forest completes the magical landscape.
Shibazzi Falls Cascade. Photo: qnmeitiyun.com
Address: 贵州省黔南布依族苗族自治州荔波县小七孔景区 Cost to visit: 170 yuan ($26)
5. Zhenzhutan Waterfall
Pearl Shoal Waterfall (珠滩瀑布 Zhēnzhūtān pùbù) is a jewel of Jiuzhaigōu National Park (九寨沟 Jiǔzhàigōu) in Sichuan Province. Zhenzhutan stretches 160 meters wide, and its views of this waterfall immerse tourists in a fairy tale. In the season of high water, the cascade of the waterfall is noisy and bubbling, in the hot season it runs in thin picture-like streams, and in winter it turns into an icy colonnade. Zhenzhutan Falls has also appeared in movies – a scene at the waterfall was filmed for the film adaptation of the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West (西游记 Xīyóu jì).
Zhenzhutan waterfall. Photo: maipo.net
Address: 四川省阿坝藏族羌族自治州九寨沟县漳扎镇九寨沟景区 Cost to visit: 200 yuan ($31)
4. Sande Spring
The Three Steps Spring (三叠泉 Sāndiéquán) is the main attraction of the Lushan Mountains (庐山 Lúshān) in Jiangxi Province. The first mention of a waterfall with huge steps dates back to the Song dynasty: in 1191, the spring of the Three Steps was accidentally discovered by a local lumberjack. After that, the fame of the beautiful waterfall from the Lushan Mountains quickly spread throughout China. Mao Zedong, the first chairman of the People’s Republic of China, also liked to rest in these places.
The Three Steps Spring. Photo: travel.qunar.com
Address: 江西省九江市濂溪区庐山风景区庐山区 025 乡道 Cost to visit: 65 yuan ($10)
3. Hukou Falls.
Kettle Lid Waterfall (壶口瀑布 Húkǒu pùbù) is located on the border of Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. The source of its water is China’s second largest river, the Huanghe. For its power and natural majesty the waterfall is nicknamed a symbol of courage and steadfastness of the Chinese people. Between Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, the Huanghe River runs through a loess plateau. The soil eroded by the water colors the waterfall a remarkable clay-yellow color. The waterfall is especially impressive during the high water season: it becomes a huge rushing valley.
Tourists at Hukou Falls. Photo: fshoke.com
Address: 陕西省延安市宜川县壶口镇/ 山西省临汾市吉县壶口镇 Cost to visit: 100 yuan ($15)
2. Huanggoshu Falls.
Another notable representative of waterfalls from Guizhou province. The waterfall of the Tree with Yellow Fruits (黄果树瀑布 Huángguǒshù pùbù), 74 m high, is the largest in China. The waterfall is remarkable for the number of viewpoints: you can look at Huanggoshu from above, below, from behind, from the front, from the left and from the right.
“The splashes fly apart like pearls, and the foam rises like mist. The waterfall has such movement that no words can convey its true beauty. I have seen waterfalls that are much higher and more powerful, but I have never seen one so wide and magnificent,” noted the great Ming-era traveler and geographer Xu Xiake (徐霞客 Xú Xiákè).
Huanggoshu waterfall. Photo: kanghui.org
Address: 贵州省安顺市镇宁布依族苗族自治县黄果树风景名胜区 Cost to visit: 220 yuan ($34)
1. Daetian Falls.
Undisputed leader of the list, Noble Heaven Falls (德天瀑布 Détiān pùbù) is located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on the border between China and Vietnam. It is the fourth largest border waterfall in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. Both China and Vietnam recognize Datian as the most beautiful waterfall. The Guichun River that feeds the waterfall flows between karst hills and then splits into many separate watercourses. The combination of lush greenery and whimsical cascades creates a romantic atmosphere at the waterfall at any time of the year. For those who enjoy the solitude of nature, they can fly over the tropical waterfall in a helicopter or take a traditional raft.
Daetian Falls. Photo: cdn-eztravel.com.tw
Address: 广西壮族自治区崇左市大新县硕龙镇德天跨国瀑布景区 Cost to visit: 110 yuan ($17)
Top 5 waterfalls in the Middle Kingdom
This one is well known not only in China, but all over the world. It is also called “China’s number one waterfall”. This beauty is located in the southwestern province of Guizhou, which many people call “Eastern Switzerland”. The mountains here occupy almost the entire territory, hence the large number of waterfalls, canyons and caves. In general, there is room to run wild.
There are miraculously preserved wildernesses here. Source: 74211.com.
By the way, despite the tourist popularity of this place, it somehow miraculously preserved virgin forests and rare plants, some existing on Earth since the Jurassic period. All this has been turned into Huanggoshu National Park, the pearl of which is our waterfall. Its height is 78 meters and width is 101 meters. Well, to complete the picture, there are 18 more waterfalls of different size and intensity. Together they form the largest group of waterfalls on the planet, thanks to which they were included in the Guinness Book of Records. Besides, Huanggoshu Falls are remarkable because it is the only waterfall in the world that can be viewed from six different angles. There is a legend about the waterfall. Here it is…
The waterfall was named after the yellow fruit tree, huangshu, which once grew here. Legend has it that when general Wu Sangui was defeated, he threw all his untold wealth into the Rhinoceros Falls. A few years later, a poor married couple came and settled there. They planted 100 yellow fruit trees, each bearing only one yellow fruit. One day, a passing Taoist priest happened to notice the yellow fruits. He offered 1,000 lan of silver for them to an elderly couple on the condition that they would not pluck them for 100 days. The priest set out to deliver the silver. The old men kept a careful eye on the fruit for all 99 days. On the last night, as they lay in bed, a sudden concern gripped them. What if birds or insects tried to taste the ripe yellow fruit? They were so alarmed that they decided to pluck them a few hours early before dawn. The next day the priest arrived. When he saw the plucked fruit, he was terribly disappointed. The man and woman understood nothing. Before their eyes, the priest threw the yellow fruit into the Rhinoceros Pond at the base of the waterfall. The fruit suddenly began to spin around its axis faster and faster until the water swallowed it up. Suddenly, a bright yellow color lit up the valley. When the couple looked at the body of water, they saw a huge amount of gold, silver, and various other treasures at its bottom. Suddenly the yellow fruit burst with a deafening sound, the waterfall rumbled, and the water swallowed up all the jewels. Everything went back to normal, as if nothing had happened. Only then did the priest tell the man and woman the secret of the yellow fruit. It became magical, provided it ripened on the tree for 100 days. With its help it was possible to get all the riches from the bottom of the reservoir. Locals believe that when a rainbow forms near the waterfall in sunny weather, it displays the treasure from the bottom of the reservoir. To immortalize the magic tree, the place was named Huanggoshu, and the waterfall was also named after it. Such is the case.
Source: achinatours.com Source: www.gagdaily.com Source: www.easytourchina.com
2 Hukou Falls
China’s No. 2 waterfall. Hukou. Source: www.motaen.com
Hukou is yellow, just like the Huang He. Source: www.flickr.com
It is the second biggest waterfall in China and is located about 400 km away from Xi’an city, on the border of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. The main thing is not to get it wrong! The mighty Huang He River is known to be China’s second largest river and runs from Qinghai province to the border of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. At this point it runs through a narrow valley, squeezed on both sides by mountains. The river channel narrows sharply from 300 meters to 50 meters, and the smooth, calm waters of the Huang He turns into a violent stream. A huge mass of water smashes into the rock and falls down, giving us a magnificent waterfall of 15 meters high and 20 meters wide. The sight of the waterfall is reminiscent of water pouring from a great height from a teapot. Hence the name of the waterfall: Hukou means “spout of a teapot” in Chinese. But despite the atypical mundanity of the name for the Chinese, it is a truly magnificent phenomenon: masses of water mix with the clouds, the color of the water changes from yellow to gray, then from gray to blue. The locals call this picture “smoke coming from the water.” What is most interesting is the inexpressible beauty of Hukou in winter, when the water is covered with ice stones, and the waterfall itself becomes a giant ice sculpture!
Winter Hukou. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
3 Shijangdong Waterfall
Here is the waterfall that only a few people know about. The Shijangdong waterfall is located in the Chishui district. Here, among the steep red rocks, three-meter-high primitive ferns, bamboo forests, and he is our handsome boy, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in China.
China’s most unknown waterfall. Source: travelhaker.ru
Shizhangdong Waterfall is only 1 meter smaller in size than its well-known counterpart Huanggoshu. It is much more photogenic and almost nobody knows about it, even in China. Accordingly, there are almost no tourists, which cannot be said about Huanggoshu. Even in the dry season the waterfall is powerful enough to splash you from head to toe if you dare to step on the slippery rocks right in front of it. But it’s worth it! In general, eyewitnesses say that the local nature is such that if the nearest bush suddenly appears dinosaur – no one will be surprised. The Chinese took advantage of this case, and in one of the parks in the area put figures of dinosaurs, calling the place Jurassic Park China. It is unclear why this area is so little known. Although, soon the situation is likely to change – near the city is a large-scale construction of a giant “tourist center” in the form of a huge ship’s prow reaching into the sky.
4 Blue Moon Valley Waterfalls
Yulunxueshan National Park and its surroundings near the ancient Chinese city of Lijiang in Yunnan province is a very special world that attracts avid hikers and mountain trekkers from all over the world. There are snow-capped peaks, the highest cableway, deserted meadows with lush green grass, where locals graze yaks and sheep, and, finally, picturesque waterfalls and lakes with the purest glacial water. The main concentration of waterfalls is in the Blue Moon Valley. The topography of the area began to form about 300,000 years ago. Melted glacial water flows from the mountains through many rapids formed by deposits of calcium carbonate. If you want, you can walk on the slabs – Chinese girls traditionally demand this feat from their lovers. But wanting to find a little: the water is icy in any season, its temperature can withstand only yaks, which can be here to ride and take pictures. From the top of the mountain, the Blue Moon Valley resembles a crescent. The salt terraces are 140 meters high and up to 160 meters wide, making them the largest limestone terraces in China. Depending on the time of day and the light, the lakes formed by the glacial spring appear either white or turquoise. Once a year, on the eighth day of the second lunar month, the white water terraces are a sacred place for the local Naxi people as a festival with ritual chanting and dancing.
5 Detian Falls or sometimes called “Detian – Ben Falls”.
On the Chinese side, Detian is more powerful. Source. theinterrobang.com
This miracle of nature is located on the border of two countries – China and Vietnam. The main part of the waterfall is on the territory of China, while Vietnam can boast only a few small streams. Detian is the largest and most beautiful waterfall in Asia, and in the world it is the fourth largest among the waterfalls along the border. It is preceded only by Brazil’s Iguazu, Africa’s Victoria and the Niagara Falls on the American-Canadian border. Detian originates in the waters of the Cui Suan River. Going down the river between intricately curved tree trunks, listening to the singing of birds and the murmuring of water, you can hear the menacing roar of the waterfall from several kilometers away. Detian is 70 meters wide and 120 meters high. It is divided into three levels, the first of which is 60 meters. During the rainy season, all three levels of the waterfall scenically merge into one, furious and roaring, up to 208 meters wide. The sound echoes in the Taocheng Mountains like the continuous roar of thunder. This waterfall also has a legend. According to it, during the German intervention in the 1930s, German soldiers placed boundary stone 53 600 meters from the waterfall. Interestingly, there are no other such stones due to the fact that the terrain around the waterfall is rocky and inconvenient for digging holes. It is said that the soldiers had no desire to dig stony ground. By the way, even today there is no excess of border guards on this Sino-Vietnamese border.