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Hukou Waterfall: Where the Yellow River Falls

Are you ready for a splash of yellow in your life?

Look no further than the Hukou Waterfall (壶口瀑布), where the water is so yellow you’ll think someone spilled a bag of Cheetos in the river.

Where Is The Yellow Waterfall?

Located at the intersection of the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi, China, the middle reaches of the Yellow River flow through Jinxia Grand Canyon.

The waterfall is approximately 165 km (103 mi) to the west of Fenxi County and 50 km (31 mi) to the east of Yichuan County.

What Makes This Waterfall So Special?

It’s the giant yellow color of the water that will take your breath away!

The width of the waterfall changes with the season, usually 30 metres (98 ft) wide but increasing to 50 m (164 ft) during flood season.

It has a height of over 20 m (66 ft).

How Does It Get The Name Of Hukou?

As the Yellow River approaches Hukou Mountain, it’s blocked by mountains on both sides, narrowing down to 20-30 m (66-98 ft) and increasing its velocity.

And then it plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff, forming a waterfall 15 m (49 ft) high and 20 m (66 ft) wide, resembling a pouring of water from a huge teapot.

That’s right, the waterfall looks like water pouring out of a giant teapot, hence it gets its name Hukou (meaning “flask mouth“in Chinese).

Where Is The Best Viewing Spot?

The views from the Shanxi side and Shaanxi side are equally impressive, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try viewing the waterfall from both sides to get a unique perspective.

The bank in Hukou Waterfall Scenic Area Shanxi is a little lower and the bank in Hukou Waterfall Scenic Area Shaanxi is a little higher.

So it seems that you view Hukou Waterfall from the perspective of looking up in Shanxi side and looking down in Shaanxi side.

Must-See Attractions At Hukou Waterfall Scenic Areas

Visit Amazing Dragon Cave (Long Dong, 龙洞):

  • The cave is located in the Shanxi (山西) part of Hukou Waterfall.
  • The cave is said to have been made by a dragon that once caused floods in the area.
  • The cave has a 118-square-meter view-platform that is considered the best place to watch the waterfall.
  • Visitors can see a cloud of white smoke rising from the cave.
  • The cave has winding stone steps that lead to the view-platform.

Enjoy Ten-mile Dragon Trough (Shi Li Long Cao, 十里龙槽):

  • The trough is located in the Yellow River and can be seen from both sides.
  • The trough is said to have been made by a dragon.
  • The trough has various rock formations that spark the imagination.
  • The trough has a whirled cave on the east side that is shaped by the strong impact of water.
  • The river bottom around the Dragon Trough is made of tough gravel that is wide and flat.
  • “Sailing on Dry Land” is a unique wonder that can be experienced here.

Appreciate Circumzenithal Arc (霓虹通天):

  • The rainbow can be seen across the river and from both sides sometimes.
  • The rainbow is honored as Circumzenithal Arc.
  • The best time to visit is around 10:00 am on a sunny day.
  • Lucky visitors can see double rainbows.

Watch Drum Fight Show (斗鼓):

  • The drum fight is a unique folk artistic form that originated from the Hukou village and spread in the northern region of Shaanxi (陕西) province.
  • The drum fight combines dance, Kungfu and percussion music.
  • The drum fight features powerful voice, fierce rhythm, and local culture.
  • The drum fight reflects the characteristics of the people of the Loess Plateau such as vigor, doughtiness, fierceness, etc.
  • The drum fight occurs on great days and special festivals.
  • Visitors can learn how to play the drum fight if they want to participate in the activity.

View the drum fight how here.

Nearby Attraction – Mengmen Mountain (孟门山):

  • The mountain is located in the downstream of Hukou Waterfall.
  • The mountain has two huge rocks that stand on either side of the Yellow River.
  • The mountain offers a different perspective of the Yellow River.

How To Get To Hukou Waterfall?

Shanxi Side:

Hukou Waterfall Scenic Area Shanxi is located in Hukou Town, Jixian County, Linfen City, Shanxi Province (临汾市吉县壶口镇).

Getting to Hukou Waterfall, you are advised to reach Linfen first then drive about 2.5 hours or take a long-distance bus to Hukou Waterfall.

It is very convenient to take a high speed train to Linfen from Pingyao (about 1 hours), Taiyuan (about 1.5 hours) and Datong (about 4.5 hours).

Shaanxi Side:

Hukou Waterfall Scenic Area Shaanxi is located in Yichuan County, Yanan City, Shaanxi Province(陕西省延安市宜川县).

Most travelers start a trip to Hukou Waterfall (Shaanxi side) from Xian directly by using private transfer service from a travel agency.

Hukou Waterfall In 4 Seasons And Best Time To Visit

Due to large rainfall in summer and the frozen ice in winter, the scenic spot might be closed for the sake of tourists’ safety. So the best seasons range from April to May and September to November.

Best Places To Lay Your Head On Your Hukou Waterfall Tour

If you’re planning a visit to Hukou Waterfall in Shanxi (山西), you have the option to stay near the scenic area or in Jixian county, but keep in mind that the hotels in these areas are basic.

For a more comfortable stay, consider staying in Linfen city.

If you’re visiting Hukou Waterfall in Shaanxi (陕西), the closest hotels can be found in Yichuan county.

For a more luxurious experience, consider driving to Yanan city or Xian city for your accommodation.

A Guide To Planning Your Hukou Waterfall Tour

A day trip to Hukou Waterfall in Shanxi is a must, but why not make it a week-long journey and explore other top destinations such as Yucheng China dead sea, Datong, Pingyao, and Mount Wutai.

And if you’re visiting Hukou Waterfall in Shaanxi, don’t miss out on the historical city of Xian and its famous Terracotta Warriors, ancient city wall, and more.

Pack your bags and let’s go!

Frequently Asked Questions:FAQ

The true measure of intelligence is not knowledge, but the ability to ask the right questions. 🙂

Why is the Hukou Waterfall yellow?

The Hukou Waterfall on the Yellow River in China is yellow due to the high levels of sediment, such as sand and clay, in the water.

As the water flows over the falls, it picks up and carries these particles with it, which can cause the water to appear yellow or brown in color.

Additionally, the color of the waterfall can also change depending on the season and water flow.

What is the largest waterfall in China?

The largest waterfall in China is the Huangguoshu Waterfall, located in the province of Guizhou.

It has a width of 101 meters (331 feet) and a height of 74 meters (243 feet).

It is also one of the largest waterfalls in Asia and is considered a major tourist attraction in China.

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