Water falls from heaven

Updated: 2016-04-03 10:06


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Water falls from heaven

[Photo by Li Hongrui/chinadaily.com.cn]

Li Bai, a famous Chinese poet from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), in his poem, Invitation to Wine said, "Did not you see the Yellow River coming from heaven, rushing into the sea, never comes back?"

What he described is what was in front of my eyes: Hukou Waterfall on the Yellow River, the sound like the thundering of thousands of horses running to the east. Masses of clouds and mist were stirred up by the roaring water that plunges into a deep pool.

This grand waterfall is the second largest waterfall in China, and is at the intersection of Shanxi province and Shaanxi province.

Hukou means "kettle spout" in Chinese. The waterfall gets its name for the way the Yellow River flows at the site. Since the river is blocked by mountains on each side that abruptly narrow its width abruptly, so its speed increases along with its power. The fast-moving water spills over in a waterfall 15 meters high and 20 meters wide when it falls down from the narrow crest at its top. Then the water looks like it’s being poured down from an enormously big teapot.

There is also a stone under the waterfall, moving up and down with the water level. It is always partly visible in spite of the changing water volume. Hence it is named guishi, meaning 'mysterious stone'.