Home China Guide Haining Attractions Qiantang Tide Watching

Qiantang Tide Watching

Haining attracts the attention of travelers, owing to the spectacular annual tides that rush up the Qiantang River. Each year, thousands of tourists from around the world flock to Haining to watch the famous tide bore.

When the tide approaches, the sight of its mighty surge has been compared to the sight of ten thousand horses racing side by side across an open plain. The height of this special tidal wave can reach 9 meters. Its earthshaking sound rumbles across the water like muffled thunder, its crushing force eerily reminiscent of that of an avalanche which gains speed as the momentum of its cumulative weight propels it forward.

The scene of the Qiantang River is ever-changing, as is the height of its waters where they empty into Hangzhou Bay. When the frothy tide appears in the distance, it initially looks like a white rainbow, given its natural curvature, rising from a plain. As it surges forward, the tidal bore gains speed. Some of the local observers of this regularly recurring phenomenon even race it in their automobiles during the final stages to see if they can keep abreast of it as it gains speed.

As the tidal bore proceeds up the Qiantang River, the aftermath of the surge remaining in Hangzhou bay continues to make its presence felt. The "boiling waters" underneath the surface of the bay, depending on the strength of the tidal bore, can sometimes form a huge circular "ribbon" on the surface of Hangzhou Bay, a sight that is particularly majestic to behold at nighttime.

Best Places to Watch the Tidal Bore

Yanguan Town

Yanguan Town in Haining (aka Xiashi) County, Zheijiang Province, just north of Hangzhou Bay (and some 50 kilometers northeast of the city of Hangzhou), into which the Qintiang River empties, has long been regarded as the best place to watch the Qiantang River Tidal Bore. The annual International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Watching Festival is held in Yanguan Town on 18th day of the eighth lunar month.

Babao

8 kilometers east to Yanguan Town.

Laoyancang

12 kilometers west to Yanguan Town.