Hukou Waterfall, Yellow River

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The Hukou Waterfall is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, China, the second largest waterfall in China, and the world's largest yellow waterfall.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

It is located at the intersection of Shanxi Province and Shaanxi Province, 165 km (103 mi) to the west of Fenxi City, and 50 km (31 mi) to the east of Yichuan where the middle reaches of the Yellow River flow through Jinxia Grand Canyon.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

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). When the Yellow River approaches the Hukou Mountain, blocked by mountains on both sides, its width is abruptly narrowed down to 20 m (66 ft) - 30 m (98 ft).

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

The water's velocity increases, and then plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff, forming a waterfall 15 m (49 ft) high and 20 m (66 ft) wide, as if water were pouring down from a huge teapot. Hence it gets the name Hukou (literally, "flask mouth") Waterfall.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

Just below the waterfall, there is a shining stone called guishi. What makes the stone mysterious is that it moves up and down according to the water level. No matter how large the water volume, it is still at least partly visible.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

In the middle of the river, about 3,000 m (9,843 ft) from the Hukou Waterfall, an enormous rock catches the attention of visitors. When the Yellow River flows to this point, divides into two, rolling and roaring on and on from both sides of the rock before reconverging.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

In the middle of the river, about 3,000 m (9,843 ft) from the Hukou Waterfall, an enormous rock catches the attention of visitors. When the Yellow River flows to this point, divides into two, rolling and roaring on and on from both sides of the rock before reconverging.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

Beneath the waterfall is the Qilangwo Bridge which connects the two provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi. In the sunshine, the mist is refracted by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge. In 1991, Hukou Waterfall was named one of the "40 Best" national scenic spots.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

Due to its awkward location in the Loess Plateau hinterlands, Hukou was once very difficult to access. After the local government improved transport and tourist facilities, the number of tourists rose from 20,000 in 1994 to 47,000 in 1995. The figure for 1996 reached 100,000 tourists.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

The Hukou waterfall on the Huanghe River west of Jixian County, Shanxi, is formed when the river flows to the Hukou Mountains on the Shanxi-Shaanxi border and its 250-meter-wide bed, sandwiched between the canyons on its banks, abruptly narrows into a trough 50 meters wide and 30 meters deep and falls down into a big stone-strewn pool.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

The section of the river here is like the mouth of a water-flash. Hence the name of the waterfall, which means "Flask Mouth waterfall". The waterfall has a descent of 15-20 meters in the low-water season, but it is scarcely noticeable as a waterfall in the high-water season when the waters burst into rapid torrents. The section is rich in hydroelectric power potential

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

Standing on the bank of the Yellow River, people can see the roaring water rushing through mountains and then plunging into a deep pool, really resembling the boiling water in a teapot. The waves stir up masses of smoke and clouds, rising higher up into the sky, with color turning from yellow to grey, grey to blue.

Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China
Hukou Waterfalls, Yellow River, China

An image of the Hukou Waterfall can be seen on the older fourth series of the renminbi 50 RMB banknote.

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