Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Qiantang River Bore

when: Sep - Oct 2011 (annual)
where: The Qiantang River Bore
Bore is the name given to a unique tidal phenomenon. An exceptionally high tide, triggered by the pull of the moon, produces a wave so large that it travels upstream within the banks of the nearest river, sometimes for many miles. There are only a few river bores throughout the world and the biggest is here, south of Shanghai in east China, caused partly by the peculiar bottleneck shape of the Hangzhou Bay.
For more than 2000 years people have gathered to watch this extraordinary spectacle. Known by the Chinese as "The Black Dragon", this mammoth wave can reach heights of almost nine metres. The force of this large body of water has been known to have devastating effects - it is reported that once 10,000 people were swept away by the wave, and recently 87 people were killed when they ventured too close. Anyone wanting to see the wave safely should have fair warning of its arrival - the roar can be heard 22km away.

As with the Severn Bore in England, there are those brave (or crazy) enough to attempt to surf the wave. The Chinese have become more open about allowing foreigners to take the plunge and recently a group of "bore riders" from the UK took the test.

If you lack the right equipment or the lunacy to attempt this feat, then there are others ways to enjoy this natural wonder. The bore forms near Jianshan and then travels through the city of Hangzhou and about another 40km upstream.

September and October are good times to see the wave. Join the festive crowds in Yanguan Town in Haining or Xiaoshan in Hangzhou, and on the 18th day of the 8th lunar month (21 Sep in 2005) the traditional tide watching day, or Birthday Of The God Of Waves draws thousands from across the country to await the coming of the bore. Please check local forecasts to avoid disappointment.

Venue Information: The Qiantang River Bore
Full Name: The Qiantang River Bore, Hangzhou, China
Address: Qiantang River


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