Posts Tagged ‘Hukou Falls’

How to Visit Hukou Waterfall (Tips, Photos & Map)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022
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Plan your China tour? Hukou Waterfall of the Yellow River (壶口瀑布) is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in China and the largest yellow waterfalls in the world.

Do you have a fancy idea of visiting this magnificent waterfall? Yes, years ago its awkward location did drive away many travellers since it is located in the middle reaches of Yellow River in the Loess Plateau hinterlands between Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province.

The location of Hukou Waterfall ( Google)

But after the local governments improved transport and tourist facilities, foreign and domestic tourists coming to Hukou Waterfall have increased greatly year on year. Then how to visit Hukou Waterfall?

Which side to view Hukou Waterfall?

Hukou Waterfall can be viewed either from Shaanxi Province side (Xian as its capital city) or Shanxi Province side ( Taiyuan as its capital city ) since Yellow River is a border river dividing Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province. The two provinces have the confusingly similar spelling: Shaanxi (陕西) and Shanxi (山西) with one”a” and double “a” in difference.

The visitors viewing on the Hukou Waterfall on the Shaanxi side (陕西) has outnumbered those on the Shanxi side (山西). The viewing place on the Shaanxi side is lower than Shanxi side, which makes the waterfall looks much more magnificent than viewed from the Shanxi side.

Best Time to View Hukou Waterfall

The best time to visit Hukou Waterfalls is May, June, September and October. July and August are a little to hot and humid.

Winter season finds less water volume on the Yellow River, reducing the greatness of the waterfall. The ice and snow at Hukou Waterfall will be melted totally in May.

But visiting Hukou Waterfall in winter has its unique features which you cannot enjoy in the high or best season. You will see ice pendants and a whitened iced river itself.

How to Get to Hukou Waterfall?

Xi’an, Linfeng (or Taiyuan ) and Yan’an are the three most accessible cities to start up your trip to Hukou Waterfall.

1. Going from Xi’an to Hukou Waterfall

Choice A: Two Daily Buses from Xian directly to Hukou Waterfall
Note: The direct buses are possibly closed in winter due to the lack of tourists.
Bus Station in Xian: Xian Cheng Dong Bus Station ( 西安城东汽车站)
Two Departures: 8:00 am and 1:20 pm ( To)
12:00 and 5:00 pm ( Back )
Bus fare: 114 yuan + 2.5 yuan insurance fee
Drive Time: 5 hours ( 340 km )
Bus Station Add: 103 Mid-Changle Rd, Xian  西安市长乐中路103号
Tel::029-83460000

Choice B: Going from Xian to Yi Chuan by Bus + Local Mini-Bus to Hukou Waterfall
If you miss the direct buses from Xian to Hukou Falls, you may first take the bus from Xian Dong Cheng Bus Station to Yi Chuan (宜川), then connect the local minibus to Hukou Waterfall.  Hukou Waterfall is about 41 km to the east of Yi Chuan County .

There are 8 daily buses running from Xian Dong Cheng Bus Station to Yichuan County and 4 daily buses back. From Xian, first bus at 8:00am and last bus at 3:20pm; back from Yichuan, there are 4 buses starting at 6:00am, 8:30 am; 11:40am and 5:40:pm.

As for the public transport between Yi Chuan and Hukou Waterfall,  you may share the local mini-bus: 30 yuan per person 41 km).

2. Going from Yan’an to  Hukou Waterfall

Hukou Waterfall is located about 140km in the southeast of Yanan (Hukou Waterfall is under the administration of Yan’an City).  Yanan has plentiful trains going to Beijing, Taiyuan and Xian. Yan’an also has a medium-sized airport which has flights for Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and etc.

Choice A: Two Daily Buses from Yan’an directly to Hukou Falls
Note: The direct buses are possibly closed in winter due to the lack of tourists.
Bus Station in Yan’an: Yan’an South Bus Station ( 延安汽车南站)
Two Departures: 7:30 am and 8:20 am ( To)
12:00 and 2:00 pm ( Back )
Drive Time: 2 and half hours ( 140 km )
Yan’an South Bus Station:  located about 300 meters north of Yan’an Railway Station.
Hotline: 0911-2491167, 0911-2492777

Choice B: Going from Yan’an to Yi Chuan by Bus + Local Mini-Bus to Hukou Falls
If you miss the direct buses from Yan’an to Hukou Falls, you may first take the bus from Yan’an South Bus Station to Yi Chuan (宜川), then connect the local minibus to Hukou Falls.  Hukou Waterfall is about 41 km to the east of Yi Chuan County.

There are 8 daily buses from Yan’an South Bus Station ( 延安南站) to Yi Chuan listed below:
Departures: 6:00, 6:30, 10:05, 12:10, 12:20, 12:40, 17:30, and 18:00
Bus fare: around 44 yuan
Bus Ride: over 2 hours ( 120 km )
Yan’an South Bus Station:  located about 300 meters north of Yan’an Railway Station.
Hoteline: 0911-2491167, 0911-2492777

As for the public transport between Yi Chuan and Hukou Waterfall,  you may share the local mini-bus: 30 yuan per person 41 km).

3. Going from Taiyuan (or Linfeng) to Hukou Waterfall

You may take a bus and drive from Taiyuan to Hukou Waterfall at a distance of about 400km. The Taiyuan-Linfeng-Hukou Waterfall highway is completed.

Virtual Tour of Hukou Waterfall of the Yellow River

Today I make a side trip to Hukou Waterfall from Yan’an. Follow me into the wonderland of Hukou Waterfall!

Yesterday I took the overnight train starting from Beijing Western Railway Station. All the cars in the train offer soft sleepers, clean and comfortable. The train arrives at 5:03 early in the morning.

Beijing Yan’an Overnight Train

Losing no time, I hire a taxi (about 500 yuan for a day trip to Hukou Waterfall)hunting for business at the train station and directly dart for Hukou Waterfall though it is still quite dark outside.

We (me and my taxi driver) take a short cut – a provincial highway No.303 with a length of 140km from Yan’an city center to Hukou Waterfall.

We are driving on the loess plateau at the direction of southeast. I hope we can have the luck to enjoy a sunrise over the loess plateau. It seems today the good luck is sure to follow us! Driving on the high loess hills, we hit a red rising sun! Cool!

A sunrise over the loess plateau at 7:30am

A sunrise over the loess plateau

With even a greater expectation to see a sunrise over Yellow River, I elbow my driver to drive a little faster to the edge of the mother river.Oh, my god! We make it! Here is the melting radiant sunrise over Yellow River.

Here is the melting radiant sunrise over Yellow River

When we get to the ticketing office of Hukou Waterfalls on the Shaanxi side, we feel dropped from heaven to hell when we are told that Hukou Waterfall is forbidden to visit due to treacherous ice surface on the river.

Hukou Waterfall Visitor Centre on the Shaanxi side is closed.

Seeing I look so depressed, they show their sympathy and tell us to go to the Shanxi side (their competitor) to view the waterfall.

Heaven never seals off all exits! We continue to drive another 7km crossing a bridge spanning Yellow River and get to the Hukou Waterfall on Shanxi side.

Paying entrance RMB91 enables me to come closer to the waterfall which has been lingering in my heart for many years.

Entrance ticket for Hukou Waterfalls RMB91

The picture below is taken from the bridge when we drive past the bridge to the Shanxi side. You see, most of the river surface is frozen and the flowing water is running under the iced river surface.

The flowing water is running under the iced river surface.

Unlike a normal waterfall hanging high and easy for people to look up. But in the case of Hukou Waterfall, people have to look down! Hukou waterfalls is located in the middle of the over-200m-wide river.

The waterfall’s velocity increases, and then plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff on the river bed, forming a waterfall 15m high and 20m wide, as if water is pouring down from a huge teapot, hence the name Hukou (literally, the mouth of teapot) Waterfall.

I walk across the iced river along the cement bridges to the a narrow opening.

I walk across the iced river along the cement bridges to the a narrow opening on a cliff on the river bed in the middle of the wide river.

The waterfalls stirring up masses of smoke, turning the placid water into rapids
Standing on the Shanxi’s higher side to view the waterfall.

I’m the only visitor on Hukou Waterfall at the moment. A local staff comes to me saying if I pay extra RMB21, I’m able to view the waterfalls from its bottom!

They have dug a tunnel leading to the bottom of the waterfall! Jesus! Sure I’m ready to pay and follow him walk down the tunnel.

Follow him walk down the tunnel

Now I’m almost on the same level of the river bed of the running water under the waterfall. From there, I look up at the waterfall!

From there, I look up at the waterfall!

In the sunshine, the mist is reflected by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge!

The mist is reflected by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge!
A local senior attired in traditional clothes

Tip: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Xian guided tours:

Xi’an Tour
Xi’an Day Tour
Xi’an Tour Packages
Beijing Xi’an Tour

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Best Time to Visit Xian
How to Visit Xian in Two Days?
Xian Airport Transportation
Xian Railway Station Transportation
Xian Taxi: Xian Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Xian City Layout

Xian’s Top 7 Iconic Landmarks
Where to Stay in Xian
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Top Things to Do for Kids in Xian
How to Visit Xian on a Budget
The Starbucks in Xian
Top Markets in Xian
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Xian
Top 10 Best Restaurants in Xian
Top 10 Souvenirs in Xian
Xian Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

How to Visit Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an
How to Visit Huaqing Hot Springs in Xi’an
How to visit Muslim Quarter in Xi’an
How to Visit Xi’an City Wall
The Ramparts of Quebec City and Xian City
How to Visit Shaanxi History Museum
How to Visit Xi’an Bell Tower
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xi’an
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
How to Visit Hanyang Tombs Xi’an
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
How to Visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Mt.Huashan Snow Scenes Photos
How to visit Xiyue Temple
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels
Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves around Xian
Muslim Streets in Muslim Quarter in Xian
Hua Jue Xiang, Huajue Lane at Xian Muslim Quarter
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Xian City Wall Night View
What to do in Xian after dark
Xian’s Best Street Food
Xian Muslim Quarter Exotic Food
Xian Bar Street
Spring Festival Lantern Exhibit in Xian
Xian Terracotta Army Pictures

How to Visit Maijishan Grottoes from Xian by Train
How to Visit Hukou Waterfall
How to Visit Huangdi Mausoleum
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)
Beijing Xian Flight Experience
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Reviews on Beijing Xian Luoyang Tour

Visit Xian in January (Weather, Wear, & Tips)
Visit Xian in February
How to Visit Xian in March
Visit Xian in October
How to Visit Xian in November
Visit Xian in December

Any questions, just drop a line.