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The Qiantang River Bore

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Category: Nature
Where: Haining, China
When: 1 Sep - 31 Oct 2017
Website: http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_travel/2004-08/10/content_58839.htm

Qiantang River is the biggest river in Zhejiang Province, running from the west to Hangzhou Bay in the east and plays an important role in water transportation between the east and west.

The centrifugal force produced by the rotation of the earth and Hangzhou Bay's peculiar bottleneck shape makes it easy for the tide to come in but not go out. There are only a few river bores throughout the world and the biggest is here, south of Shanghai in east China.

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. 

September and October are good times to see the wave . “The China International Qiantang River Bore Festival" is one of the largest tourist oriented festivals in China. Yanguan town of Haijing, located some 45km (about 28 miles) from Hangzhou, is the best place to watch the Qiantang tide. The annual festival is therefore usually held on the 16th day of the eighth lunar month in the area.

During the festival, visitors converge to appreciate one of the greatest wonders of the world -- the Qiantang River Bore. Sacrifices are often made to the bore and various activities are also held to celebrate the annual tide-watching festival, according to local customs.

What is also spectacular are some brave riskers who try surfing on this wave. Surfers can be watched at the ocean shore at the mouth of the river mostly.

If there is anything that is to be compared with a tsunami it might be The Qiantang Bore Wave.

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