Travel News

Embarrassment as tourist spots secret behind China’s ‘highest waterfall’

Simon Calder’s Travel

Workers at China’s highest waterfall have been left red-faced after a tourist revealed a pipe behind the famous attraction.

Scenic park operators in the Henan province were forced to acknowledge that the country’s highest waterfall got a helping hand from the pipe due to a lack of rainfall.

Video from a Douyin user, or the Chinese version of Tiktok and reported by media, showed a tourist revealing a large pipe burrowed at the top Yuntai Falls – the country’s steepest and a popular attraction inside the Yuntai Mountain scenic area.

The video, which has been shared 48,000 times, unleashed a torrent of social media comments, forcing park officials on Tuesday to release a letter that blamed seasonal factors and admitting to a “small enhancement during the dry season.”

A version of the video, filmed by a drone, was posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The move was meant to “enrich the visiting experience” and make the “trip worthwhile” for those “who have travelled a long way,” operators wrote on their Weibo social media account last week.

The statement, written in the voice of the waterfall, read:

“In order to enrich your visiting experience and make your visit worthwhile, I made a small enhancement during the dry season, just to meet you in a better posture.”

Chinese netizens jumped on the pipe disclosure.

“The main thing is that the water pipe is so crudely installed, others at least disguise it in a superior way,” wrote a user on Weibo, China’s popular social media platform.

“The move does not respect the laws of nature nor the visitors,” wrote another netizen.

The waterfall is described by the scenic park officials as the highest in Asia with a 314-metre vertical drop.

Some took a more conciliatory view on the use of the pipe, with one user saying “that it is better than seeing no water at all,” and another musing, “it is a good faith effort for the scenic area to maintain the landscape during dry periods.”

In 2023, the Yuntai Mountain scenic area attracted over seven million visits, according to the local tourism authorities.

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