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11/07/2014

Learn something of Tide-watching tradition of Qiantang River

The tradition of watching the tidal bore on the Qiantang River Yangtze River tour dates back more than 2,200 years. The custom first appeared during the first century BC and became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

During the Southern Song Dynasty (420-479), the imperial court would arrange for a marine inspection ceremony, with naval vessels racing ahead of the advancing wall of water. More recently, Commander W Usborne Moore of the British Navy (1888-1892) reported waves up to 3.5 meters high.

The more modern tradition of government-sponsored tourist shows dates back to 1994, when the usual tourist fare featuring local food specialties and tourist promotions is on offer. This year, the festival will take place from September 12-16, with celebrations organized by the Zhejiang provincial tourism bureau and Jiaxing city government.

Visitors are advised to bring waterproof gear and stand back from the guardrails due to the recent typhoons that have swept through Hong Kong and Hainan. In 2002, Typhoon Sinlaku made the bore more ferocious than usual, causing minor injuries to vehicles and 10 tourists.

Visitors report that the wave sounded like muffled thunder that grows into a roar, like an avalanche. Many Chinese describe the sound as that of 10,000 advancing horses.

Just as the Southern Song organized boat races ahead of the wave, a new pastime has developed among China's increasingly mobile population: racing the bore by car.

"The China International Qiantang River Bore Festival" is one of the largest tourist oriented festivals in China China tour deals. 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.

Special note: The rushing tide can be dangerous if you are careless. It is better to watch the tide in the designated areas, or listen to the advice of the local policemen there or your tour guide who ensure your safety and security. Since the tide may changes quickly and swept the visitors away without notice. Each year, few people die from tide watching, since most of them go beyond the designated tide watching areas.

The best time to watch: September and October are best times to view the tide. Join the festival crowds in Yanguan Town top 10 China tour packages in Haining or Xiaoshan in Hangzhou, and on the 18th day of the 8th lunar month - 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. Yanguan town in Haining 45 km (about 28 miles) from Hangzhou is the best place to watch the Qiantang Tide.

Qiantang River Bridge: Crossing the river is the Qiantang River Bridge. It is China's first self-designed and self-built bridge, which took from April 1934 to Sept 1937 to complete. Qiantang River Bridge is comprised of its main body and the bridge approach, stretching a distance of 1453 meters (4767 feet). It is also the first modern double - layer bridge in China. The upper layer of the bridge is highway and the layer below is railway. Qiantang River Bridge is designed by the famous Chinese bridge engineer Mao Yisheng, who defied the words spoken by foreigners that it was impossible to construct a bridge in such a spot, and who made a great contribution to the Chinese bridge building industry. Looking out from the Six Harmonies Pagoda, one can get a panoramic view of the mighty Qiantang River, the majestic Qiantang River Bridge, and the surrounding landscape.

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