China's highest waterfall criticized for being man-made tourist spot

By Reuters   June 9, 2024 | 06:52 pm PT
China's highest waterfall criticized for being man-made tourist spot
A photo shared on Weibo shows a general view of Yuntai Falls in China's Henan Province.
Scenic park operators in China's Henan province were forced to acknowledge that the country's highest waterfall got a helping hand from a 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."

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

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-meter vertical drop.

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

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."

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