Qiantang River is the biggest river in Zhejiang Province, running from the west to Hangzhou Bay in the east, plays an important role in water transportation between the east and west. The river is encircled by a group of economically booming cities, including Shanghai, China's leading industrial and commercial hub, and Ningbo, one of China's leading port cities. Qiantang River's extraordinary surging tide is a world-renowned natural wonder caused by the gravitational pull of the stars and planets. The centrifugal force produced by the rotation of the earth and by the peculiar bottleneck shape of Hangzhou Bay makes it easy for the tide to come in, but difficult for it to ebb.
The soaring tide of the Qiantang River is such a marvelous spectacle that only the Amazon River's surging tide rivals it! Annually, millions of people from both home and abroad flock there to watch the magnificent tide on the eighteenth day of the eighth lunar month (also around the Mid-Autumn Day). When the surging tide comes, the water can rise up to a height of 30 feet and the noise it generates sounds like thunder, or thousands of horses running.
Various activities will also be held to celebrate the annual Tide - Watching Festival, according to local custom. The annual International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Watching Festival is held here on 18th day of the eighth lunar month. In terms of its history, the custom of watching the bore tide has happened for more than 2000 years. It first appeared during the first century. Then, it became popular in the Tang Dynasty (about 7th -13th century).
However, the game remains only for those who know its rules. 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 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.